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
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
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.
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.
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.