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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm looking for information/recommendations for continental - (probably German) dealerships.
We're interested in buying a Burstner Viseo i 700, and have calculated that by buying in Germany we can save around £12,000 - taking into account bringing it back to the UK and registering/modifying it.
I know that others have bought in Germany and Belgium and was wondering what sort of buying/after sales experiences people have had.
In particular, we've been looking at Palmowski, who advertise themselves as 'discounters' rather than 'dealers'. Please does anyone have anything good or bad to say about any dealerships with whom they have done business?
Also, does anyone know what level of discount is general when buying in Germany?
Many thanks
Chris
 

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Dont know anything about importing, but I'm currently at a stellplatze just outside Munich near a massive motorhome dealership. They've got hundreds of brand new motorhomes of every make and model. It's looks like there's bargains to be had.
 

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I can recommend Niesmann Caravanning:
http://www.niesmann.com/

They're in Polch, across the road from the N&B factory (but not connected - still run by the Niesmann family). We've visited them several times and had work done there, they're Burstner dealers and ultra-efficient. They speak excellent English.
German after-sales service is usually excellent.
Polch is near Koblenz and within a days drive of Calais.

Expect a substantial discount on UK prices for Burstner but of course they'll be German spec, not UK (no oven etc.). Other makes may not carry the same discount, depends on the maker. Hymer for instance will be a lower discount and N&B are usually similar to UK prices. We were recently comparing Carthago prices and could buy the same van £20,000 cheaper in Germany.

Look at www.mobile.de for comparative prices.
 

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Be aware specification will be different between UK and German models. Sometimes it works in your favour, other times not. An oven is not the only difference.

Make sure you download the German specification and compare it to UK carefully as it is not always immediately apparent what the differences are. Not saying it isn't worth it, as it is. But I missed small differences on the specification sheet, which in hindsight I would have paid to upgrade.

For example heating: UK: Combi 6E, German Combi 6.
 

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I wonder whether German (or other European) dealers can get a UK spec interior (not RHD) for a pre-ordered MH from the factories or will the converters refuse because of UK dealership agreements?

I am sure the changes in spec could be just priced in as 'optional extras' without disturbing any agreements.

It would probably suit a dealer to have an extra pre-ordered MH.

Thoughts please.

Geoff
 

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My main concern about importing is that you can only be insured Third Party between the dealership and the ferry port. Some dealers will drive the vehicle on their insurance to the Port for a reasonable fee. Buying close to the ferry port might help.
 

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nicholsong said..........I wonder whether German (or other European) dealers can get a UK spec interior (not RHD) for a pre-ordered MH from the factories or will the converters refuse because of UK dealership agreements?

I am sure the changes in spec could be just priced in as 'optional extras' without disturbing any agreements.

It would probably suit a dealer to have an extra pre-ordered MH.

Thoughts please.

Geoff
Geoff,

Our LHD Hymer was imported from Campirama (Belgium) by the original owners, who specified a full oven/grill//rotisserie.
According to Camper UK, it is definitely a German spec oven, as the grill aspect takes an age to make toast, whereas the UK spec oven does the job much quicker, due to a slightly larger gas jet, (supposedly).

It also has a couple of UK mains sockets, but those may well have been retrofitted after the importation.

Regards,

Jock.
 

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My main concern about importing is that you can only be insured Third Party between the dealership and the ferry port
Yes this is a risk but there really does not seem to be any way around it other than getting a dealer to transport it to the ferry. UK insurers will not give you insurance outside the UK on unregistered vehicles being imported.

I managed the risk as best I could, by limiting the travel time on the road, travelling during daylight, outside of rush hour, with someone else so that the vehicle was never unattended. I used the tunnel crossing as I wanted the minimum travel time and safest means of crossing.

Also using a German dealer close to the border reduced the distance and time. I would also plan the route back carefully to avoid narrow roads. I got caught out with this as Tom Tom took me cross country through some tight villages from the dealers, to get me onto the autobahn. Raised my stress levels unnecessarily high at the time.
 

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If ordering a new MH through the factory, the UK spec differences will usually be listed as optional extras through the continental dealer. It seems dependent on make and model, some parts are higher on the continent and other things are lower spec than the UK version.

The only thing I guess that will cause issue would be ordering RHD from the continent. Otherwise all other factory fitted upgrades should be available at additional cost.
 

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macmedal said:
My main concern about importing is that you can only be insured Third Party between the dealership and the ferry port
Yes this is a risk but there really does not seem to be any way around it other than getting a dealer to transport it to the ferry. UK insurers will not give you insurance outside the UK on unregistered vehicles being imported.

I managed the risk as best I could, by limiting the travel time on the road, travelling during daylight, outside of rush hour, with someone else so that the vehicle was never unattended. I used the tunnel crossing as I wanted the minimum travel time and safest means of crossing.

Also using a German dealer close to the border reduced the distance and time. I would also plan the route back carefully to avoid narrow roads. I got caught out with this as Tom Tom took me cross country through some tight villages from the dealers, to get me onto the autobahn. Raised my stress levels unnecessarily high at the time.
I had a similar problem this year. Not a new vehicle but I wanted to bring my MH back from Europe for MOT after the due date.

The policy states the MOT must be valid.

