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Small Vans

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Duke, 14 Sep 2009.

  1. Duke

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 29 Jun 2003

    Posts: 33,592

    Location: Wiltshire

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to sell my car soon and buy a small van for own (company) use. A bit of a down grade but I do very few miles and it seems pointless having both.

    Anyway, I've only even driven a Astra Van (older T reg petrol and newer 1.7 diesel) and didn't really like them although I don't need anything bigger than the Fiesta or Corsa vans really. I've been in VW Caddie but it wasn't even a turbo so was REALLY slow.

    Anyone use one daily and give any advice on which make / model and engine are best? Probably looking to spend 3-4k on a used one, looks like it will get me a 03-05 plate?

  2. Berger


    Joined: 22 May 2003

    Posts: 10,462

    Location: Wigan

    Ill repost what I have written before. I have a 56 plate Ford Transit Connect for work. Little bigger than what your after perhaps, but then you could just use an estate rather than a car/van.

    Mine is the normal wheel base, normal height van, with roof rack.

    Drives very well, mine is the 73bhp (tddi I believe) and power delivery is very linear but underpowered, get it going and its OK but need to drop it into 4th to keep at 70mph on long steep hills (M62). It should handle tidy and feel nice and connected to the road with good steering feel, ABS is an option so see if it has it or not.

    Im seeing high 30s to the gallon on average fuel wise with a light load the majority of the time.

    We have one of the tdci 90bhp ones, and the power delivery on that is all or nothing, and doesnt feel quicker than mine really.

    Since ive had it the rear wheel arch liners crack and had both sides replaced under warranty from Ford.

    The rear door handle broke, so couldnt open the door from the outside, again fixed under warranty, could have been me being a bit rough with it.

    A wheel bearing went.

    Worst fault, at 69k the clocks broke, the van would run fine but the instruments didnt work at all, replaced under warrenty again.

    For longer trips there is no central armrest which is a pain, and only one 12v supply, so have to chop and change between satnav / itrip or get a socket double upper device.

    Cant complain too much, it gets hammered daily like most vans do and its not grenaded!

    Apart from that its just been consumables really, brake pads and tires. Not needed any work done apart from that and mines a 56 plate on 121k now, just had its first MOT which it passed with no advisories.
  3. Lum


    Joined: 23 Nov 2008

    Posts: 3,283

    Location: South Wales

    Just go for an estate car and remove the back seats. Cheaper to insure as not a commercial vehicle and avoids the whole Low Emission Zone rubbish if you ever have to head inside the M25 for some reason.

    Other reason to use a car is if you register it as a personal rather than company vehicle and log your mileage then you can pay yourself 40p a mile tax free (up to 10,000 miles, then 25p a mile) which makes your wages more cost effective.

    And yeah the Caddy SDI engine is a piece of crap, the TDI is much much better.

    If you must have a van, I'd probably look for an ex-BT van or similar.
  4. Duke

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 29 Jun 2003

    Posts: 33,592

    Location: Wiltshire

    Cheers for the info. I have seen a few in Swindon which are ex-NHS or ex-BT fleet which could be good.
  5. I get around


    Joined: 14 Jan 2009

    Posts: 4,325

    I've driven a VW caddy and a Transit connect in these stakes.
    Caddy 2.0TDI, Transit connect 1.8tdi.

    The transit was roomier and more practical but it was so sluggish (not surprising as it had much less power than the caddy) and not very nice to drive, but the caddy while it had less load space and less space in the front was much much nicer to drive, more powerful and yielded better mpg.

    You'd best be good at parking if you get a caddy though, so awkward to park, it's bigger than the tranny even though it's got less load space.
    Last edited: 15 Sep 2009
  6. Perywinkle

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 23 Nov 2002

    Posts: 2,185

    Location: Faygate, West Sussex

    The latest van we got at work was a vauxhall combo 1.3 turbo diesel.
    Tons of storage space which is handy, and the sliding side door is a nice feature on a smaller van.
    Goes well enough too compared to my dog slow na diesel.