Disabled Motrohome Buying Advice

Discussion in 'Motorhomes for the Disabled' started by tigger22, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. tigger22

    tigger22 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Everyone,


    We are both new to the forum and motorhoming.



    We have been toying with the idea of owning a motorhome for several years and need some advice. After recent further surgery and deterioration with my back condition I am no longer able to travel more than a small distance sitting in a car seat and use a mobility scooter full time. Although I have stubbornly refused to use a wheelchair so I crawl around on my hands and knees in the house. I am sure that my GP would be happy to support me if needed.


    My automatic car has been adapted for me to use but I am unable to drive it due to my condition. My carer – my wife tends to drive the car for me with me lying on the back seat. I am registered disabled etc.


    Can someone please advise us concerning suitable motorhomes. We plan to visit the NEC in Birmingham next month but need to be advised what to look for before we go. We need a 4 berth motorhome with a rear double bed and an overcab bed (for my son and friend) with a suitable garage so I can store my mobility scooter.


    I am also wondering if there would be road tax exception as there is on my car, can I have two vehicles with this exception?


    Our budget is fairly limited we would like to buy new (VAT free if poss). We did see some new motorhomes costing around £32,000 with VAT last year to give you some idea of budget although we would also look at used or ex demo motorhomes as long as they are not too old and well guaranteed.


    Many thanks,
    Tigger22 :Smile:
     
  2. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    up my street I think


    Firstly welcome to the site.

    Being a disabled motor camper user... I have a Winnibago B class 23'9" and draw a trailer with my 4 wheel 11 stone buggy and a wheelchair. I think I can advise you on some of the issues and I expect others will join in as well.

    Let me deal with Exempt road tax... that is only valid on one car ... that can be a motor home as long as it is registered as disabled. If you get Disabled Living Allowance (You did not say) and you have a Motability lease car then the road fund licence is on that car and cannot be changed. If you have a motability car that is on Hire Purchase then it can be changed and used on which ever car or motorhome you like. But you cannot have it on two vehicles. If you do not use the allowance on any motability item then you can use the exemption on a motor home.

    If you have a lot of problems getting in and out of a car, then I am sorry to say you are going to find a motor home even harder. Most European vans and UK vans have very narrow habitation doors and you will have one of two steps to get up. There are some commerical van convertions on the market that have large slide doors, but these do not have a cab over and tend to be fairly cramped inside.

    Most American RV's have settee's but are not designed to enable someone to travel on them unless they have a seat belt restraining the person. Many insurance companies make sure it is in there policy that it has to be a face forward seat belted seat.. They will not insure if the side seat or settee is used.

    Toilets on most motor homes are small compared to a house, and even on the bigger RV's they are only so much more bigger in size. I am lucky my RV has a bathroom across the back of the motor home and has a large toilet door. Most motor home toilets are lower than in a house.

    Transport of a buggy can be done in a garage, but consider the weight of the buggy.. mine is 11 stone and that is a lot of weight on the back axle and could cause a problem. I use a purpose made trailer for an electric buggy. Also consider how you get a buggy in to a garage? ramp? hoist?

    You can get some companies to make special doors and lifts to help you get in to a motor Home. (MMM magazine will be bringing out shortly there latest disabled guide.. I write articles for it myself as a disabled person).. worth reading it, as it tells you loads and gives a list of companies that make items and convert motor homes to meet disabled persons needs.

    I could fill many pages with advise, but this is the starter for you.. firstly do not give up on the dream. you may have to adjust your expectations, not only in owning a motor home but using it and camp sites. Can your wife drive the motor home and do the loading and unloading, water, changing the loo (RV's we dump it).. but it is hard work.

    Good luck and come back if you need more advice.

    Bob:thumb:
     
  3. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Hi and welcome to Fun, Bob has given you some good advice there.

    As to VAT exempt you should be eligble but the main saving would only be on a brand new unregistered van not a used one.

    Peter
     
  4. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    wrong peter


    VAT is allowed on second hand motorhomes... VAT notice 701/59 March 202 applies and is current... Motor vehicles for disabled people.

    The declaration is:

    I am a chronically sick or have a disabling condition by reason or (give full and specific description of your condition)

    the adapted vehicle is for my personal use

    I usually use a wheelchair or stretcher to be mobile

    and I claim relief from value added tax.


    Even a wheel spinner will make the exemption valid.. a drivers seat moved or a ramp fitted to gain access, clamps for a wheelchair in side.

    The vehicle can be second hand.

    Sorry Peter, know this one backwards and have all the papers as a good lawyer does.. it also allows vat releif on repairs to the vehicle like servicing (not extras added)..

