Living in NZ and buying a motorhome to base in the Uk, has anyone done this ? (1 Viewer)

May 20, 2018
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Hello Everyone

We live in NZ and currently looking at buying a motorhome and basing it in the UK, would love to hear from anyone who has done this. Have you kept it in the UK? Shipped it back to NZ ? shipped it anywhere else ? We are looking at a Burstner 690TD Lyseo Harmony, we have looked at buying in NZ but feel we will get more use basing it in the UK. Any tips / advice would be welcome. I have posted on the insurance forum as this seems to be a challenge. We are originally from the UK and have friends with motorhomes who can help us with some of the logistics.
 
Jun 10, 2010
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Hello Everyone

We live in NZ and currently looking at buying a motorhome and basing it in the UK, would love to hear from anyone who has done this. Have you kept it in the UK? Shipped it back to NZ ? shipped it anywhere else ? We are looking at a Burstner 690TD Lyseo Harmony, we have looked at buying in NZ but feel we will get more use basing it in the UK. Any tips / advice would be welcome. I have posted on the insurance forum as this seems to be a challenge. We are originally from the UK and have friends with motorhomes who can help us with some of the logistics.
Welcome. We loved our time motorhoming in NZ and quite often bang on about how good the NZMCA are ,our Caravan and ( pretend to be motorhome) club are definitely not the same.

We ve met quite a few Kiwis over the years usually in UK Mh's. We don't tend to do much motorhoming in UK so tend to meet them in mainland europe; I've noticed two recurring themes:

1, They keep them in UK because they bought them there, they re RHD so keeps the options open for a tax free import to NZ at the end & UK is easier to fly in and out of. But they have soon done UK so find themselves coming to UK to immediately jump on a ferry to go somewhere else - especially countries that are easier for motorhomes.

2, NZ are incredibly fussy over what you can import; Has to be RHD, Hab door has to be on the left, got to be euro5 or later ( might even be 6 now), Has to be completely and probably steam cleaned and a whole load of other very precise requirements. I remember talking to one Kiwi who had bought a brand new Swift only to find that the rear overhang didnt comply and he was actually considering having the axle moved backwards to make it compliant.

You will find the UK/EU motorhome market very different to the NZ one with a lot of more interesting stuff over here ( no offence intended). Also peoples usages are very different, UK people who spend all their time in UK tend to use their Mh's differently to people who travel more widely so you need to weigh their opinions accordingly, this also depends on whether you re in the tow a car and sit in a field or the wide ranging traveller school or any of the infinite variations inbetween.

My advice is rent one ( or buy a cheaper used one) first, try a bit of UK and a bit of France Spain etc, get used to what you like, what you don't like before considering buying the one you intend to take back.

Hope this helps
Jon
 
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Nov 5, 2013
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A couple of years ago we met a couple who had done exactly what you are thinking of doing so it is possible. Does the NZMCA have a forum where you could ask the question?

Like jongood we thoroughly enjoyed our three months motorhoming in NZ, Europe is much more motorhome friendly than the UK đź‘Ť
 
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OP
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May 20, 2018
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Auckland New Zealand
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A couple of years ago we met a couple who had done exactly what you are thinking of doing so it is possible. Does the NZMCA have a forum where you could ask the question?

Like jongood we thoroughly enjoyed our three months motorhoming in NZ, Europe is much more motorhome friendly than the UK đź‘Ť
Hello, unfortunately the NZMCA doesn't have a forum. There are a couple of blogs from people who have done it but most seem to be from a few years ago.

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May 20, 2018
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Welcome. We loved our time motorhoming in NZ and quite often bang on about how good the NZMCA are ,our Caravan and ( pretend to be motorhome) club are definitely not the same.

We ve met quite a few Kiwis over the years usually in UK Mh's. We don't tend to do much motorhoming in UK so tend to meet them in mainland europe; I've noticed two recurring themes:

1, They keep them in UK because they bought them there, they re RHD so keeps the options open for a tax free import to NZ at the end & UK is easier to fly in and out of. But they have soon done UK so find themselves coming to UK to immediately jump on a ferry to go somewhere else - especially countries that are easier for motorhomes.

