A HOUSE move turned into a nightmare for a retired Hampshire couple after their hired van broke down and was towed away with all their worldly possessions inside.

Primrose and Duncan McNeill were moving from their house in Hythe to start a new life in Plymouth last Friday when they broke down on the A35 in Dorset at 5.30pm.

The couple had packed all their possessions - including clothes, furniture, a washing machine and a tumble dryer - into a Europcar van they rented through Nationwide Hire UK.

Primrose, who was driving behind the van in a car, went ahead to Plymouth but Duncan was left stranded by the side of the busy road or seven and a half hours with no food or water.

Nationwide Hire UK sent a mechanic who was unable to fix the van.

It was towed to a garage leaving Duncan in a Tesco car park in Dorchester after 1am to make his own way to Plymouth.

A week later the van is still at the garage with all their possessions inside.

Duncan, 66, had to pay for a £130 taxi to his daughter's home in Plymouth where the pair are staying until they find a place to live.

They also had to shell out £150 on clothes, including underwear.

The retired couple have now been told they need to unload their possession, including a washing machine, from the broken van which is currently in a Poole garage and load it into a new van provided by Nationwide Hire UK without any assistance from removal teams, something they said they cannot physically do.

Duncan added: "We have been treated totally unfairly, there has been no real correspondence and we have just been brushed aside and are being ignored. The worst thing was being left on the side of the road without any food or water. I was so distressed and upset and angry."

Primrose, 74, added: "We have waited and waited and we keep phoning them and we don't want to be a nuisance but it has been a absolute nightmare. Nationwide kept saying it was Europcar's responsibility and Europcar kept saying it was Nationwide's responsibility."

A spokesman for Nationwide Hire UK said: "We are doing everything we can to help the customers."

Europcar said it had no record of the customer.