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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, i've been around this forum for years but haven't yet seen myself in a van.

Life for us has changed loads - as has everyone else's

I know work from home and only use a vehicle for the dump, odd shop run and a monthly 3 hour drive to the office.

I have had a focus ST for a little under a year, and it's great fun but to be honest, other than hammering it around, it doesn't really do the other jobs very well.

We often go for walks - well we did! and we take the dog and our young son, we have a volvo XC60 which whilst being comfy, is surprisingly annoying for trips out. Once the cage is in the boot and we load up the buggy there's really no room left! so coming back from a cold wet walk, we tend to sit the little guy in the boot to swap cloths etc, with the dog slobbering in the gate and us having to try to change boots and stuff in what little room is left!

So, VAN something i've wanted for years and the wife is slowly coming round to! It's just a case of which one. I'm not really against a caravelle as I can play with the seating arrangement.

Really, I want somewhere safe for the dog cage. Two rear seats - if we ever need 5 seats then the volvo is going to do that job better - I'll be having two up front, don't want a bench, two swivel chairs would be great.

But, I guess it comes down to finance really. I can probably stretch to about £5,000 for this toy, and I don't think that gets me anything worth having does it???

Or Do I really need to wait, save some more and get something better later down the line..

I mean I can't really buy anything at the moment anyway with lockdown so i'm just trying to plan as much as possible.

I don't need a camper (which is 90% of what I see) We're happy with a stove on a table if we ever needed something, as we don't camp, we want the flexibility of staying in a hotel or cottage or whatever whereas we think if we had a camper we're a bit obliged to sleep in it. And it'll be my daily (well weekly) driver.
 

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Hi there,

With your budget in mind as well as your wants and needs, I would say you might be better off waiting a little bit longer for the perfect van to pop up. Keep your eye out on every platform you can, Facebook, ebay, autotrader, gumtree to see what may pop up.

If the budget doesn't grow much, most vans will be high mileage options. Some may even have full service history, with all receipts, others will be more specific with what may need to be changes so they can fill in my blanks for me.

Also, with the budget, is that just for the van with you being prepared to spend a bit extra to get what you want? Or is it to have everything done all together?

Hopefully ive been some help to you, and good luck on your hunt!👍
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi there, I don't mind spending extra on the bits or even on the work, as really what I want might be hard to find - £5,000 is what I can go to cash, extras and other bits can always be plonked on the credit car or something. So no. just the van.

I think as long as I had a nice clean starting point i'd be happy. So lower miles and less rust are more important than anything else really.
 

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My van currently has 230k mile on it and I paid just shy of £6k. Full service history from new, all receipts of work done by previous owner including new turbo, remap and egr valve.

Youll be able to find a little gem hiding somewhere. Just dont feel like you need tonhave all work done right away either, once you have the van, you'll find there will be more things to want to add. The vdub bug.😂
 

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Discussion Starter #6
oh i'm sure. I bought the ST as a bit of a toy...then intercooler, induction kit, replaced the driveshafts, installed powerflex all round - basically a £3,500 car had an extra £2,000 spent on it to make it worth.......£3,500....I'm no stranger to throwing money away on vehicles haha.

I'm not so concerned about the mileage as long as I don't break down on the way to work the fist time going there. I mean all things break, but the work trip is fairly important so needs to be somewhat reliable. Certainly won't be aiming to do it all from the off, probably make sure it's good mechanically before jumping further along.

I think perhaps a combi is my starting point as I have the seats I want and a blank canvas but again, a caravelle isn't a scary option
 

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Hey Hudson and Dave,

I bought my first van Dec 2019. Like you I had a limited budget but I had time on my hands to search for as long as needed (within reason).
I have done this before with other cars and had good results. For every specific item you want (mileage, service history, tail gate, colour, seating arrangement, etc etc) you are going to have to either compromise on or keep searching for even longer.
I put my wish list quite high even to the point of not wanting certain colours. At the same time my budget was also very low at £5000. But I had time on my hands. I’ve done this before with other cars and although it’s taken quite a while to find it’s worked.

As mentioned above I made a list of EVERY place that sold cars or vans online that I could find and made a list of vans on sale close to my price range. I saved searches and wrote findings down every day searching the whole country!

