DRIVING thousands of miles across Europe in an old banger might sound like a recipe for disaster.

But three students from South Lakeland plan to journey from Milnthorpe to Slovakia in a car that cost them just £500, in a bid to raise money for Dementia UK.

“There’s quite a large older population around here so we chose to raise the money for a dementia charity,” said Oliver Chaplow, of Haverflatts Lane, Milnthorpe, who will complete the challenge with friends, Marcus Rudd and Paul Gibson.

“We wanted to help a charity that’s a bit less mainstream too. The money will go to a great cause.”

The trio, all 21, will set off for Bratislava, Slovakia, on July 31, staying in hostels and camping along the way.

They will complete dozens of challenges along the way, including taking a turn around the Nurburgring.

The trip was suggested to them by Student Adventures, a company which sets tasks for young people wanting to raise cash for charity.

Part of the challenge was to buy a car for less than £500, so the group will drive the distance in a 13-year-old Renault Megane bought from a car yard in Preston.

“We have quite a bit to do on it,” said Marcus, of Ashfield. “I’m a little bit anxious about it but it’ll be an adventure for sure.”

Oliver and Marcus met at Milnthorpe Primary School at the age of four and became friends with Paul at the age of 16.

Both Oliver and Marcus are students, who work part-time at the Olde Fighting Cocks pub in Arnside. Paul  is training to be a paramedic.

They will spend the next four weeks working on the car and preparing for the epic trip – and hope local people will sponsor them by visiting www.virginmoney-giving.com and searching for ‘Bratislava or Bust’.