Meet the young adult swapping walls for wheels to save money on rent

·2-min read

Henry Shanks, 31, originally from New Zealand, also doesn't see the point in shelling out hundreds of pounds for rent each month. The Brighton-based musician recently bought himself a vintage Mercedes van for £5,000 and is in the process of doing it up. Mr Shanks said: "Coming from New Zealand, for the last 10 years, I have always had an alternative living situation. "I'm just generally against paying rent because the whole concept seems quite foreign to me. "I've got friends who rent a tiny room in Brighton and they are paying £600 a month for what is really just a bed and a wardrobe. "Plus you hear these stories about bad landlords when you're paying them thousands of pounds. "I bought this van second hand for £5,000, but it's a classic old Mercedes, not like those horrible sprinters." Mr Shanks has invested an additional £3,500 in his van, which is clad in oak wood and boasts a log burner, kitchen and upright piano. He said: "The van is insulated and I've got a log burner to keep me warm in the winter. "There's a kitchen and wooden bed, which doubles up as a couch and I'm just about to put in the solar panels. "The piano is a beautiful 60-year-old piano, made in London, which was going to the dump. "The guy was moving house and didn't have the space to keep it, but because of Covid, he couldn't find anyone to come and pick it up. "So I said I'll have that." Asked what luxuries he misses most, Mr Shanks said: "The little things that here in the west we take for granted, like running hot water and flushing toilets. "I don't have a toilet or shower in my van, so I have to use public facilities. "But there's plenty of people out there who have running water, it's just my van is pretty small and I have to move around a lot for work. "It takes a lot of pressure off when you don't have rent to pay." The musician on wheels has played at venues and festivals throughout the country. His music is available on Facebook under the name The Movement of Sound.