When is the best time to sell my motorhome?

One of the questions we are often asked is "Is now a good time to sell my motorhome?". Well, there isn't a one size fits all answer to that question. It depends on a number of factors as well as personal circumstances. But in this article we look at some of the things that can affect the timing of your sale to achieve your personal aims.

Seasonality and Motorhome Sales

All motorhomers are aware of the seasonality of the market. You will hear talk of the impact the new registration seasons have on sales. Then of course there are the seasons of the year. A common mantra is "Winter is a terrible time to sell, wait until the spring!". In fact, you may be surprised to learn, that seasonality has little impact on used motorhome sales. Motorhome Depot sells thousands of motorhomes every year and if we look at the number we sell each month it is quite revealing. Only in December do we see a real dip in the number of motorhomes sold. You would expect that. But plenty of motorhomes still get sold in December - just not as many as June!

For the other eleven months of the year there isn't much variation in the numbers of motorhomes sold. The weather really doesn't seem to have much impact on sales either. January and February, two of the worst months for winter weather, are very good months for used motorhome sales. So if you are thinking of selling your motorhome, don't pay too much attention to the time of year. This is not a big factor in prices achieved or the saleability of your motorhome.

General Market Conditions

Obviously general market conditions do ebb and flow. As with most things, the main causes of this would be the state of the UK economy and consumer confidence. However, our experience is that the used motorhome market is far less prone to this than many other sectors. Interestingly, the used market also seems less sensitive to what happening in the wider economy than the new motorhome market.

Why is this the case? Probably because of the profile of used motorhome buyers. Most are at a stage in life where they are financially relatively comfortable or possibly retired. In many cases, this means making the purchase does not boil down to a choice of buying a motorhome or something else more essential. Wider economic conditions are more likely to impact on the price range being considered, rather than become a decision on whether to buy or not at all.

Currency Exchange Rate Fluctuations

You may be surprised to learn that fluctuations in currency exchange rates does have an impact on used motorhome prices. However, these fluctuations take time to work through the system and the impact tends to be felt in the form of a long term trend rather than an instant impact.

In fact, we have just lived through such a long term trend. Many of the new motorhomes imported to the UK come from Europe. And even those manufactured in the UK import many of their parts and components from Europe. This means they are all subject to changes in the exchange rate between the pound and the euro. The trend over a number of years now has been for the pound to weaken against the euro, making imports more expensive.

The effect of this has been continued increases in the price of new motorhomes (beyond the rate of inflation) in the UK . This in turn has had a positive impact on the prices of used motorhomes. While this effect probably won't dictate when you decide to sell your motorhome, the fact remains that used motorhome prices are strong at this time.

Are You Buying Another Motorhome?

If you are intending to buy another motorhome at the same time as, or very shortly after selling your existing motorhome, all of this becomes a bit irrelevant. That is because if there are any factors currently affecting the market, you are going to be subject to them on both your sale and purchase.

So, you can see why there is no single answer to the question of whether now is a good time to sell your motorhome. If you are selling your motorhome right now and are not buying another one, you are in luck. The market is very active and used motorhome prices are strong. If you are buying again, what you gain on your sale, you may pay for with your purchase.

One final thought. The deal you negotiate when selling (and buying) is likely to have a much bigger impact on your finances than trying to time the market. An obvious example of this is part-exchange. Part-exchange your motorhome with a dealer and you will lose out. It's just the way it is - they have high overheads to cover and have to make a margin on the sale and purchase. You will be selling low and buying high. However, if you sell your motorhome first and then present yourself at the dealer's as a cash buyer, financially that will be a win-win for you.