    Bob:Blush:
     
  5. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    p.s to my last post


    p.s to my last post.. page 10 of the above vat book item 3.1 explains what needs to be complied with and item 4 .1 on page 13 states:

    4.1 Does a second hand adapted vehicle qualify for VAT relief?

    Yes. A second hand adapted vehicle can be zero rated if the conditions explained inparagraph 3.1 are met. Although second-hand cars (read motorhomes) are usually sold on the second hand margin scheme, an eligible vehicle can be sold outside the scheme and involiced in the normal way.

    section 3.1 says on page 10

    3.1 What is an eligible adapted notor vehicle?

    It is any motor vehicle (such as a car, light van, multi-passenger vehicle(MPV) or MOTOR HOME) that is:

    designed, or substantially and permanently adapted for the carriage of a disabled wheel;chair user - see paragraphs 3.2 and 3.6 etc., etc.,

    It goes on a bit but it allows for what I have said in an earlier post.. it can be as little as a steering wheel knob and this has been tested via HM customs and revenue.

    Bob:thumb:
     
  6. DESCO

    DESCO Read Only Funster

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    Welcome to MH Fun

    Bob has given you the information needed to help you on your way.

    Best of luck

    Dave :thumb::thumb:
     
  7. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Bob.

    Its not that easy any more, Revenue have clamped down a lot, yes VAT on a used van can be deducted but it will only be on the gross profit margin and NOT on the original amount paid, lot of difference !

    Peter
     
  8. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Forgive my ignorance but I don't quite understand how a steering wheel spinner qualifies as "designed, or substantially and permanently adapted for the carriage of a disabled wheel;chair user".

    D.
     
  9. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    I have not been told that the rules have changed


    Hi Peter

    I have not been told the rules have changed? in fact checking I am told the rules are the same, often dealers do not want to disclose the value of the vehicle before vat is included ( the margin) also vat repairs/servicing (not add on's) can be claimed if the vehicle was suppled second hand under the vat exemption scheme. I have found a great reluctance by dealers to accept the vat exemption forms. So I stick to companies and suppliers that are happy to work within the spirit of the VAT exemption regulations. VAT man has clamped down on rouge traders as we have seen in the press, not on the honest dealer that obides by the rules. It is open to any dealer to check the forms and make his own judgement call. But it is unfair and unhelpful Peter to say it does not apply to second hand vehicles when it is available. What your post says is now different to your first post and even then I challange that statement.

    I suggest any person that has true disabilities that are able to show that they use a wheelchair/stretcher full time ask the dealer first about the VAT exemptions. Those that know there eggs will be able to advise the buyer and will accept the completed forms supplied by the buyer.. examples of the form you print out can be obtained from HM revenue and customs web site of from the booklet they would send you on request (the one I have in front of me now).

    If the dealer does not want to allow you the right to claim the vat off and I say providing that you are entitled and can prove it then I suggest you shop around until you find a dealer that will and is experianced in the details and conversion work needed to meet the regulations. There are many out there that have not abused the system and the VAT man has no problems with.

    As a disabled person using a wheelchair full time I speak from experiance. (the law degree helps, you just have to understand the regulations, a phone call to the VAT help line will get the booklet and help no end in getting the entitlement disabled people need (it is not a hand out) but a right within the law.)

    Bob:Doh:
     
  10. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    I don't have a poblem with VAT exemption in any shape or form, what I object to is dealers saying, 'oh yes we will fit a gab handle and it will be exempt' etc etc

    Do not forget it is the buyer making a declaration as to their disabilty and can be easily led into what is a fraudaulent transaction.

    VAT exemption on a used vehicle is the same as for export, VAT on the gross margin only not the original VAT paid.

    Again I have no problem in that area subject to proof of disabilty, all VAT free transactions we verify with Customs for clearance before completion.

    Peter
     
  11. tigger22

    tigger22 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Bob,


    Many thanks for your valuable advice. It looks a bit of a mind field whether to purchase new or used but trying to find a dealer who would accommodate what you are suggesting regarding VAT free on their profit margin on a used motorhome would I imagine would be difficult. I appreciate that dealers have overheads and need to make a profit and I do not mind that but I would be surprised if they would disclose their profit margins. I hope to visit a trader in Northants soon if my condition allows and I will ask about your suggestion.


