I was just talking about it with my BF, and we aren't convinced it was that good an investment. If you think about it, he shelled 10,000$ for this, he has to pay his license and registration, + insurance.
Whereas a student room here in Québec City can run about 300$ a month everything included. If he doesn't need a car as a mode of transportation (most people don't here), even if he also pays 100$ a month for the bus, it would take a few years of living in a student room before he comes out to the cost of his van.
In a city like San Francisco or New York, where rentals are super expensive, I can understand that this makes sense. But I don't think that in Québec City it's the best move. Although, more power to him for finding alternative living situations if it makes him happy!