Is Van Life Cheaper Than Renting

Is Van Life Cheaper Than Renting

Van life is becoming a more popular choice for individuals who want to find a middle ground between living out of hotels and paying the high cost of renting an apartment. Living in a van has the potential to save you a lot of money–if it’s cheap to park where you want to go, if you don’t need to pay a lot for gas, and if there are places where you can park your van for free or almost for free (like on somebody’s property). But the savings are only about half their potential because some of those expenses like insurance or maintenance and overhead will eat up your savings.

Van life is a lifestyle choice–a way for people to explore the physical and mental realities of being off the grid in a way that they don’t have to be tied down by traditional notions of home and family. By living on wheels, you’re freeing yourself from many commitments, but sometimes that freedom can be pretty costly compared to renting a home.

What’s The Cost Of Living In A Van Compared To Renting?

If you wish to stay in a van, then your first expense is the price of the van itself. The type of van you’ll need depends on your lifestyle–what you’ll be doing out there, how much space you need, how much gear will go in it, and how often you’ll want to use it. If you don’t have any pets, for instance, then a simple camping trailer would be fine–it has more space than an RV because it’s mostly space. On the other hand, a small camper van has a cozy vibe, but it carries less. The cost of a van also depends on the features you get and the model you choose.

Do Van Living Cost Less Than Traditional Home Renting?

 Unfortunately, it’s not relatively so easy to answer that question. Renting an apartment is easy to understand–you pay a monthly rent, and you usually don’t have to worry about the cost of the place. The renter’s insurance will cover any damages you or your guests might do, but there is a small fee for that insurance.

Usually, you have to pay for utilities separately if you’re living in a house or apartment building. Water and electricity are pretty standard, but the building and state you live in can make a difference. If you have to pay for the utilities, this can add up–primarily if you work from home. You might even need a place with its power source to run your computers or other electronics.

On the other hand, fuel is usually included when living in a van–unless you’re doing some hybrid vehicle that recharges off of a battery bank and solar panels. As a result, you won’t have to stop at the gas station as often, but you might need to pump fuel out from time to time. Whenever you’re not using the van, you can leave it in your parking lot and forget about it for a while. If you tend to be very active, this can be huge savings (since your car has become a home gym, too).

The Cost Of Buying A Camper Van

You can get a simple camper van for around $10,000–the base model might have a small motor, but it’s usually not enough to power more than two air conditioners. You can get a model with air conditioning, a big motor, and more space, but a newer model on the market combines all of those things into one van.

You can also get new and used vans for less money–but you might need to go with a larger or older model if you’re going to be on the road for any reason. The older the van is, you wait to make money off of it. But as long as you park it somewhere safe, you’ll be able to save money over buying a new vehicle.

The Maintenance Cost Of A Campervan

The main maintenance issue with van life is the cost of putting fuel in it. As it is, you’ll have to buy fuel for your van–unless you’re using a hybrid, it’ll need gas. You also need to pay for any repairs or problems that come up with the vehicle. If you aren’t experienced in car repair, you might need to spend more money on a mechanic. 

Remodeling Your Van To Make It Your Own Home 

The final cost of dwelling in a van is how much you’ll spend on remodeling it. You can get a new or used van, but if you want to make it your own home, you’ll need some furniture or equipment for the interior. You’ll need a bed, somewhere to cook food and facilities for any messes that might happen–like a bathroom and a sink with running water.

The RV Apartment Cost

You might also want to do some remodeling to make your van your home. If you live in an RV apartment, you can finish the interior with beautiful colors, lovely decorations, and a fully equipped kitchen. But the utilities and upkeep cost will be similar to living in a house.

Van Life – Your Expenses Compared To Renting

Van life is a tiny home on wheels–but it’s only as big as you make it. You might have to buy a van if you wish to live in one, but you can keep it small and cozy. You can make a bed, a kitchen area, and storage for clothes or gear inside. You might think this is a considerable expense, but you’ll only pay for the materials if you do the remodeling work yourself.

Fuel Cost

Your most significant expense will be your fuel cost. You’ll be using your vehicle the same way you would a car–running errands, traveling to work, or hitting the road on a road trip. It will add up over time, but it will be less than if you had to pay for gas in an apartment or house.

