LHD or RHD - what would you do?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Goose, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    Hi all. Well, the dream is almost a reality and we're hoping to be in the UK within weeks. But now we need your help and advice (again :BigGrin: ).

    We have a base in the UK, a home we've owned for many years jointly with my sis and mum. I'm Brit and OH is Canadian, coming across on a settlement visa. The plan is to base ourselves in the UK and explore Europe by motorhome.

    And here lies the dilemma. Do we buy a RHD or a LHD? We anticipate spending most of our time in Europe and are leaning toward a LHD.

    We're also thinking that we might settle in France within a year or two. And that's affecting our decision.

    We're thinking of a LHD Euramobil - one of these:

    http://users.autoexposure.co.uk/veh...MOBIL&Model=TI 700 EB 3.0 JTD&City=Nottingham

    or an Itineo, like this one:

    http://www.itineo.com/motorhome_MB_740.php

    or even a LHD Hymer like one advertised at Johns Cross at the moment:

    http://www.johnscross.co.uk/products.php?product=Hymer-B544SL-2007

    Our worry is the issue of eventually registering the motorhome in France. We're read a lot about the difficulties associated with certificates of conformity etc and are therefore leaning toward motorhomes that will be easy to register in France...like French-built ones (Itineo, Rapido, Pilote etc).

    Does anyone foresee difficulty with buying any of the above motorhomes and registering in France?
     
  2. kenspain

    kenspain Read Only Funster

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    For me i would buy in France If thats were you want to live. When i move to Spain 12 years ago I brought my English reg MH with me and the cost to change the plates over to Spanish was so much i found it cheaper to sale it and buy one here. Best of luck to you.:thumb:
     
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  3. ArenqueRojo

    ArenqueRojo Read Only Funster

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    I think most people will tell you it doesn't take long to get used to driving either hand, so don't let that worry you.
    I would go LHD as a) you can't sell RHD outside the UK and b) you can't register RHD in France and, I think there are other countries which won't register them, and c) they tend to have the habitation door on the right where you want it to be in places like Italy.
    Italy tend towards miniture pitches so you are close to your neighbour! It is embarrassing when you open your door straight opposite theirs!:Sad:
    If going French, don't forget to look at LeVoyageur:Cool: not that I am biased... Be careful about Itineo IMHO.
    Patrick
     
  4. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    LHD makes sense if you are going to spend a lot of your time on the continent, you are quite correct as regards officialdom in France as regards registration but thats only if you decide to reside there.

    After two years you may decide to change the van and could sell it there to a German! and replace in France with a French one

    Just a thought

    Peter
     
  5. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    do not , under any circumstances buy an english brand of motorhome , unsaleable elsewhere
    if you buy virtually any LHD motorhome from germany/italy /france it is easily registered in france as already homologated , hymer's are especially popular here and as LHD motorhomes in uk are fetching much less that rhd [ most people don't seem to like them ] you can buy them currently for less than france or germany , I know the dealers don't reflect that as much but in the private market this is certainly true

    I looked last year in the uk , and although I couldn't find exactly what I wanted in the uk and ended up buying in france , lhd prices for the same model in uk were £3-5,000 less than rhd , and the same amount cheaper than france ; some friends of mine who live in spain went to uk early this year and got a lhd £5,000 cheaper than they could get in spain on the same model , in all cases I am talking about vehicles in the £25 /30k region

    the motorhomes you show are all homologated in france I think but on new motorhomes without a trade in german motorhomes from germany still look the best bet , maybe belgium

    have a look at somewhere like pre-loved , when I looked last year there were a number of lhd for sale , in each case the seller told me they were forced to sell privately because dealers offered such low prices because they had a lhd ; very few in your price range however ; something like this maybe , maybe settle for a little over 40K

    http://static.preloved.co.uk/uploads/userphotos/10/0331/1893548-844m.jpg

    of course there are the problems associated with vehicles over 3,500Kg , but that is another story !
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  6. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Had both and IF I could have found the layout woman and I wanted in a left hooker would have gone there again

    Apart from any other considerations, here is a logical bit of thought

    You drive in the UK all the time .. You are USED to driving on the left.. You do not really think about it cos it is 2nd nature to you
    Driving a left hooker is hardly a major issue or cause for concern

    When driving on the continent it is a little alien .. Yes, you get used to it in about 5 minutes flat but even the most seasoned traveller occasionally gets lost in the moment and makes the classic brit mistake of pulling away on the left !! :Blush: :Laughing:

    But !!
    With a LHD rig straight away you are at home on the right hand side of the road.
    You can see past traffic OK, you can see properly at junctions, roundabouts are easy, etc etc

    All in all LHD rig is simply easier to drive and requires little extra thought in that slightly alien environment
     
  7. Pat4Neil

    Pat4Neil Read Only Funster

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    Hi we have a LHD motorhome, and chose it for the following reasons, most of our holidays are spent in Europe, and as been previously mentioned when in a different country is is great to have the left hand drive for ease of driving and safety at junctions etc.

