For all its joy, buying a motorhome can be an exhausting experience. Even if you’ve decided on the make and model of motorhome you actually want to buy, it’s a nightmare sifting through all the aftercare and after-sales options. Many of us end up signing up to a variety of care packages we’re never really sure about and that we never quite end up making full use of.
When you buy a motorhome, each sales outlet will have a different way of offering you aftercare packages and depending on how and where you buy, specific terms and conditions will vary. However, to give you some way into the puzzling world of after sale care, here’s a quick guide to the terms and options you’ll frequently encounter.
Most commonly and, probably, most usefully, the first thing offered by motorhome dealers is a service package. This will normally mean that your annual service on your motorhome is included for a period; say five years. Normally this will only include the cost of any service labour – any replacement parts you actually need will usually cost you more.
Depending on where you buy your motorhome from, this can be a wise idea. If you’re someone who likes to get servicing done by an accredited dealer and will always return to the same place, you may find it cost effective. Often servicing can be done cheaper elsewhere, but this is very much brand dependent and worth enquiring about.
Limited or Full Warrantees
Your motorhome will probably come with some sort of warrantee included. This means that for, say, three years, any problems you have that can be considered a manufacturing fault will be repaired and replaced for free. This means that if your brakes fail, for example, or you have an exhaust problem, your dealer is obliged to repair the problem or, alternatively, replace your motorhome.
Often warrantees are limited by some sort of terms. For example, a limited warrantee may not include the cost of damages to mirrors and glass or to the upholstery. This is usually because these things are expected to wear quicker. You should check what is covered by your warrantee and what is not when considering your next option: the extended warrantee.
Though a warrantee of some sort is usually covered by your motorhome dealer, extended warrantees will usually cost you more on top of the price of your motorhome. You will pay for what you get, of course, with many options costing you different prices. In return, you’ll either get a time extension, that is a three year warrantee may go up to five years, or a coverage extension; things that previously weren’t covered by a warrantee will be now.
The decision of whether you purchase an extended warrantee is about risk. It’s difficult to know how or what will go wrong in your motorhome in, say, five years and so it’s about personal plans. A warrantee won’t be much use to you if you sell your motorhome, so if you’re someone who likes a change every two years then it won’t be much help.
Tax, Insurance and Breakdown Cover
Aftercare packages very often include some benefits in terms of tax, motorhome insurance and breakdown cover. It may be that throughout the duration of your aftercare package, your manufacturer or dealer will pay the effective cost of one or all of these things. Normally this is done through a rebate as you will have to be the taxpayer or policyholder, and it might come in the form a discount on the sale price.
Though having everything sorted and done in one swift move can be very appealing, you need to be very thorough when checking through the policy details. Motorhome insurance isn’t just a one-size-fits-all sort of commodity, it needs to be a package that’s right for you. Check the inclusions and exclusions and in particular ask whether your policy covers European insurance: it’s essential if you want to go outside the UK.
In general, aftercare packages comprise of these items though if you’re buying on finance you may find these things wrapped up slightly differently. Companies often combine the various elements, also, to make a purchase seem more appealing to you. After sale care is about finding a compromise between cost, convenience and cover: you’ll need some sort of care on your motorhome in the future, but you need to figure out how much you’re willing to pay for now and how much you’d rather take the chance and purchase when you really need to.