    I have seen various motorhomes with seats that convert to a bed with seatbelts that may suffice that would allow me to travel in a low semi recumbent position. I fear that the doorways may be difficult to negotiate and the toilet area would have to be suitable to crawl into. One thing I would investigate would be either an automatic transmission or have the transmission to with an electric gear changer so I may drive it when able. Also my mobility scooter is a portable design that dismantles into 4 pieces or so but my son would probably want to take his bike so some sort of medium sized storage is preferred.



    Can anyone tell me how much road fund tax is on a motorhome please?


    We visited John Cross two years ago when I wasn’t so bad and at that time I couldn’t claim the VAT free on a new vehicle but now unfortunately my condition has deteriorated that’s no longer the case. We’ll wondering if they would accept your interpretation of the VAT on used vehicles. Although we are looking for a dealer near to Cambridge as we are looking for a bungalow in that area so if we have any problems after service we won’t have to travel miles to get it repaired which would be a concern.


    If anyone has any comments or suggetions please let us know.


    Many thanks,


    Tigger22 :Smile:
     
  12. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    Quite happy to VAT free on a used van and as to repairs as such, we don't get those very much as we prepare the van properly in the first place !

    I moaned the other day because they had fitted two new front tyres to a van I had personally bought, inspected and driven 90 odd miles down to them.

    Their answer was, they are too old and will perish, end of convo as far as I was concerned, I pay them to prepare the vans properly and if they say it needs something, they fit it.

    But as to whether we have something suitable is debatable, only you can decide that.

    Peter
     
  13. tigger22

    tigger22 Read Only Funster

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    Hi Peter,

    That is very much appreciated and we may take you up on the offer. I will keep an eye on your website and perhaps will call you and pay you a visit sometime in the future.

    Hopefully, other people will see this that will bring some more enquires.

    Many thanks,

    Tigger22 :Smile:
     
  14. slobadoberbob

    slobadoberbob Read Only Funster

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    follow up on the VAT issue and other areas


    Back again Tigger and Peter...

    Yes the VAT issue is minefield and it has been abused in the past by less than honest dealers that have dragged the poor buyer into the issue. For my sins I have an amputation through the hip and on DSS guidelines I am classed as a double amputee and 98% disabled. It all depends where you fit on the sliding scale of Customs and Excise rules. I use either a powerchair or normal wheelchair all the time and at shows a power buggy. My motor home had to be converted to meet my needs and comply with HM Customs and Revinue. Being a retired lawyer I can read the documents and have a fiar undertanding of the issues. But a dealer rightly can ask for guidance from his local tax office.

    Peter the rules allow for an invoice to be raised on the vehicle (including the profit - so the buyer cannot see that) i.e invoice less vat... or on the margin as you wish... local VAT man will advise you how to do it.

    While I get vat off repairs and servicing by providing the documents and a copy of the original sales documents that show VAT exemption was allowed (Second hand motor home) I cannot get any vat off on an accessory.. Example I need to replace two damaged rear lights which would fail the MOT the vat releif is allowed, but if I wanted to add say a radio that is not. It is the items that were part of the main vehicle at time of sale. Again for example VAN BITZ rightly will not give vat releif on alarms, cameras or sats as they are not the main vehicle. But if I were to have brakes, lighting or oils then that counts.

    The words Wheekchair /stretcher are the important ones.. but customs have accepted that an adaption of a wheelspinner on the steering wheel may be important to a disabled person but not an able bodied person. My driving seat had to be re positioned for example and a set of claimps for the wheelchair. A trailer purpose built for the electric wheelchair met vat exemptions, but a stock bought trailer does not. Ramps for a wheelchair use are exempt of vat.. the list goes on and on.

    Anyway Tigger there are few automatics on the market... Most American RV's are automatic, but Europeans and UK are very limited. As stated earlier we are at Lincoln show next weekend - not a million miles from your neck of the woods.. You would get a chance to see many camper dealers have on sale and the Motor Home Fun group will be there, as I will and you are welcome to see in side my RV and I am sure others would also be willing to show you there vehicle. Better than a sales pitch.

    But as Peter said you need to find the right vehicle that meets your needs. I am sure if you care to take the time to visit him again at Johns Cross he will keep an eye out for something suitable??? (yes Peter???:Smile:) We have done the VAT issue to death now. But you must get a vehicle that means you can use it. No fun sitting in a motorhome on a wet weekend.

    My American RV has a big awning that I use to park and charge the batteries under cover when it is bad... you need to consider that as well.

    Anyway enough from me, let others join in and give you some advice.. even Peter as a dealer will know more about what is suitable in the UK and European market than I... me I go for yanks.. do not for get to read the disability suppliment in the MMM mag - it will be in the December issue out in November...... good luck

    Bob:thumb:
     
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