Brand new motorhomes require big money! You’ll need at least £35,000 and that’s for the smaller models. The bigger A-Class RVs go up to and well beyond 100K. Even new VW T6 campervans cost the earth.
Used motorhomes are obviously cheaper depending on age, mileage, condition, service history etc.
Our VW Autotrail cost us £6000. Yes, it’s an old vehicle – and it needed some repairs when we bought it – but we simply couldn’t afford anything newer.
We’ve met van-lifers who have travelled all over Europe in a Mercedes Sprinter costing just a few hundred pounds!
When it comes to running costs you’ll need to factor in…
- Yearly service and MOT
- Repairs (a brand new RV and a used one bought from a dealer will have some kind of warranty that should cover repairs)
- Storage costs. (Where will you keep your RV? Ours is in a storage yard that costs nearly £400 per year)
- Upgrades (will you want to add things like solar panels to the van?)
- The cost of fuel (more time road-tripping means big expense on diesel, petrol or LPG)
- Habitation check (for damp and to ensure appliances are safe to use)
- Propane or butane gas (we get through a 13kg bottle every 18 months but we’re only part timers. If you’re living vanlife fulltime you’ll get through lots more, especially in winter)
- Insurance, road tax, and breakdown cover
- The use of ferries (if you’re travelling to Europe)
- Memberships to camping clubs such as the Caravan and Motorhome Club
- Sundry expenses like fluid for the toilet cassette which isn’t cheap at about £15 for 10 doses (again, if you’re fulltime in your van this cost will soon add up)
- And then you’ll have to pay to stay on campsites unless you’re planning to wild-camp (which isn’t easy in the UK)