How dumb is this idea oh wise ones - and what have I missed

OK - here's the dumb idea.

I wont be moving to the house in Trebes permanently for some time (depending on when I get fired here, 2-4 years). However I plan to visit a couple of times a year for 2-4 weeks each time and obviously need transport while there (usually I fly into Toulouse and rent a car from there). Note - house does not have a garage.

Hopefully next year my sister and brother-in-law will be coming over from Oz for their first excursion to Europe, using the house as a base and toddling off to see as much of Europe as possible. Still very much up in the air (no pun intended) but I am recommending they stay at least 3 months to make the most of it.

One option for them would be to rent a campervan (hopefully with shower - but Ford Transit/VW type size, not a massive Winebago type - they only sold their VW camper last year after many many years of good use) and travel at leisure. Advantages being flexibility of schedule, no need to pre-book hotels, option to eat in restaurants or cook their own to save money etc - exactly the reasons I used to rent a van for my first big trip around Europe over 30 years ago - no "agist" comments please.

I then extended that idea to the possibility of us going halves in buying a van that could then stay with the house for use on subsequent visits. (I understand I could rent long term parking at the airport for about Euro 500 per year, overcoming the lack of garage). They would get use of the van for their holiday. Looking at costs, to rent a new van is about Euro3,500 per month (but I havent shopped around) whereas second hand ones seem to be able to be purchased through EBay for Euro 6,000-Euro 10,000 ( I have only looked at Ebay France to get indicative numbers)

Obvious Cons are:

  • I could get a lemon

  • Buying a bit too early for long term residence

  • Storage at an airport is not optimal

  • Vehicle deteriorates when not used


  • Cheaper and more flexible for them

  • Current car rental costs for my visits is dead money

  • If I do a big day trip and imbibe too much, I can sleep in the van overnight or do extended trips away for a few days.

In case it complicates things, I am Australian so there may be EU cross border rules that do or do not apply

I would appreciate any comments on the practicality/stupidity of this idea.

Thanks in Advance


Is it too far from the airport to stop you investigating the idea of renting a garage nearer to your house and, possibly, having a mechanic check out the van before you come over?

I don't know all the insurance implications but there does seem to be a good market in France of Peer to Peer rentals for camping vans. Worth looking at in more detail.