2, NZ are incredibly fussy over what you can import; Has to be RHD, Hab door has to be on the left, got to be euro5 or later ( might even be 6 now), Has to be completely and probably steam cleaned and a whole load of other very precise requirements. I remember talking to one Kiwi who had bought a brand new Swift only to find that the rear overhang didnt comply and he was actually considering having the axle moved backwards to make it compliant.

You will find the UK/EU motorhome market very different to the NZ one with a lot of more interesting stuff over here ( no offence intended). Also peoples usages are very different, UK people who spend all their time in UK tend to use their Mh's differently to people who travel more widely so you need to weigh their opinions accordingly, this also depends on whether you re in the tow a car and sit in a field or the wide ranging traveller school or any of the infinite variations inbetween.

My advice is rent one ( or buy a cheaper used one) first, try a bit of UK and a bit of France Spain etc, get used to what you like, what you don't like before considering buying the one you intend to take back.

Hope this helps
Jon
Hello Jon
Thank you for the reply. You are correct, NZ are very fussy and the process isn't straightforward, there are companies who manage this and we are already in touch with one who have been very helpful. To get it right we would rather put it in the hands of experts, we are speaking to them about compliance.

The market is very different here, we have looked at buying one here but having lived here for many years we have seen so much of NZ so it's not right for us now. the big difference here is weight, no issues at all so NZ MH tend to be much heavier and bigger. There is definitely more choice in the UK, it's bewildering. The biggest challenge right now is insurance.

So much to think about but quite exciting at the same time
 
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May 23, 2013
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Welcome. We loved our time motorhoming in NZ and quite often bang on about how good the NZMCA are ,our Caravan and ( pretend to be motorhome) club are definitely not the same.

We ve met quite a few Kiwis over the years usually in UK Mh's. We don't tend to do much motorhoming in UK so tend to meet them in mainland europe; I've noticed two recurring themes:

1, They keep them in UK because they bought them there, they re RHD so keeps the options open for a tax free import to NZ at the end & UK is easier to fly in and out of. But they have soon done UK so find themselves coming to UK to immediately jump on a ferry to go somewhere else - especially countries that are easier for motorhomes.

2, NZ are incredibly fussy over what you can import; Has to be RHD, Hab door has to be on the left, got to be euro5 or later ( might even be 6 now), Has to be completely and probably steam cleaned and a whole load of other very precise requirements. I remember talking to one Kiwi who had bought a brand new Swift only to find that the rear overhang didnt comply and he was actually considering having the axle moved backwards to make it compliant.

You will find the UK/EU motorhome market very different to the NZ one with a lot of more interesting stuff over here ( no offence intended). Also peoples usages are very different, UK people who spend all their time in UK tend to use their Mh's differently to people who travel more widely so you need to weigh their opinions accordingly, this also depends on whether you re in the tow a car and sit in a field or the wide ranging traveller school or any of the infinite variations inbetween.

My advice is rent one ( or buy a cheaper used one) first, try a bit of UK and a bit of France Spain etc, get used to what you like, what you don't like before considering buying the one you intend to take back.

Hope this helps
Jon
Some good points here jongood but need to clarify point 2 is not entirely accurate as you can have the Hab door on either side as plenty of German/French & Italian motorhomes are imported into NZ regularly without an issue and most are ex-UK because of being RHD. But agree the standard are pretty strict as is the cleaning procedures needed upon arrival.
 
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May 23, 2013
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Hello Everyone

We live in NZ and currently looking at buying a motorhome and basing it in the UK, would love to hear from anyone who has done this. Have you kept it in the UK? Shipped it back to NZ ? shipped it anywhere else ? We are looking at a Burstner 690TD Lyseo Harmony, we have looked at buying in NZ but feel we will get more use basing it in the UK. Any tips / advice would be welcome. I have posted on the insurance forum as this seems to be a challenge. We are originally from the UK and have friends with motorhomes who can help us with some of the logistics.
Welcome from a fellow Kiwi we looked at this just before covid and decided to stay a few more years over here.

