LHD Motorhome advice, please!

We are currently living and working most of our lives in the UK, but have a house in France where we will spend increasing amounts of time once we retire next year. I would expect our year then to be shared 4 months UK, 4 months France and 4 months travelling.

We would really like to travel around Europe a lot more, preferably using a LHD Motorhome / ‘Camping-Car’ when we retire, but are unsure of whether to buy one in England, register it in England & insure it in England, or buy in Europe and register it and insure it in France … Particularly as the German Motorhomes we’re looking at seem to be the same price in Euros in France as they are in Sterling in the UK, and slightly cheaper still in Germany itself …

Has anyone any experience or advice that they’d be kind enough to share with us?

Thanks a lot! Mark & Elaine

I can't find your 'bad experience' posting, Steve - could you point me in the right direction, please?

Thanks for the reply and excellent advice, Tony - Sorry I didn't reply sooner, we were en-route back to the UK...!

I do appreciate the suggestion of joining the Campervan group - I have done so, and will have a good look through the comments later (esp your sad experience - sorry to hear about that...) I think there is such a lot of Europe to be explored that can be missed by 'AutoRoute travel' from the UK to our place in dept 65, that it's a shame to ignore it! I just need to retire and get a suitable vehicle!

Good luck getting your Camping Car back on the road...

Mark - please see my experience in the campervan group here (well worth joining) as unfortunately I got ripped off by a German on this site and came across many con-men on campervan for sale sites. Dont let it stop you but be careful.

Despite that, a mate and I spent a few weeks campervanning in France, Germany Italy and Spain last month and the Aires in France were wonderful - much better than I expected and never felt unsafe. Camping grounds in France were also very good and better than expected. One thing I havent tried (as van is not working - see German rip off comment above) is French Passion which looks terrific. Basically it costs you 29 E for the year which gives you a book of sites and pass then actual camping on sites is free. You must be independent (ie not expecting toilets/showers etc) as many are working farms and idea seems to be that you buy their produce (wine cheese etc as quid pro quo - but not obligatory). Disappointed I cant do it this time but idea looks terrific

Good luck - I did this 30 years ago and loved every minute of the freedom to come and go that the campervan provided vs having to plan and book hotels and restaurants in advance

I am late and last on this list but would also be interested in photos - where is the van located

Sorry Sara never heard that, doubt it very much knowing German honesty.

I've heard though Michael it is legal in Germany to put the mileage back ,Is this true do you know ?

Hymermobile 544 1990 hardly used less than 60 thousand klm

7500 euro

Thanks so much for such a detailed reply, Michael.

I’m looking into models from the larger German manufacturers, so hopefully I’ll be able to source a Letter Of Conformity fairly straightforwardly, but I’ll certainly check beforehand before I venture down that route!

There are all ages of models available here in France, some at silly prices. We are on our second purchase. Firstly we bought in 2010 a Hobby, LHD, from an English couple in Brittany who were returning to the UK. Great van and better priced than buying from a dealer. In 2012 we traded that in for a Rapido integral, in UK known as a coachbuilt, I think. Very comfortable for two, as well as room for two guests. We actually got more for our trade in than we paid in 2010. So I would recommend looking amongst the UK expats in France to see what's being sold before rushing to a dealer. We think prices here in France are much higher than comparable models in Germany and on a par with the UK. However many older models are very overpriced in France, 10 year old basic vans still being sold for over €20,000. If you do buy from Germany make sure it is acceptable in France with a certificate of conformity. Also from October till about March prices of used vans will drop as owners want to get rid of them before the winter. Insurance is competitive and no road tax is a bonus. Best of luck!

Hi Sara,

What model have you got? What year is it, please?

Kind regards, Mark

Ah, an address was enough rather than a certificate from the Mairie? That would be good!

I like the Fiat Ducato base vehicle, and we’re looking for a Low-Profile model with fixed single beds over a ‘garage’, but with a max length of 7m… So, pretty similar to yourself, Tony!

I agree, the models all tend to be less than three years old … And usually German!

Hi Tony, I haven’t looked too closely into Campsites vs B&B, but with a Motorhome there is always the extra option of ‘wild camping’ (not staying on a site with Electricity hook-up, etc) especially in some countries, though it’s often not encouraged in England from what I understand. Campsites in a lot of Europe are very well equipped and welcoming for Motorhomes, too!

The big winning points for Elaine are being able to stop at will for a ‘cuppa’ and having a toilet close to hand!!

Thanks for the info about Road Tax. One plus in France’s favour - though I haven’t got a certificat de résidence, which I believe I might need to buy one in France, or register one in France?

Whats your budget as i have one for sale here in France