There are 5 simple questions you should answer before making one of the best investments in your life and buy a van – or your dream vehicle home. Just read quickly through those 5 questions and you will be one step closer to your van life dream 😉
Buy a Van
In 5 Questions to the perfect buy
(1) What do you want with it?
Do you want a travel companion for your yearly vacation and long weekend trips and still use it as a normal car? Should there more than 2 or 3 seats in it so that you can take a few more people on your adVANtures? If this is a yes, then you should think about removeable furniture and equipment, that you can take out or put insode the van. This also includes a normal vehicle license and car insurance (for Germany).
(2) How much space and comfort do you need?
Do you feel comfortable in a small and cosy room or do you prefer to create seperate areas? Do you want to be able to stand upright in the van? In a standard van sitting is the only thing you can do. But you can also take a higher model or a built in elevating top with bed roof. In a short bus, such as the VWs with short wheel base, there is only space for a bed and maybe a cupboard with a small cooking station (also: do you want to cook inside?), but you won’t have a lot of space if your bed is folded out. If you don’t want to give up a cooking space and seperated living-sleeping areas, I would definitely recommend a bigger vehicle. The luxury option yould be to buy an already converted car in one of the many campervan conversion shops. Check out what’s closest to you!
(3) How good are you at reparing cars?
Are you a (hobby) mechanic and love puzzling and tinkering? Then one of the older vehicle models is maybe your dream. But if timing belts and batteryclamps are your worst night mare, better opt for a newer version that is built after the 2000s. This will make your van lifer nicer and less of a workshop life.
(4) Where do you want to go in your van?
In many of the touristic places such as Spain, France or Italy, people already know that campers like to wake up with the most beautiful views and put up height limitations from 1,90 to 2m and all the higher built vans have to stay outside and pay for the campsite around the corner (which is of course signposted). If you prefer to sleep at a more remote place now and then, away from all the other huge camping cars, I advise you to rethink question 2 and buy a van a bit smaller.
(5) Where will you baby be parked if you are not in it?
If your trustworthy travel companion is a bit more expansive it could be hard finding parking spots if you don’t have your own garage – and also there it should fit inside. But in every city there are quite affordable park spots that you can rent monthly. Just check your neighbourhood. If you don’t want to spend money on that, check question 2 again 😉
If you have the answers to all of those questions, go to a second-hand vehicle dealer in your hood or your favourite car dealer and get some advice there. Also check eBay or eBay Kleinanzeigen (Germany) or other online portals, they have great deals sometimes which could maybe be very close to you so you don’t have to pick up your car a 5 hour drive away.
I am the proud owner of a VW T5 built in 2005. It is not that old and hopefully doesn’t break (ever, please) and also lasts a lifetime (that’s what the experts told me). With short wheel base (so: short care) I fit into every parking spot. I like small cosy spaces so this is the perfect place to be for me. I will of course take you on my van travels in the future, hoping to give you more inspiration to buy a van 😉