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Hi everyone, I'm looking to buy a transporter but on a budget of about 5k. I am after a 5 seater so I can go on holiday with the family and a t4 seems to be all I can afford. As they are older vans now, are they expensive to own and run? I get the impression that it's a constant stream of little things that go wrong with them, meaning they are expensive to maintain as they need bits doing to them fairly often. Is this right or am I talking nonsense? Ideally I would get a t5 but they're ridiculously expensive unless they've travelled to the moon and back already.

Could anyone give me some advice please as I have no experience of transporters apart from really wanting one

Thanks

Noob
 

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Nope that's nonsense :D. My 2.5TDi has just clocked up 250,000 miles and still going strong. If you spend a little time doing a few searches on here you will find that if they are maintained properly they will do VERY high mileages; mine is nicely run in now T:
 

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I think it's the same as everything mate. Luck of the draw. Sometimes you can land on a bad one. If you buy right you can avoid a lot of problems. Usual stuff applies, get the best van you can for your budget, look for a good service history, although both my T4's have had limited history. Budget to have the cam belt and water pump changed if it's not already been done and give it a good service when you get it. T4's aren't without problems but most of them are common niggles that are easy or cheap to repair. T5's on the other hand are different. I've had 2 in the past. First one was fine but the second one cost me over a grand to replace a wheel bearing and suspension arm, then over £1500 not long after to repair the gearbox and replace the DMF and clutch. Touch wood so far the biggest job I've done on my T4's has probably been around £200 replacing the exhaust.
Good luck with the hunt. Should land a decent T4 with that amount of money. T:
 

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Hi everyone, I'm looking to buy a transporter but on a budget of about 5k. I am after a 5 seater so I can go on holiday with the family and a t4 seems to be all I can afford. As they are older vans now, are they expensive to own and run? I get the impression that it's a constant stream of little things that go wrong with them, meaning they are expensive to maintain as they need bits doing to them fairly often. Is this right or am I talking nonsense? Ideally I would get a t5 but they're ridiculously expensive unless they've travelled to the moon and back already.

Could anyone give me some advice please as I have no experience of transporters apart from really wanting one

Thanks

Noob
Hi to you.

They can be up to 25 years old now, so anything of that age will not be 'brand new' ............ you pays your money and you take your chance as they say.

1.9D is less complex and less expansive to maintain, 2.5TDI likes a lot of love and attention. I have had 3 brand new (1.9's) and an almost new one (2.5TDI) which I bought over 17 years ago (my ownership spans 25 years), probably spent more that I would like to admit, but T4's can becomes a passion ;)

Like anything if you really want it, just buy the best one you can afford; and read lots on the forum T:T:
 

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One that's been looked after will be more than reasonable if you're on a budget, it may take you some time to find one but it will save you quids in the long run...

dont be tempted with tarted up rubbish, there really is no substitute for good maintainence with these buses..
 

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You can get more trouble with a T5 of a similar value
These are wise words ?? If you are buying a 20 year old vehicle that has been on the road for that 20 years, then it is going to need some parts replacing. There will always be jobs that need doing, just use decent quality parts OE where possible and in some areas a must.
 

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I've had a 2.5TDi 102 for two years now. Hardly any rust at all. The previous owner had loved it and looked after it, so they said. I believed them then and I still do. It had 150,000mls on it when I bought it. Immediately I had to replace rear springs (1 broken), 4 shocks (all knackered originals), all front bushes. To be on the safe side I replaced the coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, gear box oil, all filters. I've also done pads and discs all round. It had been little used and I found that the tyres were flat spotted from just sitting too long so I put new rubber all round as well. Oh yeah, I had a leak around windscreen, so as it was chipped I got that replaced as well.

So my initial 7.8K became about 10K. Thing is, it's a well sorted van now with little more to do (prob need a new clutch and flywheel in the next 15,000mls, another 1K).

You have to buy the best you can afford, but at 5K with 150,000 to 200,000mls on it you have to expect to pay out more when you've got it.

You won't get a decent T5 for 5K, so my personal view is forget that. I think T4 prices seem to have stalled at the moment, so that may be the best way to go. Final thoughts:
  1. Buy the best you can afford, especially body wise. Mechanical stuff can be replaced, but body work can be expensive.
  2. Remember you need to buy the best vehicle, you can turn it into a camper yourself, if you have the skills.
  3. To achieve your criteria you don't have to buy a T4/T5, or even a VW (tin hat time!).
  4. I don't think that they are any more a money pit than anything else, but you will be buying an old vehicle so .........
  5. Don't buy the first one you see, you must see a few and crawl all over them.

Which is a lot of words just to say if you get a good one it'll be err...., a good one :)
 

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Hi mate. I desperately wanted a T4 over a T5, I even drove them back to back. I will say that the T5 was better in a fair few ways but I liked the look and the fixability of the T4 and to be honest I followed my heart. I looked at a few sheds and politely smiled and walked away all the time thinking of just buying a nice T5 through dissapointment as I had a more than appropriate budget but i kept going. In the end I bought a 2.5TDI on an 02 plate and spent a fair few quid having the engine, interior and minor bodywork patches sorted out.
It came in under what I woud have spent on a T5 and I have a sorted (in my opinion) camper that is a daily driver, fishing gear lugger, kid entertainer and holiday/leisure vehicle when required.
All I can say is if you are gonna do it do your homework, the guys on here helped me no end and really know their stuff.
Having said that you will do what your heart tells you I imagine, I did and dont regret it for a moment.
The mechanic where I have my van work done is selling his T4. I know its an earlier 1.9, has a nice interior and has been looked after as im sure you can imagine. Its well within your budget and I know he is eager to sell as he has already bought a Caddy. Nothing in it for me at all, just trying to do someone a good turn as others have done for me. He is just off the M2/M20 and M25 in Kent. I think it would make a great start for a project van or just a great little van as it is. Message me if its of any help to you.

