The best time to buy is at the end of the previous van tour season in October as there are loads of vans for sale in London – many of them decked out with beds, a stove, camping gear and pots and pans.
Expect to pay around £2000 for a roadworthy set of wheels, more if you’re buying from a used car dealer, though the plus side to this is it’ll come with a warranty.
It’s also worth taking your van to a mechanic for the all-clear. The last thing you want is to break down minutes after driving off the ferry at Calais. Useful websites are tntonline.co.uk, autotrader.co.uk and munichkampers.co.uk.
Renting can also be a good option, particularly if you only want to tour for a few weeks or a month. It also means you’ll be covered for breakdowns. Try freedomcampervans.co.uk, wickedcampers.co.uk or vwcamperco.com.
Splash out on getting a comprehensive service before you hit the road. It’ll cost a few hundred quid but it will be a lot easier than negotiating a tune-up in Toulouse. Think about the equipment you’re going to need: spare tyre, jack, basic tools, a stove, pots and pans, bedding, a frisbee … Again, being prepared before you leave is easier than hunting down essentials on the road.
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