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Motorhome Depreciation Rate Explained – Ultimate Guide

As a motorhome owner, you know that new and used motorhomes will lose value over time. Potential buyers need to make sure they get good value for money.

Accessible motorhome prices make buying a motorhome a great investment. Motorhome ownership doesn’t have to be a burden.

Our motorhome depreciation guide examines the factors that affect the depreciation rate of a motorhome once it leaves the dealer’s lot. And we provide some tips on how motorhome owners can slow depreciation down.

What factors affect the depreciation of motorhomes?

What factors affect the depreciation of motorhomes?

Various factors could impact the depreciation rate of motorhomes. Things like supply and demand can change the resale value of a model. Some of these factors might have a negative effect and make the value depreciate faster than expected.

New models on the market

Motorhome brands are constantly looking for ways to make improvements on older models. So, you should not be surprised when you see some of these popular brands rolling out new motorhome models.

A general rule is that an older motorhome is less attractive than a new one. New models tend to be in high demand by people with more money to spend.

Usage

The way you use your motorhome also impacts its depreciation rate. The average depreciation on a privately owned motorhome that is rarely used will be less than one that is always on the road.

Even if two vehicles are the same age, the one used more will take a more depreciative hit than the rarely used one. Also, older vehicles that are not well maintained tend to lose value quickly.

Accessories and add-ons

In-demand accessories like extra sleeping births or solar panels could be an advantage when it comes to retaining the value of campervans. Most people will also be more likely to hire/buy your motorhome if you keep it functional and attractive.

You should keep in mind that add-ons with a lower specification could significantly cause potential problems regarding the depreciation rate. Another way to make your house on wheels appear excellent value to a buyer/hirer is to add an automatic gearbox. This attracts buyers and hirers that are not familiar with manual transmission.

Market fluctuations and external events

From time to time, economic issues and significant market events have been known to affect depreciation rates. Domestic travel has increased over the past year or two, mostly due to various restrictions during the pandemic.

This factor can have both a positive and negative effect on motorhome pricing. Firstly, there will be a slowdown in the steep depreciation rate of motorhomes. But, the growing number of motorhomes on the market could have a detrimental effect on depreciation rates.

Chassis and body

For a long time now, a significant number of motorhome chassis have been manufactured in Europe and others in Japan. But the recent trend of building on a cheaper chassis manufactured in China offers a more cost-effective way to buy a motorhome.

The Chinese chassis production line comes with a lower asking price, but they also depreciate faster. No matter where the chassis is from, always inspect it for damage and rust, especially if buying a second-hand motorhome.

Brand

Yes, the value of your motorhome can be affected by the brand. Motorhomes sold by popular brands or an approved agent are more likely to be considered top quality.

Top motorhome brands Airstream, Hymer, and Volkswagen dominate the market. Their motorhome values depreciate slower than other brands, thanks to their strong presence in the motorhome market.

Aftermarket (adaptation) products

When deciding on the installation of aftermarket products, you also need to consider depreciation. If your supposed improvement, like curtains, lighting, and windows, is not desirable, it could negatively affect depreciation. A job done professionally will always come in handy, regardless of the price.

How to calculate the depreciation of motorhomes?

How to calculate the depreciation of motorhomes?

Motorhome depreciation calculations can help let you know the value of new or used motorhomes.

You should keep in mind that when you calculate depreciation rates, it doesn’t necessarily give a precise value. It is intended to give you a general idea. Check out the rough guide below:

  • After 1 year: 20% depreciation
  • After the 3 years: 30% depreciation
  • After 5 years: 50% depreciation
  • After 10 years: 60-75% depreciation

You can also calculate based on motorhome type.

Class A motorhome depreciation after three years: 30-45%

Let’s say you buy a new Class A motorhome for £80,000

  • After the first year: 20% depreciation = £64,000
  • After the second year: 25-27% depreciation = £58 -60,000
  • After the third year: 30-45% depreciation = £44- 56,000
  • After the fifth years: 50% depreciation = £40,000
  • After tenth year: About 75% depreciation = £20,000

Class B motorhome depreciation after three years: 30-33%

Imagine you buy a new class B motorhome for £40,000

  • After the first year: 20% depreciation = £32,000
  • After the second year: 23-25% depreciation = £30 – 31,000
  • After the third year: 30-33% depreciation = £26 -28,000
  • After the fifth year: 47-49% depreciation = £20 -22,000
  • After ten years: About 60% depreciation = £16,000

How to slow down the depreciation of motorhomes

Everyone is aware of the fact that motorhomes lose their value over time. But, knowing how to slow down this depreciation process is essential.