There are two ways you can import to NZ:

  1. You can purchase a VAT free Motorhome from the UK if you are a NZ/Australian Citizen then it must be exported out of the UK within 12 months. If you are a UK citizen then it must be exported out of the UK within 6 months. Relevant paperwork before purchase must be completed to complete before this process.
  1. If you have been out of the country for 21 months and own the vehicle for more than 12 months, then you are able to import under the “Immigrants personal effects” rule. This means you are not required to pay GST and Duty when the vehicle arrives in NZ. If you have not owned the vehicle for 12 months, GST and Duty will be charged but you may be entitled to depreciation.

There are a couple of companies that can assist with the Shipping, fumigation, tax issues etc and New Zealand compliance where they will change the electric sockets to NZ, update the gas and put on the road under Wof or Cof (above 3500).

Castle European in Tauranga being one or try Jonas Ng at Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno. Jonas runs regular trips to Europe where they source motorhomes, organise the shipping back and compliance once people have finished their travels.
 
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Jun 10, 2010
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Some good points here jongood but need to clarify point 2 is not entirely accurate as you can have the Hab door on either side as plenty of German/French & Italian motorhomes are imported into NZ regularly without an issue and most are ex-UK because of being RHD. But agree the standard are pretty strict as is the cleaning procedures needed upon arrival.
I know there is something about doors - is it that it needs at least one door on the nearside?

This always struck me as ridiculous considering the chances of stepping out into traffic is pretty slim compared to here :LOL:
 
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May 23, 2013
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I know there is something about doors - is it that it needs at least one door on the nearside?

This always struck me as ridiculous considering the chances of stepping out into traffic is pretty slim compared to here :LOL:
Perhaps this would rule out some A Class Motorhomes but any Coachbuild already has one each side I know you can definitely get Deftleffs in NZ with the hab door on the right as we hired once recently form the NZ importer.

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Welcome from a fellow Kiwi we looked at this just before covid and decided to stay a few more years over here.

There are two ways you can import to NZ:

  1. You can purchase a VAT free Motorhome from the UK if you are a NZ/Australian Citizen then it must be exported out of the UK within 12 months. If you are a UK citizen then it must be exported out of the UK within 6 months. Relevant paperwork before purchase must be completed to complete before this process.
  2. If you have been out of the country for 21 months and own the vehicle for more than 12 months, then you are able to import under the “Immigrants personal effects” rule. This means you are not required to pay GST and Duty when the vehicle arrives in NZ. If you have not owned the vehicle for 12 months, GST and Duty will be charged but you may be entitled to depreciation.

There are a couple of companies that can assist with the Shipping, fumigation, tax issues etc and New Zealand compliance where they will change the electric sockets to NZ, update the gas and put on the road under Wof or Cof (above 3500).

Castle European in Tauranga being one or try Jonas Ng at Zion Motorhomes in Pokeno. Jonas runs regular trips to Europe where they source motorhomes, organise the shipping back and compliance once people have finished their travels.
Castle have been very helpful so far, pointing us in the right direction from the start. We are looking at option 1 initially and seeing how it goes if we keep it longer then it will be option 2 and look at the depreciation rule. So you have bought in NZ ? we have considered this option too but I think we need to get back to Europe
 
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May 23, 2013
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Castle have been very helpful so far, pointing us in the right direction from the start. We are looking at option 1 initially and seeing how it goes if we keep it longer then it will be option 2 and look at the depreciation rule. So you have bought in NZ ? we have considered this option too but I think we need to get back to Europe
No we are still in the UK and due to Covid and now schooling we postponed our return to NZ for a few more years so jist
Enjoying motorhoming in Europe.
 
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Feb 18, 2017
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If you have not owned a motorhome before, then I'd rent one (or two or three) first.
The cheapest place to rent motorhomes in Europe is Germany.

They say it takes 3 motorhomes before you find out what your really want/like/dont like.

If you are going to buy, then I'd look at what is available in NZ first.
As you dont want to import something that then needs spares that can only be got 10,000 miles and 8 weeks away

I'm aware that the Hymer MLT range is available in NZ, so that could be a good make and model to start with.

(Mercedes Sprinter base, 3 sizes, MLT560 MLT570 MLT580, 2 or 3 berth, automatic or manual, 2x4 or 4x4, available plated at 3500, 3900 or 4200kg, lots of optional extras, been around since 2016, so a few 2nd hand ones always available)

 
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If you have not owned a motorhome before, then I'd rent one (or two or three) first.
The cheapest place to rent motorhomes in Europe is Germany.

They say it takes 3 motorhomes before you find out what your really want/like/dont like.

If you are going to buy, then I'd look at what is available in NZ first.
As you dont want to import something that then needs spares that can only be got 10,000 miles and 8 weeks away

I'm aware that the Hymer MLT range is available in NZ, so that could be a good make and model to start with.

(Mercedes Sprinter base, 3 sizes, MLT560 MLT570 MLT580, 2 or 3 berth, automatic or manual, 2x4 or 4x4, available plated at 3500, 3900 or 4200kg, lots of optional extras, been around since 2016, so a few 2nd hand ones always available)


We went to a motorhome show while we were in NZ, prices for a B class Hymer were what we were paying for Morelos. Very expensive NZ, hence the amount of strategic personal imports going on.

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Feb 18, 2017
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We went to a motorhome show while we were in NZ, prices for a B class Hymer were what we were paying for Morelos. Very expensive NZ, hence the amount of strategic personal imports going on.
Hence .....

I'm suggesting one buys a motorhome in the UK.
You then import into NZ after minimum one year of ownership, (so as to avoid the worst of the tax).
But get a make/model that is already commercially imported into NZ.

Otherwise any saving made by importing one that you like, but is as rare as Kiwi teeth in NZ, could be negated by the excessive cost of the spares, and the problem you may have in then selling it on.

Therefore the Hymer MLT range could be an excellent place start, as there is a Hymer (and Burstner and Corado) dealer in both Christchurch and Auckland.

Basically buy a NZ spec (or as close as you can get to a NZ spec) van in the UK.
Use it in UK/Europe for a year or two or three.
Then get it steam cleaned and do your own import to NZ.
 
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Some good points here jongood but need to clarify point 2 is not entirely accurate as you can have the Hab door on either side as plenty of German/French & Italian motorhomes are imported into NZ regularly without an issue and most are ex-UK because of being RHD. But agree the standard are pretty strict as is the cleaning procedures needed upon arrival.
Orridge
Would you know if the Euro5 / 6 requirements for 'import to NZ apply to short term (ie 6 month) foreigner imports or just to 'permanent' imports please?
 
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Getting back to your questions about buying and keeping in UK :-

1. Why do you need to tell the insurers that you live in NZ? Just give them an address of the friends/relatives you have.
2. Renewing a UK driving licence I do not recall having to give passport details, only UK address. I renewed my UK licence from Poland just using my UK address. Licence got forwarded to me.

I think maybe you have been giving more information than is necessary and thereby muddying the waters.
 
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May 23, 2013
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Would you know if the Euro5 / 6 requirements for 'import to NZ apply to short term (ie 6 month) foreigner imports or just to 'permanent' imports please?
There are different rules for short term ie temporary imports provided the vehicle is re-exported within 12 months.
It also depends on the age of the vehicle being imported but it does not have to be Euro 5/6 but meet the criteria in-place for the age of the vehicle but does need a type rating approval which should be on the COC form with the Motorhome.
 
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Getting back to your questions about buying and keeping in UK :-

1. Why do you need to tell the insurers that you live in NZ? Just give them an address of the friends/relatives you have.
2. Renewing a UK driving licence I do not recall having to give passport details, only UK address. I renewed my UK licence from Poland just using my UK address. Licence got forwarded to me.

I think maybe you have been giving more information than is necessary and thereby muddying the waters.
that is all ok if you have a UK driving licence.They are none the wiser.usually the question is "are you are UK resident?"

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Jun 10, 2010
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Would you know if the Euro5 / 6 requirements for 'import to NZ apply to short term (ie 6 month) foreigner imports or just to 'permanent' imports please?
Im under the impression you can take a much wider range of vehicles into NZ on a temporary import ( as long as its been cleaned) the problem you're going to have is fending off the kiwis who will want to buy anything different , but you do have to take it back out again before 12 months is up and NZ is a long way from anywhere.
 
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that is all ok if you have a UK driving licence.They are none the wiser.usually the question is "are you are UK resident?"

OP said he wants to renew UK licence.

Answer to question about 'residence' can be 'yes', as there is no legal definition for a UK Citizen, and if queried he was a 'temporary resident' but was on holiday in EU.
 
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