Ready to take the exciting leap into RV ownership? With MTF Finance as our guide, we’ll look at those all-important first steps.
So you’ve read all the inspiring articles about RV travel, talked to others who are out there doing it, and you’ve made the big decision to arrange finance and buy your first RV. It’s an exciting decision and one that will open up a whole new world of travel experiences and memories. But before you seek out your dream RV and shake hands on the deal, it’s wise to make sure you’ve done your homework first.
First, plan your budget
The first step in financing your new motorhome or caravan is to decide how much you can comfortably afford as a deposit, and what you can afford to pay monthly over the term of your loan.
MTF Finance Hornby franchise owner Clarke Ferguson says, “As part of our responsible lending process, we work with customers to provide flexible options around deposits – including no deposit – and terms of up to 60 months, depending on their situation and the total cost of the RV.”
Motorhomes and caravans vary widely in price; an older second-hand RV or ex-rental might set you back $50,000, while brand new, late-model vehicles may cost $140,000 or more. Pricing will depend on a range of variables including age and condition, make and model, size, and accessories. Depending on what you need, sometimes, a few extra thousand can mean the difference between a motorhome you’re happy with for now, or an RV you’ll be in love with for years to come, and that may be worth the extra cost.
One of the best ways to help set your budget is to talk to MTF Finance about what you can afford. Clarke says this option gives buyers peace of mind before they start looking. It might also mean they can negotiate confidently to get an awesome deal.
When you’re looking into loan options, it’s wise to consider payment protection. This means that if something unpredicted happens like redundancy or illness, your loan payments are taken care of. “MTF Finance’s Payment Waiver protection gives that extra peace of mind for buyers. For example, if you’re made redundant, you could be covered for up to $10,000 for 180 days, or until the loan is fully repaid. And we’ve had quite a few instances recently where buyers have been affected by redundancy, and payment protection took care of their payments,” says Clarke.
The exciting part … decide which RV best suits your lifestyle
Motorhome, caravan, or campervan? Two-berth or six-berth? Separate bedroom? If you’ve already started researching the type of RV you want to buy, you’ll be aware that there are endless choices. It’s worth taking your time to get this right. Here are a few questions to help get you started:
- How many people will usually be travelling in the motorhome or caravan – will the kids be joining you on most holidays, or just you and a partner? Families with young children often start with a caravan because they tend to stay in one spot longer, they have more space, are cheaper than a motorhome, and offer the benefit of being able to unhook the car to go get extra supplies if needed.
- Will you be staying mostly in campsites, or freedom camping? If you plan on staying at campgrounds most often, a small bathroom and kitchen might be less of an issue than if you’re freedom camping a lot.
- How long will your holidays be? If you’re spending weeks away at a time, you’ll have different needs than if you’re just planning long weekends and short stays. A great place to do some research is at the regular motorhome shows held around the country.
New or secondhand?
Just as with buying a car, there are pros and cons to both. A new vehicle has the obvious advantage of being in immaculate and unused condition. It’s likely to be the latest model which means it will have the latest technology and safety features, and it will include a new warranty. It also goes without saying, that stepping into the brand-new motorhome or caravan you’ve been dreaming of is a bit like being a kid at Christmas… and wouldn’t we all love to have that experience again?
Buying secondhand generally means a lower purchase price – although with the red-hot market for used vehicles we’re currently experiencing, sellers are demanding top dollar making it a bit harder to find a bargain.
The good news is, MTF Finance can help you into a secondhand vehicle. “We’re very happy to arrange loans for private secondhand sales,” says Clarke. “And to make it even easier, we can also arrange pre-purchase checks to ensure the RV doesn’t have any finance owing, and that it’s actually owned by the person who is selling it.”
Another option worth considering is buying an ex-rental from a registered dealer. Ex-rentals are a great middle ground for first time RV buyers. The vehicle will have been serviced regularly and will have been inspected inside and out for any damage or mechanical issues, so there’s peace of mind in knowing it’s up to standard.
Financing extras and accessories
Once you’ve decided on your RV make and model, you’ll want to confirm with the dealer or seller on what accessories are included, and what else you might need. Things like awnings, satellite dishes and TVs, solar panels and house batteries, are all considered accessories – sometimes they’re included in the purchase price, but not always, so it pays to check.
Clarke explains that the finance of an RV generally covers the cost of the vehicle and any standard inclusions only – in other words, the amount it will be insured for. “This is usually secured against the vehicle,” he says. “But if you need to add in accessories on top, we can usually arrange an unsecured portion of finance to cover those extras.”
Lemons … and how to avoid them
Your new RV is a significant investment, and once you’ve bought it, you’ll want to get out on the road, travel to places you’ve never been before, enjoy time with family, and simply unwind. The last thing you want to discover are unexpected issues that put a dampener on your holiday.
The best way to avoid buying a ‘lemon’, is to purchase through a registered, trusted dealer. This way should anything go wrong, you’re covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act and your vehicle’s warranty.
If you choose to buy secondhand through a private seller, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Be sure to arrange full insurance and mechanical breakdown insurance or a mechanical warranty before you drive your RV away. MTF Finance can help you organise this.
- Take the RV to a trusted inspector for a full check over.
- Beware of water damage – this is not uncommon in older motorhomes, and it can end up costing tens of thousands to repair, so be sure to have this investigated thoroughly.
- Ask for a documented service history and check that the correct servicing products (such as oil) have been used. Cheaper, generic products may impact the engine’s lifespan.
- Scam sellers are common in the RV marketplace, and we’ve heard of far too many cases. Never hand over money without viewing the RV in person.
4 great reasons to choose MTF Finance
- If you’ve got all your information ready to go, MTF Finance can approve your loan within an hour, subject to responsible lending inquiries and checks.
- MTF Finance is New Zealand owned and operated. Their team members live and work in your community. And a little local understanding goes a long way.
- Their friendly staff are lending experts and take the the hassle out of finance. Whether you prefer to do it all online, or sit down face-to-face, they’ll make it easy and stress free.
- You can trust you’re in the best hands. MTF Finance has been around since 1970 and are rated 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot.
Ready to take the next step toward your first RV? MTF Finance can help. Get started at mtf.co.nz.
Offer of finance is subject to terms, conditions, lending criteria, responsible lending inquiries and checks. See mtf.co.nz/terms for details.
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