Health Insurance Van Life

The average health insurance cost is $1,478 for a single person. If you have a pet, you’ll pay for your pet’s insurance as well. However, if your van has been inspected and registered as a residence, you might be able to save money on your health insurance. You can also buy insurance through an official organization that deals with van dwellers.

Maintaining And Upgrading Your Van 

If needed, you’ll also have to pay for maintenance or repairs on your van–as it is with any vehicle. Although insurance prices might be lower than other types of vehicles, they’ll still add up over time. It is a big difference between living in a campervan and renting an apartment–since you’re throwing your money at your home without getting anything back (like rent does).

Upgrading Your Campervan To Be More Comfortable

If you want to make this work for you, you can spend a little bit more on some upgrades for your campervan. You can buy a bed and mattress to sleep in or make a kitchen area that’ll include some kitchen equipment. If you want to use your van like this, you might want to spend some money on the upgrades to have all the comforts of home.

Van life VS Traditional Living

In a van, dwelling in a van is different than most people expect–and there are many benefits to this lifestyle. Living in a van means that you won’t be limited to the locations where you can go, even if there are restrictions. With a van, you’ll be able to get out and explore the world–so it’s a good idea if you have that interest. You can be on your schedule if you reside in a van–and changing the schedule is easier if you have your transportation. Your savings will be higher whenever you live in a van–so it’s a good idea if you want to save more. Living in a campervan means spending less money on your living costs–and that can make a living in a van much more accessible for some people.

It’s hard to say whether dwelling in a van is better than the alternatives for many people. However, it depends on the person and interests that they have. Stay in a van is the best option for anyone who is flexible with their schedule. Those who wish to save money and are considering something that allows them to do so will find living in a van appealing. Many reasons exist for why people choose to stay in a van–but they often have this lifestyle for the lifestyle.

Pros On Van Life Living

People have many good reasons for choosing to stay in a van. From the freedom to be on your own time and your schedule to the cost factors that come with it, residing in a van can be highly beneficial to some people. Some might not find it suitable, however. Here are some of the pros that come with this lifestyle.

  • You can be on your own time and do what you want to do.
  • The savings are significant on rent and other costs of living.
  • You might meet new people.
  • You get a sense of freedom.
  • Nearly no restrictions depend on how the van is set up, so you can live comfortably in it. 
  • There is no one there to tell you what to do or what not to do or any restrictions on where you can go or how long you can stay somewhere.

The Reasons Why You Should Live in a Van Instead of a House.


As a homeowner, you pay your landlord (your mortgage holder) for the right to occupy the home. That large chunk of cash is called the “landlord’s profit.” For many people, that is all their income in a year. As a result, they can cover all their expenses and still have some money left over for themselves. Then there are other costs of owning a home: property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, repairs, and maintenance.


Van life can be a great way to pursue your passions and experience the world. It’s an excellent way to get out of the confines of your 9-to-5 job and experience new cultures, far-away places, and learn things that most people never do because they are too busy working.


All the van dwellers owe the credit card debt much less than many people owe on the mortgage for their house. It’s also a lot less than what people owe on all the cars they own because they’re van-dwelling and not driving to work or school every day.


In a van, dwelling in a van is one of the few ways you can live your life off the grid and still be able to go to work, go shopping, do your banking, etc. Living out of a van makes it so you don’t need that many resources other than food and water (which you can currently find for free or very cheap all over the world).


Van life can be great for people who love the outdoors and would instead reside in a van than a condo or home. You never need to rely on anyone else for what you need: food, water, electrical connections, internet access, etc.


When you reside in a van, your schedule is your own, and you are free to go wherever and whenever. Computers and cell phones aren’t essential to stay in touch with the outside world: you can always camp out in nature and use whatever resources are around.


Van life can indeed be cheaper than living in a permanent location. Nonetheless, there are other considerations to consider when considering whether or not van life is appropriate for you and your lifestyle. Van life can be a great way to meet new people, travel, and live on your schedule. You can travel the country while still making a living and keeping costs low. It is also a smart way to save cash on other things like your house or rent. Boat Life is cheaper in the long run because you don’t have to pay rent or pay for fuel.

However, some people are happy with their current lifestyles. They have a comfortable apartment and can work at their own pace. If you have bought a home or condo, you are already in the hole for the money you’ll spend on your property. You can’t sell it, so you’re stuck paying all those bills every month.