VOSA have confirmed that they are only concerned about MOT being valid on UK roads, so please do not go off-topic on that point.

I know that most MH 'insurers' are actually brokers that have 'binders'(policies with wordings fixed by the Underwriters of the policy) and they have little scope for variation.

So I tried the LLoyd's Brokers - about 6 of them - 'no can do'

Polish insurers would not touch a UK reg vehicle.

I thought I was stuck with having to travel in time for the due date, but fortunately I got through, after a bit of insistence to a senior Underwriter and got a waiver of that clause for a few weeks, confirmed in writing by the broker.

Maybe it helped that I practised Insurance Law and could talk the vocabulary :wink: :D

But it is a nightmare - the EU have not addressed these problems other than insisting that at any policy issued in the EU must cover the insured for the minimal legal cover required in each country of the EU.

I am uncertain why insurers will not register other-country registered vehicles. I do not know of regulations(other than not being licensed to do business in another country - so registered address may come into it) but maybe it is an underwriting decision.

Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been reading up about the insurance problem ie third party cover only until arrival in UK. Dependent upon where we buy, we may take one of the Hull crossings. This may shorten the journey on the Continent, plus it's an easier drive home once on British soil.
I think I read somewhere, that someone had got fully comp insurance right from leaving the German dealership, through NFU. I may have misread, off course.
Chris
 

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Chris,
I have bought from Palmoski previously without any problems. The best advice I can offer you is buy from a dealer only and not privately. On insurance, you will need to buy export plates regardless, but obviously this is only 3rd party.
I live in Ireland and was able to insure the van comprehensively in Germany for the trip home.I already had insurance and simply transferred it to the new van using the chassis number. I am not sure if this would work in the UK
Regards
Raymond
 

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I live in Ireland and was able to insure the van comprehensively in Germany for the trip home.I already had insurance and simply transferred it to the new van using the chassis number. I am not sure if this would work in the UK
I was unable to get UK insurance on the Chassis number for cover in Germany despite best efforts. I have also yet to hear from anyone other than Geoff above, who has had any success with UK insurers in getting cover on a VIN number outside of the UK.

Buying privately certainly would be a brave move and was way outside my comfort zone. But if you have German language skills and/or help from a friend who lives there it is doable. As you can arrange third party insurance for export and apply directly for export plates 'Ausfuhrkennzeichen' over the counter at a German Registration Centre 'Zulassungsstelle'.
 

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macmedal

Just to clarify, I did not get insurance on a VIN number. My vehicle is 11 years old and is UK registered.

All I needed was permission from insurers to drive without a current MOT, which is a policy condition

Geoff
 

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We have bought twice from Palmowski and been happy both times.
They organised everything re ins and clearly explained re registering in Uk.
They speak excellent Englisg and. We communicated extensively before and after by phone and e mail.

We stayed on site provided with hook up water etc whilst we familiarised ourselves with vehicle and checked everything and sorted out a few problems eg missing oven shelf.
They also provided us with a free night on a local campsite for further testing.
Be prepared to fix minor faults yourself they will post parts out free of charge.
For the first couple of years we built in return trips in to hols for service/ warranty work but we saved a lot of cash
We are at the lower end of the market and bought one of their specials both time which came fully loaded with extras
Our current motorhome us a rebadged Rimor fully Brit spec. Think he bought in a load of new stock from a cancelled order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
finyar said:
Chris,
I have bought from Palmoski previously without any problems. The best advice I can offer you is buy from a dealer only and not privately. On insurance, you will need to buy export plates regardless, but obviously this is only 3rd party.
I live in Ireland and was able to insure the van comprehensively in Germany for the trip home.I already had insurance and simply transferred it to the new van using the chassis number. I am not sure if this would work in the UK
Regards
Raymond
Thank you, Raymond. I'm interested to hear that you had no problems with Palmowski. The deals which they offer appear to be very good.

Our main fear is that maybe they 'pile them high and sell them cheap', which could possibly lead to poor after-sales service.
I've been reading the German forum and they get mixed reviews. Some people are very sniffy about them being 'discounters', others say that they offer excellent value for money, decent service, and that they would buy from them again. The way of the world, I suppose.

We wouldn't contemplate buying privately abroad. That would be far too risky for us. Thank you for your advice.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
MEES said:
We have bought twice from Palmowski and been happy both times.
They organised everything re ins and clearly explained re registering in Uk.
They speak excellent Englisg and. We communicated extensively before and after by phone and e mail.

We stayed on site provided with hook up water etc whilst we familiarised ourselves with vehicle and checked everything and sorted out a few problems eg missing oven shelf.
They also provided us with a free night on a local campsite for further testing.
Be prepared to fix minor faults yourself they will post parts out free of charge.
For the first couple of years we built in return trips in to hols for service/ warranty work but we saved a lot of cash
We are at the lower end of the market and bought one of their specials both time which came fully loaded with extras
Our current motorhome us a rebadged Rimor fully Brit spec. Think he bought in a load of new stock from a cancelled order.
Thank you, Mees. This is excellent information - ie just what I was hoping to hear. We've got no problems fixing minor things ourselves.

Chris

PS I see you travel with a Dally! We'll be travelling with our Dalmatian, Jay. Until December we were travelling with two Dallies, but sadly we lost Bella, Jay's mum, very suddenly to kidney failure.
 
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