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How important is it to "Try before you buy" a T4?

04-04-09, 07:24
Thanks to all those people who told me where they had picked their vans up from. My next question (and there are probably many more!) is how important is it to "Try before you buy" a Transporter?

Are there any places that you would simply trust with the information that they give? Or do you approach every potential purchase cautiously?

The reason I ask, is that living in the Highlands of Scotland, the opportunities to head south, to where most vans are being sold, are very limited.

Any thoughts?

04-04-09, 07:44
Well, I purchased one from bidding on ebay, I had never driven one and I rode my motorcycle 160+ miles to pick it, it did not look as good as it did in the photo's!
I put the bike in the van and on driving it within a mile I had hit a Kerb and scuffed the Alloys (was on a welsh mountain though), so I soon learnt that it did not corner as fast as my Evo!

On getting home the middle exhaust had fell off, the wheels were all found to be buckled and 1 tyre was through to the Canvas on the inside, there was no Jack in the car and the paint did not match on some panels, there was also no oil cap but a piece of rag stuffed in the filler hole....


Oh, I love it now though:)


04-04-09, 07:58
As above. I purchased my 1999 2.5 Velle off e-bay(78000) it being advertised with "a slight dint in the sliding door". This turned out to be a massive dint. Also the chaps dog had eaten the back seat belts. However, with a bit of tlc, it has turned into a good vehicle.
One" extra" I did get was a dead dried up rat in the engine compartment. Good luck


team french
04-04-09, 08:01
its your money and no ones going to look after it if you dont!!!!

ive learnt from experience:(

04-04-09, 08:02
piles of poo, seem to go for lots of money on ebay, just cos they look shiney!

My van was in an ad trader, went to see it, and it was hanging, lots wrong with it like:-

exhaust,tryes,no horn, missing head liners, knackered selector bushes. But on seeing it i knew exactly what was wrong with it and got it for half what the guy was selling it for.

he thought the gearbox was knackered (its not) but would have left me with it for the asking price, if i didn't know better and i got the price down, knowing it was an easy fix, i fitted a new exhaust meself and have almost finished converting it into a camper.

the point im trying to make is, i would assume its unusal to find a second hand van which is perfect, if it is it will be expensive. 9 times out of 10, people want more money for something than its worth, and 9 times out of 10 people will cover up faults or not mention them. what someone thinks is minor might actually be major, as they have no idea, but want good money due to the hours they have spent polishing a turd!

GO AND TEST DRIVE anything to want to buy. it might cost you in the short term to travel and have a look, but there is nothing worse than buying a vehicle and it breaks down half way home!

Mr Mega
04-04-09, 08:03
Common sense dictates that you should "try before you buy" however. I have bought these 2 on ebay, unseen, history looked good, spoke to both sellers at length, bid and went for them.
Yes, I had some expenses but nothing to scary, on the basis i had already planned a conversion budget i was quite happy.
Have had no mechanical issues with either, just normal running expenses, tyres, brakes ,sevicing etc.

These are the add pics

and how they are now}

Would I buy unseen again?


04-04-09, 08:10
very important bud - thought mine was a real genuine find, as i said lady owner - 50k - used for dogs. had previously asked about any damage/bodywork "NO" was the answer,

when i got it home and started washing it, found the passenger door to be a different shade:(

99% of sellers will exagerate the condition of a vehicle - the amount of times ive asked is there ANY rust at all even a tiny bubble on the arches "no perfect" then you get there and its riddled with rust.

Unless you know in your gut its a genuine seller and vehicle or you are prepared to accept some faults just don't bother travelling long distances to find oneT:

04-04-09, 08:40
if you have travelled long distances and find its not what u want and havent put a deposit down - tell them - ive travelled so many miles , you told me it was perfect or this and that , but its not , im wiling to pay -- bla bla bla

just dan
04-04-09, 08:48
trust no one i bought my van at a slightly inflated price as i thought i was getting it from a very local volkswagen specialist with warranty and it was a huuuge mistake the guy s:*ed me and wouldn't honour any warranty claims even though all the things were wrong with it when i bought it i payed for the van under the assumtion that all the problems would be sorted before collection but they wern't so i was asked to bring it back the next week he had it for a week and did nothing this happened multiple time till i'd had it 3 months and it had been with him more then it was with me every time i tryed to collect it he'd be "to busy" to sort it.:bhd
in the end i bit the bullet and payed someone else to sort it out.

so try before you buy and don't trust even reputed dealers

04-04-09, 08:56
if you have travelled long distances and find its not what u want and havent put a deposit down - tell them - ive travelled so many miles , you told me it was perfect or this and that , but its not , im wiling to pay -- bla bla bla

If that was to me bud, i always tell them to look when they sell a vehicle then walk away.T:

04-04-09, 09:00
if your struggling to view a van due to the distance, best thing to do is post up the info on here of the van and location and see if anyone is local that can pop down and have a quick look, it will save you a fortune on traveling to see a vanT: