Help! Before it’s too late, we nee van insurance


van insurance
Joel and myself rocking it in the van on our trip
Although London is not cheap you still get what you pay for and us being budget travelers we were stuck in a shabby hostel in Bayswater, racing the clock to get our van insured  and get on the road to Pamplona before we missed the Running of the Bulls Festival in Pamplona, Spain.
Bayswater has everything you need; the main road there has the tube station, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s a great selection of restaurants and fast food outlets. So each morning we all peeled our eyes open and checked out of the hostel with the optimism of getting our van insured that day. Dragging our bags down the damp miserable back streets of London we headed into McDonald’s (the office as I call it whilst travelling) to bum the internet and find an auto insurer to insure our van.
With persistence we e-mailed, called and had been quoted by various auto insurers who all asked the same question just before they were to provide us with a policy. “Do you have a UK heavy vehicle license?”  This crushed us as we are all young Aussie lads, so of course we didn’t.  The reason for the need of a heavy vehicle license is that the van we brought was a mini bus and even though we culled the back seats leaving only 6 in the van, the vehicle was still registered as a mini bus. That’s fine we will re-register it as a van, but no, this would take time (2 months for the new registration papers), time we didn’t have.  So after 3 days of checking out, heading to the office (McDonalds) for work and then re-checking back into the hostel, due to failure. Our spirits were at an all time low with thoughts of negativity, as we realise after coming all this way, our road trip through Europe isn’t on the cards anymore. Pure devastation, our plans of visiting all these countries and cities flickered before our eyes and there was nothing that would lift our spirits from the cold depth they were at.
van insurance
The LDV convoy van that tackled 16 countries and 14,000 miles

We picked up the phone to call Lee to inform him of the bad news, “Were sorry mate, but we can’t get the van insured, its registered as a mini bus even though we have taken all the back seats out, there is an option to change the registration, but the forms take over 2 months to process and we don’t have the time. Is there any chance we can give you back the van and maybe find another? We are so terribly sorry” At this stage we knew making it to the running of the bulls was out of the question, but we could still cruise around Europe and see everything. “Ummm okay lads, leave it with me” Lee replied.

van insurance
Crafting the bed
So there we waited in the beloved office, bumming the internet. A hour later the phone rang, “Hey Lee” Camo answered as we all hung off the edge of our seats watching every one of Camo’sfacial expressions. “Hey mate, okay so you are on my car dealer’s insurance policy as my nephew, so you can drive the car and the other three can also drive it under your supervision”  As Camo nodded positively with a solid smile, I jumped to my feet and double fisted the air. We were saved, what a legend Lee is.  Truly a great guy, only meeting him 3 days ago and he had been ever so kind and trustworthy to put us on his insurance policy. Not only that, but the very next day he let us build a bed for our van in his yard, use his tools and also helped us get the materials (we are now very good friends with Lee and his family). With no time to waste we picked up some mattresses, curtains, a few more supplies and set off to the Port of Dover to start our desperate sprint to Pamplona, Spain for ‘San Fermin’  (Running of the Bulls Festival).
van insurance
Our home for the past 3 and a half months

Being on the road we were extremely delighted for our epic 14,000 mile Euro road trip (plenty of humorous and thrilling blogs to come). What amazing road trips have you taken and recommend?

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