I've been thinking of living in a car because rent in my area is astronomical; I don't even want to pay it on principle. Sadly, "By the mere existence of his stomach everyone is condemned to participate in that chase" so I was thinking of living in a car.

However, while I don't need to lay down flat to sleep, it would be nice from time to time. Does anyone know anything about removing a seat and then replacing it with a board? (Possibly epoxied or otherwise mounted to the dash, depending on the model?

Also, because a brand new (modest) car with insurance is barely more than half the MINIMUM rent where I work, I was thinking of buying a new car. Would I be better served with a used car that has some warranty left on it, however?

I figure that since a company doesn't want to pay for a warranty, a car under warranty isn't likely to break - and I do NOT want to have to tow my house.

Or is probability such that even with an older car, the financial dice are in my favor? (That has not been my experience.)

  • 1
    How long do you plan to live in that vehicle? Where do you want to park it? Do you have access to toilet and bathroom?
    – Mark
    Jun 9 '17 at 7:13
  • At least three months, I believe a constellation of local businesses might be friendly to my parking there (I worked for several) and since some of these are 24 hours, yes I would expect toilet access at least. Jun 10 '17 at 5:21
  • tons of advice here....reddit.com/r/urbancarliving
    – Moab
    Jun 19 '17 at 0:53

For a vehicle to live in you would be much better off with a van. Even a fairly large estate car will have much less internal space for an equivalent floor area.

Another key consideration is that cars are not generally very well insulated as they have large areas of glass for the sake of visibility and will usually be to hot or too cold and create terrible condensation problems. This is much easier to fix in a van than a car.

It is entirely possible to convert even a quite modestly sized van into a reasonably comfortable, if not very spacious living space with a reasonably comfortable bed and basic but adequate washing and cooking facilities.

In terms of age you do pay a substantial premium for a brand new vehicle and in any case you do need to budget something sensible for routine maintenance and servicing costs in order to maintain its value. Equally there is no guarantee that even a new car wont ever break down. Breakdowns may or may not be covered by warranty depending on the fault but warranties won't cover you for the consequent inconvenience. Most cars made in the last few decades are actually pretty reliable and as long as you keep on top of maintenance a 5 year old car shouldn't be any more risky than brand new one, especially if it a model with an established record for reliability.

Also most modern small to medium sized vans are well equipped and comfortable to drive.

Many dealers also offer vehicles a few years old with reasonable mechanical warranties backed by the manufacturer.

  • In terms of space, if you look for how canal boats are laid out you could get inspiration on how to maximise the space you have. But a van is the only sensible way to go in terms of conversion. Jul 10 '17 at 14:21

There are lots and lots and lots of sources about car / coach / van conversions on the web. However, you will need to check out your local regulations / laws etc and also you will need fresh water and be able to get rid of the sewage. Permanent parking can be an issue.

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