Use MOT History Checks When Buying a Used Motorhome

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The following information has just been added to the Motorhome Buyers Guide  Subscribers can download The Motorhome Buyers Guide for Free The Definitive Guide to Buying the Right Motorhome at the Best Price

Check the MOT history
A new way to check up on the history of your potential purchase is to check its MOT history. This check will give you an excellent idea of what you are buying. You can go direct to the .gov site at https://www.gov.uk/check-mot-history

mot-history

All you’ll need to know when you get there is the registration and make. For motorhomes, the system is looking for the chassis manufacturer so don’t enter Swift or Hymer rather Fiat, Ford or Mercedes, etc.

There are Apps for your phone that will give you similar info. One of the better ones can be found at www.getvehiclesmart.com

mot-history-appsOnce you get used to looking at the information, you can glean a lot.

Yes we find out if the motorhome has an MOT but you can glean much more than that. Here are some things to look for

Advisories. These will give you a very good idea of what work might need doing. I just put the details of a 1990 Hymer motorhome found on sale on ebay, and these were the advisories.

  • Offside Front Leaf spring has slight wear in a shackle pin and/or bush (2.4.B.2)
  • Exhaust has a minor leak of exhaust gases (7.1.2)
  • both rear tyres badly( perished/cracked) outer sidewalls
  • nearside Front wheel bearing has slight play (2.5.A.3c)
  • offside Front wheel bearing has slight play (2.5.A.3c)

Clearly, this is valuable information for me to know if i was considering buying it. Advisories need to be checked, and if they’ve not been put right already, they or the cost of putting them right, should become part of your negotiations.

Regular Tests
Look for regular consecutive tests. If there are big gaps, ie years of missed tests, this could indicate a number of things, it may have been laid up, ‘Sorned’ It may have been in an accident, it may have been sat in the Spanish sun unmoved for three years. All these things are detrimental to vehicle health, so any missed MOTs should be investigated as to why.

Lots of information here that prior to MOT test checking we may well not have known about

Lots of information here that prior to MOT test checking we may well not have known about

Mileage at MOT’s
Look out for criminal ‘clocking’ ie reducing rather than an increasing mileage year on year. On a motorhome little or no mileage between MOTs is not a good thing. It could indicate someone living full-time in the van, wearing it out but not doing the miles, or it might have been just stood in a wet Welsh field for a couple of years; neither of which is good for the motorhome.

A standard pattern of between 3k and 8k a year is great, maybe a little more for smaller vans that can be used as second cars. Investigate when you find very few miles or of course, excessive miles between MOTs.

Never buy without checking the MOT history. Remember it won’t have one until it’s three years old. But a van with a perfect history, straight passes, no advisories, regular mileage between the tests, all points to a vehicle that may be someone’s pride and joy and be well cared for.  The MOT history check is certainly a great tool for buyers to use.

Jim Brown

Jim Brown

Jim is a long time motorhome enthusiast travelling extensively in the UK and Europe. Averaging 12000 motorhome miles a year. He has owned many motorhomes both British and Continental. His present motorhome is a 27ft C class RV.
Jim Brown

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Jim is a long time motorhome enthusiast travelling extensively in the UK and Europe. Averaging 12000 motorhome miles a year. He has owned many motorhomes both British and Continental. His present motorhome is a 27ft C class RV.

9 Comments

  1. I just looked up an old V8 Lanny I bought new in 1986 and sold it in 1990. https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk

    Seems it went on till 2005 as that was its last fail.  It only did 118,000 miles  (at 8 to the gallon on a good day 🙂    Clearly it wasn't loved much after we sold it.  🙁  Well not undersealed anyway 🙂

    • Reason(s) for failure
      Offside Headlamp aim too high when the centre of the headlamp is above 850mm from the ground (1.6.B3)
      Offside Headlamp aim beam image too far to the right (1.6.B4)
      Nearside Body has a sharp edge caused by corrosion (6.1.C.1)
      Offside Body has a sharp edge caused by corrosion (6.1.C.1)
      Nearside Track rod end ball joint has excessive play (2.2.B.1f)
      Rear Tie bar/rod has excessive play in a pin/bush (2.4.G.2)
      Nearside Rear Anti-roll bar linkage has excessive play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2)
      Offside Rear Anti-roll bar linkage has excessive play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2)
      Nearside Rear Brake pipe excessively corroded (3.6.B.2c)
      Offside Rear Brake pipe excessively corroded (3.6.B.2c)
      Front Exhaust system not adequately supported (7.1.1)
      Front Brake pad(s) less than 1.5 mm thick (3.5.1g)
      Nearside Rear Body or chassis has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)
  2. There is a really useful free app, both for Android and Apple that gives you all this and a lot more, current tax and mot status plus you can add your own vehicles into "my garage" then set up reminders for tax and not on them. Its called vehicle smart and well worth downloading.

    D.

  3. Tried my old Renault 1996trafic  self build N212CAR

    Comes up not known

    I'm thinking it's been scraped rather than SORN

  4. There is a really useful free app, both for Android and Apple that gives you all this and a lot more, current tax and mot status plus you can add your own vehicles into "my garage" then set up reminders for tax and mot on them. Its called vehicle smart and well worth downloading.

    D.

    I did mention that and provide a link in the article.  As you say an excellent app (y)

  5. There is a really useful free app, both for Android and Apple that gives you all this and a lot more, current tax and mot status plus you can add your own vehicles into "my garage" then set up reminders for tax and mot on them. Its called vehicle smart and well worth downloading.

    D.

    Thanks (y) and the simple version is free….. now got all our vehicles on it.

  6. I just looked up an old V8 Lanny I bought new in 1986 and sold it in 1990. https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk

    Seems it went on till 2005 as that was its last fail.  It only did 118,000 miles  (at 8 to the gallon on a good day 🙂    Clearly it wasn't loved much after we sold it.  🙁  Well not undersealed anyway 🙂

    • Reason(s) for failure
      Offside Headlamp aim too high when the centre of the headlamp is above 850mm from the ground (1.6.B3)
      Offside Headlamp aim beam image too far to the right (1.6.before)
      Nearside Body has a sharp edge caused by corrosion (6.1.C.1)
      Offside Body has a sharp edge caused by corrosion (6.1.C.1)
      Nearside Track rod end ball joint has excessive play (2.2.B.1f)
      Rear Tie bar/rod has excessive play in a pin/bush (2.4.G.2)
      Nearside Rear Anti-roll bar linkage has excessive play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2)
      Offside Rear Anti-roll bar linkage has excessive play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2)
      Nearside Rear Brake pipe excessively corroded (3.6.B.2c)
      Offside Rear Brake pipe excessively corroded (3.6.B.2c)
      Front Exhaust system not adequately supported (7.1.1)
      Front Brake pad(s) less than 1.5 mm thick (3.5.1g)
      Nearside Rear Body or chassis has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings (6.1.B.2)

    Where I come from that's a good runner:razz:

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