- Base vehicle cost in 2006: 10-12 year old Defender 110 with 100k+ miles (unmodified): £3k - £5k. We note that you can pick up some good deals in the LRO / LRM magazines as people appear to off-loading vehicles at discounted rates at present - so happy shopping! Take vehicle to a dealer for a 30 minute check over. For Land Rovers key areas to focus on are oil and water leaks from engine, condition of cooling pipes, leaks from diffs and gearbox. Clunking noise from UJ wear on drive shaft, play in drive shafts, condition of radiator and alternator, tyres, check shocks for leaks, rock car to check for bearing wear, check for welds on drive member ends, condition of springs (especially rear springs) and service history. Check for dates and mileage when Cam belt timing chain was changed and also the last time the serpentine belt was changed.
- Mechanical work, service, MOT, misc repairs, labour & VAT: £2k - £3k. Can’t stress that having this done is key unless you can do it yourself, you learn a lot on the trip!!!
- Basic (new) overland vehicle equipment, preparation, labour & VAT: £10 - £12k. We got new equipment mainly because it lasts and we are glad we did. The sun and heat kills fabrics and does strange things to plastics. Kit we used the most includes, gps, tyre compressor, waffle boards, winch, winch accessories, awning, roof tent, water filter, SPOT messenger, jerry cans, extra fuel tank, extra water tank, Engel fridge, fuel sedimentor. The role cage was an added extra but one we felt was a good investment.
- CARNET depends on the value of your vehicle and where you go - expect paperwork to cost £250 (ish) and depending on the security an extra £300 (ish) to cover this.
- Visas, medical, paperwork, misc administration £2k
- Other big costs: We sold our house and imported the vehicle into SA when we arrived. This means we did not need 2 x flights home or shipping costs (this could cost approx £3500).
- Importing a car for a returning South African on a one-way trip like ours costs about £500 (ish). We will post a report on this when complete.
- If you rent out your house furnished there will be admin costs etc ....while you are away and additional storage costs if you rent it out unfurnished that could add another £1-3k to your cost base, especially if you have to pay to store items.
Everyone is different and what you spend on your trip will vary from the above based on your mode of travel, location and spending habits. The overall lesson we learnt is that it does help to SET a budget and TRY and stick to it BUT allow yourself some wiggle room. Eating bread, drinking water and starving yourself does not really save you that much money in the long run and we found having the odd blow out is a treat worth waiting for. The flip side to this is you can actually become ill and then you have to spend money on medicines etc... A year on the road is longer than you think and its takes it toll in more ways than one. Good hygiene and a good medical kit are areas to focus on and mitigate costs, the water filter was the best buy as we rarely got ill. The vehicle prep is key and having a basic level of kit is important. Whilst you can get spares on the way, it takes time and money to find them. What you spend up front, saves you money in the long run and we would be very sceptical about couples who tell you you can survive in Africa on $25 / per day travelling in a 4x4 to remote locations like we did. Survival Vs having a good time / exploring are two different things!
We hope you find this article useful and would welcome any feedback on your own budget Vs what you spent Vs where you went Vs duration of the trip. We would like to compile a summary and share this via Overland Live. Please email data to me at: nick @ langebaan-sunset.com
Nick & Vicki
Stonehenge to Cape Town 2010/11