    In England we know the lay of the land so to speak and although some junctions arent great with a LHD vehicle, most of the times there is a passenger who can look out and guide you, if your unsure.

    Because your plans are not set in stone but are thinking that most of your travel is in Europe and may even settle there, I think you have to go for a LHD and I would chose either German on French vehicle.

    Pat
     
  8. Goose

    Goose Read Only Funster

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    :Laughing: Actually, for the past 7 years we've been driving LHDs here in Canada on the right side of the road. But prior to that it was 20 years in South Africa on the left side of the road. :Laughing:

    I suspect driving in the UK is going to be more of an immediate challenge, requiring adjustment, than driving in Europe.
     
  9. G4GMO

    G4GMO Read Only Funster

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    LHD vs RHD

    Was concerned about buying LHD especially as the make and model we had decided on wasn't available to our knowledge as RHD. Spend most of our time in the UK and have to say I have no real issues with driving in the UK with a LHD Hymer. Being automatic is a real bonus too.

    Good luck with your search.

    I meant to add as has been said before as you would be living in France better to buy in France.
     
  10. algill

    algill Funster

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    Hi Goose

    If you've not been in the UK for a while the biggest shock you're going to have is with the amount of traffic on the roads compared to what you're used to on Van Island. We only spend 3 months at a time in Canada and are still shocked by the traffic when we get back here. :Eek!:

    We love Canada. Have done lots of touring in Alberta, BC and Yukon. Been on Van Island a couple of times. Once we drove up the east side from Victoria to Port Hardy and got the ferry to Prince Rupert. Last time we were there we drove west to Tofino and spent a week over there before visiting a cousin in Nanaimo.

    Can't believe your profile - "stuck on Vancouver Island" - wish we were there! :thumb:
     
  11. Mandaxxx

    Mandaxxx Read Only Funster

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    We have a LHD Hymer 584 absolutely magic. I think people are right when they say a RHD brit van is unsaleable outside UK. My husband finds no problems with the van in UK & is obviously perfect for Europe.
    Isn't it almost or completely impossible to register/insure a RHD van in France?
     
  12. lebesset

    lebesset Read Only Funster

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    you are not alone goose ; here in france we have canadian near neighbours who bought a house 5/6 years ago and come for their holidays

    when their children are all educated , or at least left home for college [ top priority ] they will transfer here at the speed of light , not long now !

    am sure they must have similar reasons to you for moving to europe , although they are both canadian born and bred ; I too have spent time touring canada , but am well aware that that really doesn't tell you anything about living in the country

    europe may have it's problems , but most europeans don't realise just how lucky they are !

    ps ..what driving licences do you have ?

    automatic ?
    normal car ? maybe only get 3.5 tonnes in europe?
     
  13. Wintonian

    Wintonian Read Only Funster

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    If you intend to bring your Camping Car to France and become permanent residents here, then buying a LHD vehicle in the UK is the best bet. If you buy a post 2003 built LHD European built camper then you will have the simplest task imaginable in registering it in France.

    I just completed the registration of my 1992 vintage Hymer. The main annoyance was the cost and hassle (slight) of obtaing the partial Certificates of Conformity from the chassis maker (FIAT) and the coachbuilder (Hymer). Together they cost about €360. Then I had to pay Bureau Veritas €250 to inspect and test the gas and electrical installations and carry out the minor mods that they required (cost of mods about €50). Then the authorities issued the final Conformity papers for under €90 enabling me to register the Hymer and get the new number. That cost €180 (half the normal fee because it is over 10 years old). The plates then cost €25

    So the all-in cost was €955.

    But the value of the vehicle is at least €2,000 more in France should I wish to sell it. So buying in the UK was a very good idea.

    A post 2003 camper will cost about €450 to register.
     
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