Don't get scammed when buying a motorhome

Oct 17, 2010
Funster No
Talbot Compass Calypso
Since July 2010
Some time ago we did considerable research regarding the matter of making a safe purchase of a motorhome and part of that research is listed below. As far as we are aware, this info is still current. However, if any funsters spot errors then please feel free to comment: -

Check the vehicle's history to make sure it is not on any registers as having been an insurance damage write off, a finance bad debt, or stolen. All you need is the vehicle's make, model and registration, so this is something you can do before you even make a trip to view the vehicle. There are several organisations that can do this for you. Try this one: -

You can find out the results of previous MOTs, including advisories, on any vehicle by going to this web site: - You will need the vehicle registration mark and either: 1) the MOT test number (you can get this from the VT20 (MOT test certificate) or the VT30 (MOT refusal certificate) or 2) the document reference number from the V5C registration certificate (logbook) if you don’t have the MOT test number. You can also check if the MOT certificate is genuine by checking its details against what’s recorded online.

The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the V5C (registration certificate/log book) should match what's stamped onto the vehicle. You can usually find the vehicle's VIN in the engine compartment, though this varies from make to make. If there is no V5C then DO NOT buy the vehicle.

The chassis number is the end part of your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and is actually your vehicle's serial number. Check that this agrees with the VIN.

You should ask the vendor if there is paperwork to support the service history. A well looked after vehicle will have been serviced at least once every year.

Crooked sellers will normally insist on payment before collection - usually by a method of payment that cannot be retrieved, for obvious reasons. If you are asked for a deposit then a deposit made via PayPal at least gives you the peace of mind that you will have PayPal's support for that element of the purchase. Never part with all of the money for the vehicle until you have seen it.

If you are satisfied that all is well with the paperwork it’s now time to inspect the vehicle. Make sure that you view it at the owner’s address so you can check it matches that on the V5C. If the owner doesn’t want you to go to his home address then suspect that he has an ulterior motive. He may agree to meet you halfway between your house and his to save you travelling time and fuel costs. Don’t fall for his ‘kindness’. He may not live where he says he does.

When you are ready to buy the vehicle, most genuine vehicle sellers are more than willing to go with you to a branch of your bank in order to do an electronic transaction to transfer money from your bank to theirs. That way the transaction is on CCTV and a receipt is issued.

We hope you find this information useful.


Jan 9, 2013
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Upvote 0
Jul 31, 2014
West Yorkshire
Funster No
EuraMobil Activa 820HS
An electronic bank transfer can be stopped too.
You have a choice of BACS or CHAPS.
If selling, Don't ask for a BACS transfer - this is like what an employer pays an employee their wages into their bank as this can be stopped after the transaction set up.
Request a CHAPS bank transfer - they cost an extra £25 but the money leaves the buyers account straight away.
Now the small print -
This money may not clear in the sellers account until close of business that day.
This is because some banks save CHAPS transfers to process in batches and may do a batch every other hour.
Therefore, you can ring your bank and tell them you're expecting some money and the bank may tell you it hasn't cleared in your account even though you went with the buyer to the bank to process it and it left the sellers account.
During this period, the seller can in exceptional circumstances cancel the transaction.
Only when the funds have cleared your bank account (as the seller) is the payment guaranteed as yours.

Therefore, try request the buyer does the CHAPS as early in the day as possible and ask their bank to arrange a 'Fast CHAPS' to try get the transaction processed quickly.

This applies to you if you're buying a motorhome - you can cancel the transaction up until the money clears the sellers account - so it works both ways.
Upvote 0


Free Member
Aug 20, 2014
Funster No
Don't own one yet
Good subject!

As a newcomer, I've already seen what I consider to be definate scams on varios websites. I even telephoned the dealer on one of them who I tracked through the original advert. The chap on the phone was thankful for my call and told me that this was the 3rd or 4th time this had happened.

It was a case of "if it looks too good to be true".....
Upvote 0