‘We’re leaving a flatshare to live in a converted van we’ve had enough of paying rent’

A couple who decided to ditch their flatshare and start living in a converted van claim they will save £8,000 this winter.

Ollie Pearson and Tessie Mitchell, both 23, splashed out £15,000 on a converted Ford Transit – which they see as an investment.

Like millions of people across the country, the couple’s bills have been going through the roof so they decided to explore a different lifestyle.

They bought the second-hand van, which had already been converted, and plan to live in it to save money.

The previous owner had already renovated the vehicle, which came equipped with a solar panel on the roof.

It has a gas cylinder that requires filling up every three months and a charger that connects to the alternator in the engine.

The set-up means that when the van is running it also charges the batteries, so Ollie believes his new home will have plenty of power.

The move will see the couple, from Bristol, swap rent costs of £500 a month, plus soaring energy bills, for the cost of diesel.

Ollie said: “With bills going through the roof, we’ve decided we’ve had enough.

“Our gas and electric for a four-person house is pushing £800 a month now which is just unaffordable for us.

“The van will save us rent and bills which we think over a year will amount to around £8,000.

“The main price will be for the diesel, but we’re not planning on moving it that often so it won’t be much of an expense.

“We’ll just be alternating between the road and a family friend’s drive to start with, but we’re considering travelling Europe next year.”

The van has a stove and oven inside along with a wood burner which they will use to keep warm.

The couple also managed to fit a king-size mattress in the bedding area, and Ollie installed a shower room and a toilet as part of his own renovations.

They are planning to move out of their house share at the start of next month and are looking forward to a life without worrying about rising energy costs.

Ollie, who works as a delivery driver, said: “Most of the renovations were already done when we got it which is why it was quite expensive.

“I added a shower inside the van, upgraded the radio and speakers and moved the toilet set-up into the shower room.

“It’s definitely big enough for the two of us, we have just had to be strict with ourselves on what we actually need.

“We have stripped back a lot on our possessions to make this work, but it’s quite liberating only keeping the things you really need.

“We’re really excited for the adventures to come, and are looking forward to having some more money in our pocket as a result of our change of lifestyle.”