Do you know what type of motorhome you should be buying?

Here is the ultimate guide on choosing between buying a new, pre-owned or ex-rental motorhome.

Finding The Right Motorhome For You: Buying New, Pre-Owned or Ex-Rental

Are you toying with the idea of buying a motorhome? You’ve probably got a list as long as your arm as to why you want to buy a motorhome. But, do you know what type of motorhome you should be buying?

Buying a motorhome is a significant investment, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right one for your lifestyle. In a world filled with endless choices, we’re making it easier for you to decide what the best option is for you. Here is the ultimate guide on choosing between buying a new, pre-owned or ex-rental motorhome. 




Types of motorhomes available


Before you start shopping for a motorhome, consider the available options. Be sure to do your research first, consider your budget and think about how often you will be using your home on wheels. Functionality and price point are big factors to consider in your decision-making. Before you get into the smaller details like the internal fit-out, you’ll need to choose what type of motorhome you’re going to invest in. 


Brand new motorhome


Purchasing a brand new motorhome has its advantages. Of course, you get what you pay for, which means you’ll be paying a premium price for a brand new motorhome. However, if you can afford to invest in a new motorhome, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed. 

New vehicles tend to have better conditions than pre-owned vehicles in general. A brand new motorhome also comes with a longer warranty, and therefore maintenance costs should be kept to a minimum for the first few years. A KEA motorhome is manufacturer-approved and carefully maintained through a wide range of accredited dealers in Australia. You can enjoy peace of mind knowing wherever you travel; you’ll be covered. 

When you’re contemplating buying a brand new motorhome, think about functionality. Will you be living in it full time or using it sporadically? If you’re planning on using your motorhome frequently, you might want to consider investing a little more in a brand new model. 

Buying a brand new motorhome means you can get it looking exactly how you want. When you’re going through the buying process, you will be asked if you would like to personalise it, and may have more options available when it comes to choosing your interior configuration and finishes. This is a great way to ensure it will suit your travel style. You can even add on accessories such as an awning or a variation that creates more lounge space. It’s totally up to you!


Pre-owned motorhome


A pre-owned motorhome is an affordable alternative, and it appeals to many first-time buyers. This lower price point usually means lower insurance costs, too, so you can continue to keep costs down. However, you should be careful when buying a pre-owned motorhome; it’s vital that you do your research and ask all the right questions. 

Unfortunately, the lower price point can be cause for suspicion. There can be hidden issues (and costs), so it’s important you thoroughly inspect the vehicle before you buy it. The biggest areas for concern are usually dampness, leaks and rust. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re shopping with a reputable dealer. But, as with buying any vehicle, if you’re looking at listings from private sellers you should do your due diligence before purchasing.

Maintenance costs for older vehicles can be expensive. The most expensive maintenance issues are often mechanical, electrical, and body issues that have been caused by an accident. To avoid any expensive repairs down the road, request the vehicle's paperwork to ensure you have the full picture of the history of the vehicle. 

If you’re buying a pre-owned motorhome, it’s a good idea to buy from a reputable dealer. Buying from a verified KEA dealer means you get a professionally refurbished, serviced vehicle that’s good to go. KEA also offers trade-ins, finance, insurance and servicing for any pre-owned KEA motorhome. 






Similarly to a pre-owned motorhome, an ex-rental is another affordable option. However, buying an ex-rental is still a significant investment, so make sure you are buying wisely. 

You’ll need to be prepared to ask all the right questions when you’re motorhome shopping. For instance, you should ask the seller for the vehicle's paperwork to establish if any major repairs or refurbishments have been done to the vehicle. 

Ensure that the ex-rental you are buying is from a reputable provider. It pays to research the models on offer and read reviews from members of the motorhome community. All of the ex-rentals available at KEA come from well-known brands under the thl banner, such as Britz and Maui. Vehicles that have been built especially for the rental market are typically built to last, so you can get a quality vehicle for a lot less. With over 75 years of experience crafting motorhomes, you can rest easy knowing it’s a worthwhile investment. 


Converting a van into a motorhome


You might be considering converting a van into a motorhome yourself. For some, carrying out your own bus or van conversion looks like an option worth considering. Perhaps you’ve got some skills to bring to the task; you can visualise the final result and do it exactly the way you want it. It ought to be fun. But, this can be a risky move.

You will need to have the right skillset and time to undertake this project. It’s always worth doing your research for any van conversion. Although it can seem like a budget-friendly option, the costs can add up and end up exceeding the price of a brand new motorhome. 

There are restrictions with DIY van conversions. For example, in the state of Victoria, the van owner has to get an ADR compliance, a gas and electricity certificate, and a VASS certificate. This can be quite an expensive and time-consuming process, so you’ll need a lot of passion and precision to undertake a van conversion.  Regulations vary from state to state, so ensure you check with your local governing body. 

It’s also worth noting that an insurance company can only insure it as a van if it doesn't have a second stage compliance plate. If the time comes to resell your van, as the seller, you won’t be able to list it as a campervan or a motorhome without the relevant paperwork. This will ultimately impact the resell value of the vehicle. 




Choosing the right motorhome for you


In the end, your decision will likely rest on your budget. New motorhomes are a great investment if you can afford to make the splurge. Fortunately, there are great alternatives available to suit any budget.  

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly way to purchase your first motorhome, consider a pre-owned or ex-rental from a reputable dealer. When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure your motorhome dreams aren’t dashed later down the track. 

Van conversions may seem to be a cheaper alternative to make your motorhomes a reality. 

But, unless you have the skills, time and money for a van conversion, you might want to look at another alternative.

In order to choose the right motorhome for you, consider trying before you buy. Renting a motorhome for a vacation is the perfect way to find out if you like the motorhome. There are many things to consider; layout, sleeping arrangements and the kitchen. So it’s important you love the motorhome. At KEA, we offer a try before you buy service. If you purchase a motorhome within 3 months of renting, we’ll give you your rental costs back. 


The KEA difference


When you buy a KEA motorhome, you get good quality; in every detail. Our motorhomes are made in Australia and New Zealand for local climate and road conditions. Possibly, the biggest difference is that we have a considerable amount of experience over time in building motorhomes and campervans to the highest quality standards. KEA Motorhomes is part of the thl group, the world's largest operator of RV rental experiences. This gives us access to global expertise and innovation that is second to none. thl brings over 75 years of experience in crafting KEA vehicles. 


Ready to take the next step? 


Everyone’s journey is different, but you want to ensure you get the most out of your motorhome. At KEA, we know that buying a motorhome is a big decision; we pride ourselves on experience, service, and the quality of our products. Our motorhomes are made in Australia and New Zealand for local weather and road conditions. We design, make and maintain every KEA motorhome for our unique Australian conditions. All options are possible with our great range of vehicle models, ages and price points, from pre-owned two berths to brand new six berths. Enquire today. 

Once you’ve made your decision, ensure you get the most out of your motorhome. Check out our guide on the most common mistakes new owners make, and how to avoid them.