All the best

Pat
 

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My answer to this question is both.

If you get a straight and well serviced T4 and do nothing to it other than keeping up with the maintenance regime it will last a long time and serve you well.

BUT

T4's are getting old now so you may need to factor in bodywork at some point thanks to some pretty poor design issues such as the front arches and wings.

Lastly, and this is the big one. With T4 ownership comes and urge to fiddle and create a van that either makes some kind of statement or perhaps full fills a use as a camper, van for bikes, day van whatever.

All of a sudden the bills will begin to grow. I've seen budget campers, many good one's but people are still spending money on them in some form or other.

The only way round it is buying a pre converted and refurbed van with full service history that perfectly fits your needs. That is a very rare beast in my opinion.

This is actually one of the reasons why I've stayed away from T5's. \\\\\I'd basically be starting again and the bills would actually be bigger thanks to increased scene tax on that front.
 

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I'm biased buy a T4? as everyone says the best base vehicle you can, then send every penny you earn on it (or that just me ??)

sent from the international space station
 

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I'm with The-Fozzer .......... T4's all the way T:


Doesn't anybody buy vehicles nowday's purely for the look of them ? I've always liked the design of the T4, great looking van compared to any other van available since it's conception to the present. The T5 is an ugly duckling which ever way you look at it. Personally I don't care what's under the skin, modern engines can go on for ever these days if well maintained.

I would also like to mention that there is no such thing as 'free motoring', as that's what your original post implies ......... budget of five grand and don't want to spend anymore. What ever used vehicle you buy you will have expenses, twenty year old vehicles will have rust on them no matter which make, some vehicles even rust within five years !

I bought a 2003 2.5 TDi in 2006 with only 48,000 miles on it ......... no rust on it at all ! but I was lucky, the previous owner was a T4 enthusiast and it got pampered Rasp:

Seek and ye shall find.





TURK
 

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Even my workvan T6 has rust turk...LOL: tiny stone chip in the wing got rust in it.
Already ! :eek: seems as though the manufacturers nowdays just keep on cutting corners, very very light 'mists' of paint on every body panel, saves billions in production costs. What isn't painted is plastic, plastic everywhere !


Back in the day, when cars were designed by men and not computers. 1990 original T4 concept designed by people with emotions, designers that had a feeling for what they were doing. That's partly why vehicles of today all look the same, designed by machines, built by robots. And you can always trust a machine to screw things up ! >>




In all honesty, I quite like the look of this ......... Concept based on a T6 TriStar, Syncro version on the cards maybe ?
The interior is absolutely awful though, looks like Liberace front room ! >>





I may have to wait a while before I can pick up a second hand one though LOL:







TURK
 

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I know its tiny. But thats rust right there.

Sorry op not filling you with confidence in Vdubs. Just goes to show everything rusts especially 20 year old things.

Fact is its not something to half heartedly go at if you want something unique or head turning.. its going to hurt the wallet, and probly never come back to your wallet either if and when you sell it.

That syncro looks sweet turk, bet that hurts the wallet even more! I wonder if theres a T6 facelift concept yet..?
 

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if you want something economical to do the job (rather than "unique or head turning") reckon T4s are a good bet all round. one thing we've found is the paintwork is good & assume original on ours.
had little trouble with ours, but 1.9td (no ecu), fairly basic engine (& powerful enough for us as a full camper) so repairs cheaper than many, minimum elec modern effort-savers to go wrong.
love it to bits, our first diesel & van, but we hardly spend anything on mods, just use it.
but it's the actual van that you get that's the crux. like any can only check one out as much as possible & then hope you're lucky. we were, even though we did it all wrong. ask the owners of any you see for a better insight & whether it might suit you, might even be for sale or know of one that is & reckon can be a better bet than other outlets.
just be aware that unlike a car you can adapt a van to quite an extent to suit your needs, many on here have, which might be different to what you think now. ensure your other half is of similar mind.
 

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Ive had a 2002 T4 2.5 tdi for four years and I have nothing to report. Apart from normal servicing and brake pads and a couple of discs etc a faulty oil pressure switch is the only fault Ive had, it cost £7.50 and half an hours labour, total £20......not bad in four years.
 

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It all depends. If you are looking for a standard van and you get one with a good service history, it will cost no more than a car of a similar age.
But if you want to do something special, sky's the limit !!

I took a standard van - I paid £1500 for a great T4 that a mate had owned and had serviced religiously- and then spent another £5k having it resprayed and converted and that was with me doing most of the work myself !!

But at the end of the day it was worth a lot more than I'd paid out so is that a money pit?

Biggest problem these days is that a good unmodified well serviced van is hard to find unless you are prepared to part with a lot of dosh.
 

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The Silver Bullet is a 2000 2.5TDI and has just racked up 305K miles on a 780 mile round trip from Burnley to Newquay and back absolutely no issues.

I paid £4500 for it a little over two years ago. In that time I've spent the following on essential maintenance -

£550 - timing belt and waterpump fitted by independent specialist (previous owner had no proof of it being done)
£65 - new radiator (sprung a leak)
£55 - oil change and oil filter (routine)
£100 - replacement rear springs (both snapped)
£89 - braided brake lines (originals perished)
£12 - handbrake cable (snapped)
£25 - new front brake pads (routine)
£7 - replacement rear dummy fog light (dropped out and run over...)
£32 - track rod ends (routine)
£110 - power steering pump (worn out squealing bearings)

So in the time I've owned it it's cost me just over £37 per month in essential maintenance, which for my money isn't too bad and it's far from a money pit. That said, the previous owner had looked after it very well.
 
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