Buying Burstner in Germany (1 Viewer)

justdoit

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Feb 12, 2019
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Good morning all,

I've never owned a motorhome before and having watched from the sidelines for a while, I've finally made the decision to, 'just do it'. I have seen a Burstner for sale with a dealer in Germany. It is 'brand new' and unregistered, although a 2017 manufacture. Having spoken with the dealer he informs me it is part of a cancelled order due to be retailed in France through a Burstner franchise. That French dealer had cancelled the order and the vans were subsequently distributed throughout the German dealer network. As the french dealer had to pay a significant upfront non refundable deposit on ordering, the vans are now being offered at, what seems, a ridiculously low price.

The same new van is currently being offered by a UK dealership for £65.5k. Aesthetically it is the same as the German van. However, it does have an oven and microwave, whereas the German van does not. These are not things that would bother me too much as the German van comes with awning and bike rack, which for me more than compensates. The German van is LHD. Again, not an issue, as a retiree I have the time and inclination to travel throughout Europe. Even after the poor exchange rate the German van can be bought for £39k (inc German vat).

I am flying out to Germany tomorrow to view and make a decision. Having seen the UK variant the layout is good for me. I have researched importation procedures and have the necessary DVLA information and paperwork for post import registration. Before I view I'd welcome any feedback on the following questions:-

Whilst the van has a 2 year European warranty from date of first registration, will I have to return to Germany should any warranty work be required. Or are UK Burstner dealers likely to want to take on this work.

Will I be able to have service and habitation checks in the UK to maintain any warranties.

The German dealer says, that as the vans were made for the Southern European market they do not have ESP and hill hold assist (?). Would this be an issue for UK and Northern European driving and site conditions. There must be thousands of vans out there without it that seem to manage.

Any advice on initial viewing and, if successful, handover checks will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Regards,
Tony
 

Badknee

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Aug 25, 2014
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Welcome to Fun, and wow! Three threads started in an hour :Eeek:
I only comment on it as you’ve used three of your five free posts so may want to join to benifit from the expertise and experience on here. (y)
 
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justdoit

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Feb 12, 2019
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Thanks to all on the 3 threads I've started. Thought I'd employ a scatter gun approach to get as much info as possible in the short time I've got before I go to Germany. I have now joined the forum. Hope I'm not disappointed when I get there.

Regards,
Tony
 
Oct 12, 2009
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Tony

Welcome as a new member

You seem to have done your homework, so are well set to make a decision.

As far as the Warranty work and Habitation checks are concerned I would phone Burstner, as they know the obligations of the Dealers' contracts in each country. Each manufacturer has different arrangements.

Handover checks - video it, as you will not absorb everything. Make sure you get a manual in English, or promise to supply later. Hang around either the Dealer's parking or a site nearby for a couple of days to check everything is working, nothing missing and that you can go back for further instruction.

I assume you have got organised with plates and insurance for driving back to UK - some insurers will do it on the VIN number.

It sounds cheap for a new Burstner, particularly at today's exchange rate. Which model?

Good Luck.

Geoff

P.S. Just seen the model on your other posts
 
Oct 7, 2011
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I've imported a number of vans from Germany and the only issue was that I could only obtain 3rd party insurance until the van was back in the UK.
You will have to buy 3rd party German insurance before a new number plate is issued and registered in your name , no problem as all done in the same place.
Maybe the seller will deliver it to the port for you.
39k is a lot of money at risk if someone ran into you and then trying to prove who was at fault whilst only having 3rd party cover

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justdoit

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Once again, thank you all for you advice and support. All of which I've taken on board.

Regards,
Tony
 

Delboyarapaho

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Sounds too good to be true! Be very careful, if it is genuine it sounds like a great bargain.
I bought my Burstner second hane from a (UK based) non Burstner dealer. I called Burstner in Germany before buying and they confirmed they would honour the warranty and any UK dealer could do work on it. I found a couple a bit sniffy when I called them "Oh you haven't bought it from a Burstner dealer then......" but we found a couple now who are very happy to take our money and do warranty work (Heart of England & Camper UK). So my advice would be to check with Burstner as the only difference I can see is you don't have a UK model but I have found them to be very accommodating as a company and I doubt you will have a problem.
We are delighted with out vehicle and I am very committed to Burstners they are great quality and at that price you cant go wrong but do your homework.
AND don't forget join the UK owners club if you do buy, a great bunch of folks and clout with Burstner if you need it!
 
Oct 12, 2018
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Not long enough!
If it's Ducato based and automatic then Hill-Hold is a boon as you can't use your left foot on the brake whilst your right foot is on the accelerator like you can with a normal "slush-pump" autobox (not good for the electronic clutch apparently). It saves having to reach down to the handbrake whilst moving your right foot from brake to accelerator which can get hard work in traffic (especially if you have short arms!).
Haven't driven with a manual box since long before electronic aids were invented so wouldn't know what that's like.
 
