What’s the ‘taxi’ of the van world? Cheap van knowledge please!

#1
I’ve decided I ‘need’ a van. Need in the sense of want but that quickly mutates into a need in my mind.
I want a cheap van for those times when I need the space but don’t want to put a load of crap in my car, and because due to various hobbies etc my car is constantly full of stuff and it’s a horrible mess and I have to empty every time I want to get the kids in.

Thinking of a Berlingo or variant as they seem to be pretty ubiquitous in all kinds of ages, definitely cheap and I’ve heard certain engines are economical yet perform well driving wise. This is not a commercial vehicle need, just a thing to save mileage and mess in the family car. As the wife doesn’t share my vision of ‘need’ it must be as cheap as possible without being a wreck/potential money pit.
It’s possible I’ll want to insulate / ply line it and kip in it occasionally with a false floor to keep a stove/dossbag, hobby kit etc in, but it’s not a camper at all.
So- what do I need to be looking for, avoid, check etc?

As per the title- looking for the van equivalent of ‘the discerning taxi drivers choice’
 
#6
Have you owned a van before?

Check the road tax for a commercial vehicle, first.

1.4 TDCi Ford Fiesta car = £35.00
1.4 TDCi Ford Fiesta van = £235.00

Just something to be aware of.

To avoid the charge, convert it to a camper (check with DVLA for T&C’s)
or register it as Private Light Goods (new van only) and pay 20% VAT
 
#7
Thanks @arfah i didn’t know that but may well go down the camper route if that’s the case although that may be outweighed by insurance?

Either way I’ll be hammered on excess mileage on my car if I don’t rein it in before I give it back..
 
#8
It really depends on how big you need it to be. My Transit Jumbo is too big for your use probably. But my suggestion would be get yourself off the floor get a fold up cot. Or do what I did and make a fold up bed mounted to one side.
If it's just you, go for a VW T3 or similar size, try to avoid the Mercedes Vario rot box. If you try for car based vans, they will be just too small to stretch out in.
 
#9
Thanks Robin. Sleeping in it would be a handy bonus tbh. Last minute trip with an early start next day and weather gash/can’t be arsed to bivvy or pitch a tent, so the fold up false floor would be more for storing stuff I didn’t want to Chuck other crap on or have rolling around the back. The budget I have in mind might not buy the door of a T3 let alone the van
 
#11
You could always go for the base model Mk6 or 7 Transit. Yes they do rust, but if you look around there are some good ones out there. Being a Ford you can get spares almost everywhere.
 
#13
Get a pug that can run on veg oil 75p a ltr motoring yiu'd be looking at one thats a few years old but worth hunting one down, if you use face ache then a good fourm about bio diesel and veg oil and what cars will run on them,
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
We have a lad who does a bit of work for us round the farm who is well into his bangernomics.

Every few months he buys a cheap van. Now when I say cheap, I mean a couple of hundred quid. It’s usually a Berlingo or Citroen Dispatch or Transit Connect. Something that sort of size.

Anyway seems to work for him. On average he gets about 6 months to a year out of each one before it gets scrapped and he moves on to the next heap of shite.

If you can cope with knowing that you WILL break down at some point, it seems to be quite an economical way of doing things.

And **** it, it’s a van. Doesn’t need to be flash, clean, free of dents or even have panels that are the same colour.

Edit: Although personally I’d get a Skoda Yeti instead of a small van. Back seats come out (literally in seconds) and they’re absolutely bulletproof. 4x4 and will go pretty much anywhere if you stick some decent tyres on it.
 
#15
Get a pug that can run on veg oil 75p a ltr motoring yiu'd be looking at one thats a few years old but worth hunting one down, if you use face ache then a good fourm about bio diesel and veg oil and what cars will run on them,
A pug? As in 'Peugeot?'

Do **** off.

They have clutches made pout of marzipan and they are pretty ******* close to un-driveable.

Well, the one the Army let me borrow for a weekend was...
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Kangoo, awesome, tons of room, comfortable. And quiet .............until I got my ears syringed. Great fun to drive whether on motorway or shithole country road. Does kerbs and potholes without any trouble. Nice drive height and the automatic will destroy Range Rovers at the lights. Great fun.
(you'll do it once, the next set of lights he floors it in orange and gets busted)
 
#17
I spent the last 5 years of my working life driving vans - Transits, VW Transporters and Citroen Dispatches. The most car-like was the VW but I always enjoyed driving the Citroen the most. Self leveling suspension and various other Citroen clever little bits.
 
#18
Edit: Although personally I’d get a Skoda Yeti instead of a small van. Back seats come out (literally in seconds) and they’re absolutely bulletproof. 4x4 and will go pretty much anywhere if you stick some decent tyres on it.
I very nearly bought a Yeti. Nice car, looks good, good driving position, plenty of toys and cheap. Might still get one maybe.
 
#19
We have a lad who does a bit of work for us round the farm who is well into his bangernomics.

Every few months he buys a cheap van. Now when I say cheap, I mean a couple of hundred quid. It’s usually a Berlingo or Citroen Dispatch or Transit Connect. Something that sort of size.

Anyway seems to work for him. On average he gets about 6 months to a year out of each one before it gets scrapped and he moves on to the next heap of shite.

If you can cope with knowing that you WILL break down at some point, it seems to be quite an economical way of doing things.

And **** it, it’s a van. Doesn’t need to be flash, clean, free of dents or even have panels that are the same colour.

Edit: Although personally I’d get a Skoda Yeti instead of a small van. Back seats come out (literally in seconds) and they’re absolutely bulletproof. 4x4 and will go pretty much anywhere if you stick some decent tyres on it.
We did a study on that at university, buying one banger after another for cash with a life expectancy of around 4 to 6 months. It came out of a mate who had just moved job to a more desk based role and forcefully had his company car ripped from his grasp. He was more into motorbike's anyway and just needed a car for the occasional client visit, taking wimmin out and moving larger items.

The study was based on prices of older executive vehicles (BMW/Audi) and sports cars like Porsche 944's. It worked out that he would be quids in compared to taking loans or lease agreements. You need to get into the mindset of "if it breaks abandon it", then call the AA to tow it to a scrappy and go buy a new banger.
 
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#20
Have a look at the Vauxhall Astra Van Sportive. I have a friend in trade that reckons it's the best van he's had.

See here for example.

I had a Post Office van for a while which was cheap-as-chips to run, but they ceased production in 2002.
I do recall however that the insurance companies do or at least did regard a van as a commercial vehicle however it was used and I could not transfer my car no claims to my van insurance.
 

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