26 Aug

VAT-free New Motorhomes for Europe


  • Want to see Europe on your own terms?
  • Like to be independent?
  • Enjoy going where you please, when you’re ready?
  • Sleep in your own bed every night?
  • Only unpack once?
  • Eat the food you like, when you feel like it?

Have you considered a motorhome tour?

We believe it’s the very best way to travel in the UK and Europe!


Have you considered touring the UK and Europe in a motorhome? Every year we have a steady stream of Kiwis heading over there, collecting their new tax-free motorhome and having the time of their lives touring for several months before we ship the van back to NZ for them. Our service is to make all this easy! We look after all formalities and guide you through the process. We haven’t had a single customer return disappointed with the experience – in fact we have several customers who have returned for a second trip as soon as they are able, including some who have gone back the very next year. Europe and the UK are such intensely interesting destinations, with history and culture around every corner it’s difficult to do even one country justice in just a few months. And when the van is back here we hand it back to you on the road and fully complied with all the correct certifications. What could be easier? And we practice what we preach. Diane and Paul, founders of Castle European Ltd., have personally done five European tours by motorhome and know first hand how to go about it.

How does this work?

A new motorhome bought tax-free in the UK is an immediate 20% saving and in addition to this, because there is no trade-in there is a usually a decent discount to be had. As you might expect there are a few rules and regulations around all this. For example:-

  • Only new unregistered vehicles can be bought tax (VAT) free.
  • The vehicle must be permanently exported from the European Union within twelve months of personally taking delivery of it.
  • It cannot be lent to anyone and can only be used by the owner.
  • It can be used in any EU member state
  • A driving licence not issued by an EU member state only allows the holder to drive vehicles of 3500kgs or less. Having a Heavy Vehicle licence in your home country does not change this.
  • On-road insurance is compulsory in the UK and driving without it is a serious offence. If you’re caught without insurance it’s likely the vehicle will be seized at the road side. Two companies specialise in insurance for overseas visitors to the UK and Europe. Downunder Insurance in London and Milestone Insurance Brokers.

Will I save money on my new motorhome buying it this way?

Almost certainly yes! If you want a new motorhome for New Zealand this is the most financially efficient way to achieve it. Firstly, you don’t pay the UK’s 20% Value Added Tax. In addition to this, if you use the vehicle for a minimum of ninety days it will qualify for a depreciation allowance on it’s value before NZ customs calculate the NZ entry taxes. This depreciation allowance increases with time and it means the value on which the duty and GST is based is gradually reduced. In short – no tax at the UK end and reduced tax at the NZ end. Now factor in that your brand new motorhome has provided both your accommodation and your transport on your overseas trip and you’re financially well ahead! Once it’s back in NZ the value of your motorhome on the New Zealand market depends on many factors, but we have yet to have any disappointed customers.

The financial side of this is obviously important, but it’s not the full story. Organising these sorts of trips has been Castle European’s core business since 2005 and during that time we’ve seen a cross section of people in all stages of life enjoying their dream trip. Thirty-somethings with young families taking the kids out of school for a year to enjoy and learn from a trip they’ll remember all their lives, working people who have managed to take a few months off work to fulfill their dream of seeing all the famous European places they’ve heard so much about, people who are between businesses and need some time to consider their next venture and of course retired people enjoying their free time and avoiding the New Zealand winter. Some bring back their new motorhome and continue to enjoy it in New Zealand, others sell them when they’re back here. You’re free to do either. The choice is yours.

How can Castle European help?

As we’ve mentioned, this has been our core business since 2005 and Castle European was importing European motorhomes into New Zelaand many years before most of the present dealers were in the business. Paul and Diane, founders of Castle European Ltd, have done five extended European tours by motorhome and the information on this website and the information it contains is based on their experience. We understand both sides of the process. We’ll organise all the formalities for you, collect and process the paperwork and simply ask you to sign a few forms. We’ll have the vehicle of your choice waiting for collection at a convenient place in the UK on your arrival and we’ll guide you through the do’s and don’ts of motorhoming over there (see our pages on European Travel within this website). When your trip is over we’ll ask you to drop the vehicle off at Southampton or one of the European shipping ports from which our preferred shipping line departs. About eight weeks later we’ll hand your motorhome back to you in New Zealand fully processed and certified and ready to go camping.

If touring Europe or the UK by motorhome is for you we strongly recommend that you begin the process by contacting us at least four months ahead of your intended travel date – preferably longer. Though we can assist with shorter time frames the choice of available vehicles could be much smaller.

Remember this is our core business – we’re service providers and rarely get involved with the buying and selling of vehicles. Whilst we usually source vehicles for our clients we don’t usually supply them ourselves. It makes no difference to us what you buy and we won’t be pushing any particular brand, though we will impartially try to steer you away from models not well accepted here or which are unsuitable for NZ.

How do we find out more?

Using the menu to the right of the screen click on “Contact us” and fill in a few details. We’ll get back to you for a no obligation discussion about the process.

Europe is out there waiting for you…

Caffe Poliziano, Montepulciano, Italy

The information given  on this website is based on the opinions of the author and readers act on this information at their own risk.

It is recommended that all readers check this information independently before using it.