Motorhomes are increasingly popular in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
As interest in them rockets, the number of questions from first-time potential buyers does likewise.
Here are some of the more commoner motorhome FAQS and appropriate answers.
Will I be able to park my motorhome overnight on the street?
This is a question that has no easy answer.
There is no specific legislation in the UK that prohibits you parking your motorhome on the public road when it is not in use. Having said that, keep in mind that there might be exceptions including:
- where vehicles above a certain height/weight/length are explicitly banned (e.g. some town-centre conservation areas);
- some local councils which may have implemented specific maximum vehicle size parking for any one of several reasons;
- some new build estates make it a condition of your contract with them that large vehicles will not be parked in the street or on your driveway;
- where the parking of a larger vehicle might be construed as restricting visibility and therefore creating a hazard;
- your insurance might explicitly prohibit it in the context of overnight parking when not in use.
There are though plenty of secure storage facilities for caravans and motorhomes for when they’re not in use.
Is a special licence required to drive a motorhome?
This is probably the commonest of all motorhome faqs!
It really depends – whilst the answer is typically “no”, there may be some exceptions though, for the very largest vehicles. You can find a full list of current licence requirements here.
It’s also worth checking your insurance provider. Some may have minimum age requirements for some types of motorhome.
Can I use lay-byes?
Providing you use them for temporary stop purposes and there are no posted notices excluding larger vehicles and caravans then yes you can.
Typically though, you’ll find that there will be notices prohibiting overnight stays.
The position in some European countries is slightly different. There, you may see a more relaxed attitude towards overnight stops in rest areas, though don’t ignore signs if they explicitly prohibit such.
Remember to check your insurance too. Some policies may also only permit overnight use of a motorhome if it’s on an approved site (usually that excludes public car parks).
Are such vehicles legal all over Europe?
Yes, providing we’re speaking here of the EU where, broadly speaking, regulations have been largely harmonized.
The position in some countries of Eastern Europe that are not EU members may be different and would need to be researched individually.
It’s also worth noting that some of the larger US RVs (Recreational Vehicles) might not meet UK or EU road regulations and they may be technically illegal on the road. Check that carefully if you’re considering buying an import.
Is it true that motorhomes hold their values well?
The resale value of a used motorhome will depend upon many things such as marque, model, mileages, condition, age, and so on.
As a result, a little caution is required with generalisations because they might not apply to your unique and individual motorhome.
Generally though, motorhomes do hold their values well in the sense that they depreciate at a typically much lower rate than a family car. Demand for good used motorhomes is typically always high.
The message here is that it always makes sense to protect your motorhome by making sure it’s regularly serviced and otherwise cared for. Be cautious too with ambitious “enhancements” as such customisations, particularly when done on a DIY basis, might adversely affect the value of your vehicle.