Here’s our dialogue from the video . . .
How To Buy a USED Motorhome-Campervan 101.3 – Is it STOLEN, FINANCED, WRITTEN OFF? Check BEFORE going to view it!
Hi and welcome to how to buy a used motorhome or camper van 101.3!
Now if you’ve seen the other two videos, (101.1 and 101.2) and now you’re happy that everything seems present and correct… the price seems about right… and you’re completely thrilled you love it, you want to go buy it right now! It’s your perfect dream home (or camper van)… hold your horses!
Just because it seems to tick all the boxes, and it may not be on the market very long… it may make you want to go and snatch at it.
Now there is one more check to do, and the reason it comes last, is because before you travel (4 hours or something like that… we traveled, one way, yes) to go see our dream home… to find out what we found out… that cost us a fortune… you can do a check for less than ten quid that will make all this worthwhile!
Check this out!
Once you’re happy that the MOT information and the service history all match up and look good, and you’re happy to proceed with looking into other areas… the next thing to make sure of, is that the vehicle has not been written off or be involved in any incident that would declare it less than Road worthy (that MOT’s wouldn’t necessarily know about because remember an MOT is only valid for the day of that test, it means it’s Road worthy that day… it doesn’t mean that subsequently something could happen that makes it non Road worthy).
There’s a way to check whether its first of all, been in some sort of incident that could have damaged any part of the vehicle, and secondly can tell you whether it’s been stolen, and thirdly it can also tell you whether there is some finance outstanding on the vehicle…
Because the last thing that can happen… and is has happened to others in the past… is that if you buy a vehicle from someone, you pay cash, and then it still has finance on the vehicle… that vehicle is still owned by the finance company, they can take it off you and you can do nothing about it but chase the police to get hold of the person who sold it to you.
But, one of the great things you can do is you can check it online.
So if you go to Google again… and just check what’s called an “HPI check.” And what you’ll see is a number of different results come up… and the one I have used in the past and one that certainly some of the bigger insurance websites use is “www.HPIcheck.com.”
Which is the address I’m just going to put up on the screen for you here.
if you go through to that website you’ll see them what you do is you throw in the registration of your vehicle, click go, and then what it will do is will give you some options. You’ll see it has a multi-check where if you’re looking to view a couple of Motor home’s for a cheaper price than doing it once each time… is that you can buy just the basic checks at £19.99 or £9.99, and that’s a very basic check as you’ll see from the screen here… all the things that they don’t do… so they don’t check it was being cloned as a vehicle, and parts of the vehicle being used and from other vehicles have been used in this one… it doesn’t do any mileage discrepancy checks, MOT history does a bit of a check for you as well… and there’s also a 30,000 pound guarantee on the check which isn’t covered in the basic check too.
So that’s what you get for you $9.99 but it does cover some of the key things and having followed the checks on the MOT history and the servicing checks that I’ve already showed you… you have covered a lot of the basis here.
But if you feel it a bit more inclined to check further then why not go for either $19.99 for one check or put three in the bag for you so you can come back and use it the other two remaining, if you want to look at other vehicles too… and this will give you a much more comprehensive list of items that you need to know about, regarding the vehicles validity, its insurance status, its finance status, and whether it’s being written off.
Now when it comes to write-offs, you’ll probably not know the different categories that are set up for write-offs… it can be “A” or “B” or “C” or “D” and further… and you’d only look anything that’s beyond a “C” or “D”…
But if you do see that it has been written off, and then it has a category of “C” or “D” it means that there wasn’t bad enough to not be able to be brought back to a roadworthy status. In many cases it’s because that price to repair the vehicle was greater than the value of the vehicle itself… it didn’t mean that it couldn’t be repaired.
Now it’s important at this point to note that there is a new update to insurance write-off categories and what they mean… now before going to those are it is also prudent to tell you that I’m NOT a professional. I’m NOT an insurance expert, NOT even in the legal world… but this is simply information I’ve gathered that I could inform you of so you can make your own informed decision.
So the new update to the insurance write-off categories are such that up to 1st October 2017 there were four categories of insurance write-offs, which were comprising of “A” category, “B” category, “C” category, and “D” category.
Now the categorization was reviewed recently, such that the salvage codes had been updated to emphasize more on structural issues that affect safety of the vehicle.
Now the categories have changed such that they are now “A” and “B” and “S” and “N” categories.
Category “A” is the same as it always has been, it’s for scrap only… in other words these are cars that are so badly damaged they should be crushed and never reappear on the road… even salvageable parts from that vehicle must be destroyed and cannot be reused.
Category “B” is also unchanged, and the body shell should be crushed… it signifies that there has been extensive damage although some parts are salvageable. She should still never reappear on the road as that vehicle as a whole… although the parts from it can be used again elsewhere in other vehicles, for whatever purpose.
The category “S” (which used to be category “C”) means that the vehicle has suffered structural damage… this could include a bent or twisted chassis, and it could be a crumple zone that’s collapsed in a crash, but seriously compromising the the safety of that vehicle. It means the damage is more than just cosmetic therefore and the vehicle will have to have been professionally repaired, and is deemed not safe to drive until passing rigorous tests.
The category “N” (which used to be category “D”) is categorized for vehicles that haven’t sustained structural damage… so the issue may be cosmetic, or a problem with the electrics that just isn’t economical to repair. Now it’s probably advisable, although I CAN’T do that legally, not to assume that vehicles are drivable. So when you’re viewing this vehicle just don’t necessarily assume this just is drivable just because it has been categorized as “D.” Now non structural faults may include the brakes or steering or other safety related parts… so that said… the point being is, if it is deemed Road (worthy this is assuming that it has been repaired professionally), where you now have a bargaining chip with the seller… as it will always carry this category and for the lifetime of this vehicle on the road, and therefore it’ll affect the price when you come to sell it to.
So if it is a category “C” or “D” and you have all the information as to why that’s been written off, you now have a great bargaining chip with the seller… so you can say, “Well it’s category ‘C’ or ‘D’ and it’s going to be difficult to sell again there are things that I have to take care of potentially to maintain those issues that occurred at that incident, that wrote it off and there the seller may then give you a reduction in the price.
What they’re probably not going to do… is tell you from the outset that it was a write-off even though it is now categorized as roadworthy.
NOTE: Neither myself nor Tamra are experts in insurance knowledge or practices, nor are we legally qualified. All information has been gathered while researching. Please seek legal advise where necessary when you are unsure!
If you missed out on the other two videos in the “How to Buy a USED Motorhome Campervan 101” series… you can now get them by clicking on the links here:
How to Buy a USED Camper Motorhome 101.1 – M.O.T. & Mileage… which is the three essential checks to do online before you go and view the vehicle with MOT history checks and mileage
…and How to Buy a USED Camper Motorhome 101.2 – Log Book & Service History… and these are the three essential legal checks to do before you go and buy and that’s the logbook vehicle identification number and service history validity checks.
Check them out now!
See you soon…
Miles and Tamra