It was hard saying no to practically everything I saw but I knew that it would pay off if I kept going. After 3 months of doing this I found something. Although in the process I realised that £5000 with what I wanted was too low a price. In the end I found a T5 2005 with unbelievable mileage of 116,000 miles on it from what I’d been looking for. I was looking for mileage that was over 150,000 at least for my price range. It had loads of service history, it’s was grey, it had a tailgate, seats on a slider system, (no bed or sink which I didn’t want) etc. Great but I was forced to put the price up. This came in at £8000 although I made a list of a few things wrong with it that I was prepared to tackle myself or get fixed and offered him £7000 which he accepted. It was a car dealer.
Amongst various things the radio didn’t work (turned out to be a fuse), the rear sliding electric door didn’t work (turned out to be the child safety lock), wing mirrors didn’t pull in (no biggie), exhaust didn’t look too good (but it passed the MOT fine), no recent service and no recent cam belt change, etc etc.

After this search and in my experience (if I had less time on my hands and had more money) it would have been easier. I think a more realistic figure to play with so I had more choice and a quicker search time for a younger, nicer van with less issues would have been £10-12,000. Then even better at £15-17,000. At those prices your searching is easier as there’s a lot more choice. I really didn’t have the money so had to hold out.

I’m not sure what other people’s experiences are of prices etc but that’s what it seemed like in my experience. I’d be interested in seeing if anyone else’s experience matched up with mine or didn’t?

Good luck with it all!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
that's certainly interesting and really useful.

I don't think I mind too much about going up in the price but it would need to have more to be worth more. The main thing stopping me overspending is really the fact we have the nice XC60. I don't really want another "nice" vehicle. Don't get me wrong, I want to be comforable and i'll certainly be looking to reduce cabin noise etc but the aim here is to have something that I can come back to with a muddy dog, wet kids, wet boots, muddy bike etc etc. It's going to have a hard(ish) life so i'm certainly prepared to reduce some things in favour of others.
 

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You may well find that the Caravelle will be above your budget - as the 'top of the range' van, with all the toys, they obviously command more in resale value - and those that are cheaper will most likely have been taxis with galactic mileages and be well worn.
The shuttle/kombi options will be cheaper - yes, they'll be more basic perhaps but can also be improved drastically and modified to suit your exact requirements.
Even cheaper still will be a panelvan - easily and relatively cheap to convert into a kombi with side windows etc.
The good thing is there are loads of these vans around, so if you're in no rush, you can take your time and one will definitely pop up that's in budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

I mean this gives me hope. I'm not against a T4 if one looks ok. I mean yes it's high mileage but certainly looks a good contender.... I do wish this lockdown malarky would end...
 

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I’m hunting 4 aT4 as I reckon there a better van than the T5. I also think that there’s more chance I’ll get a decent one and any money spent will be a good investment long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't mind a T4, I think in all reality, with my budget it would be the better buy, plus someone is likely to have already painted it.
 

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I don't mind a T4, I think in all reality, with my budget it would be the better buy, plus someone is likely to have already painted it.
Just watch out for rust on the t4s. There is a post that someone had put on not long ago for what to look when buying a t4.👍
Other than that statement, the van looks quite nice on the outside, nice and straight, could be a good bargain.
This thread can help shed a bit of light on t4s


Hope this helps.👍
 

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The ebay one in the link reads like an honest advert to me. With a very heavy heart I'm almost certainly going to be advertising my caravelle in the not too distant future which I've had since 2011 :cry:
Good luck both with your searches!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
see i'm seeing it the other way round, T5s seem to be better priced.

I'm thinking perhaps it's worth adding to the pot if it gets me into a T5. I mean I could then eventually do a 5.1 facelift conversion, so exterior looks cool, then the seats will be a bit of a as and when.

I'd really like to do rails like your yeti - would be ideal for securing the seats and the dog crate etc.
 

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I always go for the Kombi set up, it's more versatile for kids, bikes, camping and dogs and the rear bench seat can be removed easily should you want to move a sofa.
My current van was a panel van which came in 4K cheaper than a factory Kombi of same age once all the windows and seats were in.
Good luck with the search.
 

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Just replied on your post on PH but google that place in Carlisle you linked a van to. And then don't buy anything from them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Point take Davey, thanks for the heads up.

Am I missing something on the one below? looks a bargain - shame It's the opposite end of the country!


looks lowered or the springs are shot. But cracking Van other than that, mileage isn't bad and a sportline, so a better power plant to play with.

not fussed about the rear, can soon rip that out.

anyone near fraserburgh??
 
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