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Purchasing your Motorhome direct from the UK

Posted on August 7, 2020


Kiwis have been purchasing motorhomes direct from the UK for many years now for the simple reason that they were able to make big savings by doing so.  The biggest saving is the absence of VAT – a substantial 20% which can apply to new and second-hand VAT qualifying motorhomes.  


What is a VAT qualifying vehicle you ask? This a vehicle that has never been registered in a private person’s name eg: new, demonstration, and year-old lease vehicles.  We can recommend UK dealers (including dealers who will sell you a 1-year lease vehicle) that Kiwis have used before and are familiar with the export process.


UK Personal Export Scheme

The Personal Export Scheme (PES) allows customers to buy a motor home in the UK free of VAT for export outside the UK or EU. Subject to some restrictions, the vehicle can be used in the UK or Europe for 12 months before being exported.  Additional information can be found on the UK Government website.



So, now you know you can purchase a VAT qualifying motorhome in the UK, and you can use it in Europe for 12 months.  However, you may not realise you can also qualify for depreciation.  See more about the new depreciation rates (from March 1st 2020) in our recent blog.  


People affected by Covid19

But, like so many setbacks this year, a lot of our clients have paid deposits on their motorhomes but can’t use them, or, they’ve had to leave their motorhome in the UK.  These people have worked with the old depreciation rates as they are more favourable than the new depreciation rates. 


We have since had many discussions with NZ Customs about the old and new depreciation rates and how they apply during Covid19 times.   


NZ Customs can now advise the following:

Importers who can supply proof the vehicles were purchased before 1 March 2020 and were imported into New Zealand before 1 March 2021, will be allowed to use the old depreciation rates for Custom purposes.  This also includes importers who have made a deposit on a vehicle.


But to use the old rate, importers must provide proof that they have a signed “contract of sale” to purchase before 1 March 2020; and the vehicle must be imported into New Zealand before 1 March 2021.


How to ship your motorhome

Motorhomes are shipped by Roll on Roll off (RORO) process from Southampton, Bremerhaven, Zeebrugge and Livorno to Auckland. Vessels leave on average every 10 days and take between 37 and 45 days. The freight costs are calculated by the length, width and height of your motorhome. 


We can arrange everything from pickup in the UK to compliance and registration in New Zealand.  We can even arrange the gas and electrical warrants and provide an on marine insurance through VERO.



All used and some new motorhomes require fumigation before shipping.  This helps stop the nasty Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (or BMSB) from entering New Zealand shores. You can read more about how the stink bug has costs economies severely on our blog.   


Along with many of our other services, we can arrange the fumigation for you.



Like all vehicles entering New Zealand for the first time, they need to comply with NZ Standards.   Think of it as a warrant of fitness (WOF) but much more stringent! In general, motorhomes must have:

  1. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or alike if under 3500.00 GVM
  2. Be Euro Emission 4 or greater


We can arrange the compliance and registration for you, as well as gas and electrical warrants.  Though the gas and electrical warrants are not part of the compliance, they need to be checked before entering New Zealand campgrounds.


Foreign Exchange

All McCullough clients can take advantage of our competitive foreign exchanges rates.  As purchasers of overseas funds daily, our rates are much better than those offered by major banks.  Just let us know if you require a quote.


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