Here at Europcar, we love nothing more than packing our bags and hitting the road for a summer adventure. We also happen to be particularly fond of vans, simply because of all that extra space which can be filled with camping gear, mountain bikes and suitcases.
In order to inspire even more people to embrace the great British van, we decided to launch our #WhatsInYourVan competition earlier this summer. We asked you to send us your most VANtastic stories and ideas relating to vans – and with prizes including either a free weekend car or van hire or a £500 cash prize, it’s safe to say we were inundated with hilarious entries from people up and down the country.
As well as taking great pleasure in sifting through all the fabulous entries, we also provided a few of our favourite bloggers in Leeds and Southampton with a weekend van hire and asked them to embark on their very own excursion. So let’s see how they got on and check out some of the best #WhatsInYourVan entries…
Winner takes it all
Hundreds of you entered our competition and kept us thoroughly entertained with your suggestions and pictures for what you’d put in your van. And although you were all winners in our eyes, it was ultimately Jo Booth from Chester who got her hands on the grand prize. Jo told us she’d like to tackle her garage once and for all and hoped a free weekend van hire would help her finally clear out her belongings to make room for her car.
However, once we revealed Jo as the lucky winner, she had a slight change of heart: “We’d love a van hire for the purposes of clearing our garage, but I think I’d prefer to take my daughter on a holiday before she starts school instead,” she explained. So Jo decided to go for a fabulous £500 cash prize instead, which enabled her to treat her daughter to a memorable holiday.
What would you take in your van?
People often associate vans with businesses and tradesmen, however, the humble white van truly is a multi-purpose vehicle. In fact, 6.5 times more people in the UK hired vans for personal use than for business in 2013. And as we discovered through our competition, there’s no limit to what people would consider using their hired van for.
As the entries started rolling in to Europcar Towers, a few in particular caught our attention. Many of you chose to enter via Twitter and @pixiemom69 informed us that she would set her sights on TV funny-man Alan Carr: “I’d move Chatty Man in my van because I’m Alan Carr’s biggest fan.” Watch out Alan…
Meanwhile, @Mum_TheMadHouse insisted she would use her complimentary van to move cows. Although this may seem a bit…odd…to some of us, we have to say it sounds a lot safer than the plans of @Chrisbobfletch, whose picture of a snarling tiger suggested he intended to transport a true predator. And in keeping with the animal theme, @Quackerjill told us she would opt for a rather unusual (but typically mouthy) backseat driver; a parrot.
@leannes2405 evidently felt the need for speed as she would use her van to transport a Yamaha Sports bike. @homernbloss, meanwhile, sent us a picture of her enormous weekend shopping haul and pleaded for us to send a van her way to help her take it all home.
Many entrants expressed their desire to clear out their garages or head off on a family holiday, while a few would like to bundle their favourite band into the back and head off for a weekend of music and sunshine. One mother said she would use it to drive her son to Leeds (albeit it with tears in her eyes) where he is due to start university. And last, but certainly not least, one happy chap intended to load up his van hire with some of his ex-girlfriend’s belongings and head off to the nearest landfill site…
Blogger expeditions around Leeds and Southampton
Not only were we on the lookout for the best #WhatsInYourVan ideas, but we also wanted to let people experience the joys of van hire first hand. So we got in touch with the fine folk over at Trends with Benefits. We provided them with a free van hire in Leeds and sent them off on a fun-filled weekend around the Yorkshire dales. It turned out to be a classic British road trip, complete with torrential rain, camping and Fish and Chips. But thanks to the resilient spirit of our adventurers, not to mention the aid of the ever-reliable van, a jolly good time was had by all.
We also got in touch with James Bruton who was about to move house and therefore keen to get his hands on a van hire in order to make his travel around Southampton that little bit easier. Mr. Bruton isn’t your average home mover, however, as he was in search of a van which could accommodate his large collection of homemade life-sized robots. We were all too happy to solve his transportation problems and in return he documented his weekend on camera. You can check out James and his robots’ Southampton travel adventures on youtube
Thanks to everyone who took part. The competition may be over, but we’d still love to hear about #WhatsInYourVan – so let us know in the comments section below!