Feb 4, 2016
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If it's Ducato based and automatic then Hill-Hold is a boon as you can't use your left foot on the brake whilst your right foot is on the accelerator like you can with a normal "slush-pump" autobox (not good for the electronic clutch apparently)
Can you explain that in a bit more detail. please
 
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For some reason i keep thinking new registered vehicles
To the uk must have ESP not 100% certain


dealer says, that as the vans were made for the Southern European market they do not have ESP and hill hold assist (?). Would this be an issue for UK and Northern European driving and site conditions. There must be thousands of vans out there without it that seem to manage.

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Oct 12, 2018
164
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Somerset, UK
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Buerstner Travel Van
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Not long enough!
Can you explain that in a bit more detail. please
I have been driving automatic cars since the early 80's. These all had fluid clutches (aka slush pumps) so you could safely hold the vehicle on the brake with one foot whilst pressing the accelerator with the other. This can be very useful for steep hill starts and/or quick getaways. Manual gearbox devotees often claim that "you don't have the same control" with an automatic. Nonsense. If you just get over the mental problem of left foot braking you can make an auto transmission do almost everything a manual gearbox can do - except select the wrong gear!
However the Fiat has an electronic system instead of a slush-pump and judging from the warnings in all the documentation, does not like it if you have your foot on the brake whilst pressing the accelerator. So, back to redundant left leg driving :(
What this means is that without Hill Hold, it's just like driving a manual vehicle - you have to hold it on the handbrake until the "clutch" bites. For little guys like me the handbrake is a long way down and I imagine could be a real pain for constant use. With Hill Hold it's simple - the van is held for 2-3 seconds, allowing plenty of time to move your foot from one pedal to the other.
 
Feb 4, 2016
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Thanks for all that.
I too have been driving autos since the late 70`s early 80's but never really knew that the new gearboxes disliked left foot braking or toe and heeling.
 

Alf Tupper

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As an update on procedures I have just imported a 3 yr old Westfalia Amundsen from Germany. Bought via a dealer which makes things very easy [Hornung, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Hymer & Merc dealer].

Insurance to the tunnel was via the 3rd party cover that came with the plates. The dealer sent me a power of attorney form to permit them to register the van on my behalf. Being a major Merc main dealer made the deal easy, and we had all relevant queries confirmed back by them in writing, plus I had a German pal do the cross-checking with them by phone. The van had 16k miles, I paid in full unseen on confirmation of a full refund if I rejected the vehicle on visit. They accepted that was completely reasonable, and not onerous on them.

Safeguard did the insurance from the UK landing, on the VIN for 30 days, their policy includes AA membership. The dealer provides a 1 year guarantee that is effective Europe-wide, no need to return to Germany. New TUV and service included and stamped [their MOT].

Arrived at dealer 9.30 Monday morning, drove home two hours later after full check over and test drive. The van is literally like new, a trade in from a local owner who wanted a Merc chassis. Only when I got home did I discover the language settings on the van so drove back with the vehicle computer and it’s satnav in German, which was fun. Dealer also included winter wheels and two new, fitted gas bottles. It’s nice when your expectations are exceeded. No oven, not an issue for us as we prefer the open space that creates [pies - isn’t that what pubs are for?]

Lockwood provided the mph replacement, shop4parts provided the new headlights. Van collected back from my local garage this morning to be parked on the drive till I get the paperwork done and UK registration. On a 15 Ducato there are dual fog lights so no work to be done there. It’s a lefty, I spend a couple of months a year driving a rhd car in France without a second thought so see no issues at all with that.

A 15 Westfalia, 16.5k, 150 comfortmatic, winter pack, awning, winter & summer wheels, satnav, solar, 3500 plate - such a thing is just not available in the UK, and the closest estimation I can get to is a saving of between £8-£10k, excluding c£1k conversion costs and £500-ish to drive it back through the tunnel.

This was bought as a stop gap till I can get a Grand California on the Crafter chassis. Looked at the show model at the NEC yesterday, not sure if I’m impressed. Looks very cramped inside - normal layout but they’ve fitted a squillion lockers all around head height. No orders being taken till May/June, pricing indicated at ‘from’ £65k. Given that T6 Calis are currently retailed at £60-65k, my understanding is therefore that orders will be in summer for delivery summer 2020, with a price tag of circa £80k on delivered vehicles, likely to all be DSG 180s or 204s. They are not going to want to kill off the Calis with this.

Yet to get the UK reg completed, but so far it’s been a breeze and a big money saver.

The comfortmatic takes 10 minutes to get used to - it’s an automatic clutch so you can both hear and feel the gearbox moving out of one gear [pause] then moving into the next gear, just as in a manual. It works fine, but don’t try to nip out in traffic as it is sedate.
 
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