Buying vintage isn’t quite as simple as buying your ordinary run of the mill motorhome, and there’s a lot more to it than deciding how many berths you need and the money you want to spend. There are financial, practical, mechanical and, of course, aesthetic considerations to make when you’re buying vintage, so here is our guide to finding your way through the information out there.
Thinking with your Wallet
For most of us, the budget is the main thing that limits what we purchase. Your first consideration needs to be whether you have the cash available to splash out on a vintage motorhome and it’s a different question to ‘can you afford it?’ You won’t be able to get finance for a vintage motorhome so you will be on your own when it comes to looking for credit.
One thing that you should keep in mind when buying a vintage motorhome is that it is an investment. Classic cars and motorhomes are actually up there with the most profitable long-term investments at the moment and even set against the cost of things like motorhome insurance they can still be lucrative if well looked after. Some detailed analysis of projected growth could help you to secure finance but remember that investments can very easily go up as well as down.
A vintage motorhome requires a lot more care and attention than an ordinary motorhome and so you should really consider the condition of the vehicle you’re buying. If you’re buying online you need to read the specification extremely carefully and don’t be afraid to ask questions. In particular you need to be cautious about rust damage and any non-original parts: they may have been poorly replaced.
Also be extremely careful with converted motorhomes: you really can’t be sure how well a motorhome has been maintained. An MOT is a good indication of current roadworthiness but it doesn’t tell you anything about the future potential of a motorhome. If you are buying a conversion you should make sure you have a look at it in person and, if possible, have a mechanic cast an eye over things.
Buying a Brand
Vintage motorhomes come in all shapes and sizes but some are most certainly more regarded than others. Choosing a model is largely a matter of personal taste and should be based more upon the sort of motorhome you need than on brand. However, knowledge about the brand and model you’re buying is extremely important when it comes to vintage motorhomes.
If you’re buying a particularly desirable model you’ll find that the market is reasonably saturated with buyers. Prices don’t tend to be very negotiable and you’ll probably be outbid by an enthusiast or, worse, end up paying over the odds if you don’t know what you’re doing. Knowledge is key here: if all you want is a cool-looking, retro styled motorhome then you need to know you’re not bidding on an extremely valuable classic.
The bottom line with vintage motorhome buying however is if you like it enough to want to splash the cash on it, you should just go for it. There aren’t many things more rewarding than finding a motorhome you really love, spending some time camping in it and perhaps spending a little time labouring over it and looking after it.
You should be mindful of the practical and financial aspects of buying a vintage campervan and that will all help you to get the best deal you can, but ultimately it’s all about finding a motorhome you really love.
There’s no sure-fire recipe for finding the right vintage motorhome but if you follow the guide above you’ll be able to get very close to at least the idea of what you want. The next challenge is, of course, finding it! We recommend you spend some time searching online, as that’s where many of the top vintage campers are listed, but this can be best just for research purposes. If you’re serious about buying then a classified ad and a more traditional sale might be beneficial. Equally, if you’re a beginner and new to buying vintage then a campervan show could be one of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the market.