Keep your motorhome in excellent condition

Keep your motorhome in excellent condition

One of the best ways to retain the value of your motorhome is to keep it in good condition. For example, you will be able to sell your motorhome at a reasonable purchase price if it is fully functional.

You need to do preventative maintenance, not just clean and top up the fuel for the holidays. Ensure you tackle problems before they become serious, and inspect and service the different parts of your motorhome regularly.

Build-in repair costs

A rough guide is to calculate your motorhome budget to include things that will help retain value over its lifetime. So, you should dedicate about £1,000 to servicing, upgrades and repairs.

Preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance ensures that your motorhome’s engine and systems are all in perfect working condition. While you maintain and keep your motorhome tidy, ensure you have a detailed service record.

When you wish to sell your motorhome, this data shows that you took good care of the vehicle. Follow these steps for proper maintenance:

  • Inspect the roof
  • Check the tyre pressure
  • Change the oil and replace filters
  • Inspect and flush the tanks when needed
  • Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions

Refurbish your motorhome

8Refurbish your motorhome

Motorhome refurbishment can be beneficial for owners of older motorhomes. Many motorhome owners refurbish their vehicles after a while, ready to sell them in the near future or to improve them for their own enjoyment.

Add valuable features

Adding some very useful features can help retain the value of your motorhome. You can add more detail to the space inside your camper/van. One of the best ways to increase motorhome value is by adding better sleeping areas; for instance, you can purchase an electric bed.

If there is enough space, add smart furnishings, an oven, fridge, or solar panels. All these make your motorhome stand out.

Keep your motorhome in storage

Keeping your motorhome in storage is one way to guarantee a slower depreciation rate. Paying attention to your maintenance routine might be challenging, but it is worth it.

Just ensure you show it enough love and care, and you will be doing a great job of slowing down the depreciation rate of your home on wheels.

Protect the vehicle from extreme weather

Extreme weather conditions can damage your motorhome and lower its value. Selling a motorhome with water or UV damage is quite hard. One of the best ways to protect a motorhome during the winter months is to use it.

Use waterproof sheeting to cover upholstery, run a small heater, always check for dampness, and drain the water system after use.

Winterize your motorhome every year

However, if you are not planning on using or renting out your vehicle during the holiday, you should winterize it. Some important steps in winterizing include:

  • Clean the interior thoroughly.
  • Remove and store all valuables.
  • Clean the exterior before it is covered.
  • Store your batteries properly.
  • Clean and drain the water system.
  • Inspect the tyres.

Buying a used motorhome

You can get the best value for your money by buying a used motorhome or campervan. The motorhome reaches a point where the depreciation rate of the first few years levels off. This plateau point is about five years. This would be the best time to trade-in your old model for a newer one.

If you want the best bang for your buck, choosing OMC motorhomes for sale is the best option. They offer a wide range of premium quality motorhomes from various brands. The company has thousands of happy customers across the UK, so you can confidently invest in a new motorhome from OMC.

So is a motorhome a good investment?

So is a motorhome a good investment

Approach it correctly, pay attention, and purchasing a motorhome is an excellent investment. It opens up a new world and can give your life new meaning. Camping out with an asset like this can be a lot of fun.

The savings you make on food costs and accommodation when you purchase a new motorhome might offset the significant depreciation in the first year. You can also opt to buy a used motorhome and save yourself even more cash.

Conclusion

With a better knowledge of how a motorhome depreciates, you can easily make a well-thought-out decision to invest or not. The methods above are very effective in slowing down the depreciation rate of any motorhome.

Also, if you want to make a return on your investment, you can hire your motorhome to other people.

FAQ

How much do new motorhomes depreciate in value?

Motorhome depreciation rates are typically lower than that of a new car. The value of a new motorhome will depreciate around 40 to 45 per cent after four years. This turns out to be about 10 to 15 per cent annually.

Do motorhomes hold their value in the long term?

Motorhomes retain their value longer than other vehicles, but they still depreciate. The value of your motorhome will drop from the original purchase price by about 10-15% after the first year. But, the good news is that used motorhome values stay above 70% after 3 years.

Note: A motorhome used only by its owner depreciates slower than a rental motorhome.

Which class of motorhomes hold their value best?

When you search the motorhome market, you probably want to spend money on what will remain valuable. Class C motorhomes tend to hold their value best. They have a slow depreciation rate, making them the preferred motorhome purchase for many people.

Coming in second place are Class B motorhomes, which also tend to hold their value relatively well.

How much do Class C motorhomes depreciate each year?

Taking into consideration regular use, running costs, and proper maintenance, a Class C motorhome depreciates at about 8% per year. After five years, you can expect the value to have gone down by 38%. In the financial sense, going for a Class C motorhome is a good deal for motorhome buyers.

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