Advice on vans

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Zee_18, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Zee_18

    Zee_18 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    Hi All,

    I'm currently just in the starting up phase of my business & am in need of a van. My knowledge however is not the best, so i am in need of expert knowledge.

    At moment I'm looking for a second hand van, which will be doing round trips of maybe 200miles twice a week at the moment, carrying pallets which could weigh between 200 - 600kgs per a pallet.

    I have seen some vans but the mileage is very high e.g. the current van I've seen is a Citroen relay L3H2 2012 mileage is 192,000. Would such a van with such high mileage be reliable? I've seen vans with mileage as high as 250k+. How would this effect the overall performance of a van?

    Your help would be much appreciated.
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: Zee_18 Member since: Dec 31, 2018
    #1
  2. billmccallum1957

    billmccallum1957 UKBF Ace Full Member

    1,933 406
    We went through a 2 year period of different vans, 5 in total.

    Have to say the best by far was our current Transit. 1.8 litre, long wheel base and high roof.

    Not great on fuel, but in terms of reliability, it has, by far, outdone the others (Renault, Merc, LDV and Citroen).
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: billmccallum1957 Member since: Feb 11, 2016
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  3. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,008 235
    Get a van that is bigger than you think you'll need, get the most powerful engine in it you can afford and make sure it looks good,first impressions and all that.......get it covered by the RAC, AA etc
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
    #3
  4. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,327 3,233
    Best experience - Transit.

    Worst experience - Citroen or Renault. It was a close-run thing!

    Remember that every 'Stig-with-a-Spanner' knows how to deal with a Transit!
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  5. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,293 338
    Ford forever!
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #5
  6. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    713 167
    Used to run a fleet of merc sprinters a decade ago, couldn’t be beaten back then, but transits have come along in leaps and bounds.

    As for reliability, hard to say, so much depends on drivers, maintenance etc.
     
    Posted: Dec 31, 2018 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  7. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    3,849 1,225
    I would never touch a Ford I would only go for Mercedes Sprinters for long distance work
    I have had them do half a million miles
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2019 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
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  8. ITBadger

    ITBadger UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    21 1
    I'd avoid any at that mileage, what you'll save on initial price you'll make up for in maintenance costs pretty much immediately.

    Spend a little more now to save later, a decent 08 transit will set you back a couple of grand, a clean one will look smart enough and will be fairly reliable (for a used van).

    There's a reason everyone uses transits.
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2019 By: ITBadger Member since: Oct 23, 2018
    #8
  9. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,095 269
    Yes, but : We started with a lightly-used Sprinter and a replacement non-Mercedes DPF, which was a crock but everybody kept assuring me wasn't, which probably caused diesel to leak into the sump, which led to excessive engine wear and frequent oil changes, which when missed led to the engine deciding to run on sump oil instead of diesel, which led to *BANG*.

    So, Sprinters are great, as long as you have a properly-functioning original DPF or are happy to pay £800 for a new one.
     
    Posted: Jan 2, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #9
  10. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE UKBF Legend Full Member

    3,849 1,225
    You have to look after them Noah . You just cant put the hammer down 14 hours a day and not look under the bonnet :):)

    I have the link for bus time table if your struggling :)
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #10
  11. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,095 269
    Ever helpful, Jeremy, ever helpful.

    I relied on our mechanic next door, and while I realised diesels were not quite his area of expertise, when I spoke to the Merc dealer, he basically said "Look, just pop down here and leave your wallet with us and we'll let you know when it's empty".
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
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  12. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,327 3,233
    Back in the 'Good Old Days' Mercedes were cheaper to run, both for cars and commercial vehicles. They cost more to buy, but parts were cheap and they seldom went wrong. For example, a water pump for a Toyota or Citroen van cost £80 and they often needed to be replaced. A water pump for a Mercedes D208 van cost £25 from the dealer and you got a part reconditioned by Mercedes themselves. They were designed to be cheap to run and to last almost for ever.

    Sadly, those days are over!

    The unavoidable fact is that a decent used van (LWB, high roof) will set you back about £10,000 if you go for something sensible. You can buy an £8,000 van and spend £2k on repairs, or you can buy a £1,000 old banger and spend £9k on repairs, but the net result is pretty much the same.

    You will cut your repair costs in half if you find your local 'Stig-with-a-spanner'. He will be somewhere out there - just ask the local trades people, they always know who to go to! He will not have a reception area, a service manager or a courtesy car, but he will charge you a fraction of what the dealerships or even the more 'ritzy' independent repair shops charge.

    I had to have two springs replaced on my car - dealership price £590 plus VAT. Local guy £230.
     
    Posted: Jan 3, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  13. Zee_18

    Zee_18 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    Thank you everyone for your replies! a lot of helpful information. Ive shortlisted a few mainly transits and sprinters hopefully shall something that will run for at least a year!
     
    Posted: Jan 13, 2019 By: Zee_18 Member since: Dec 31, 2018
    #13
  14. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,427 743
    Traditionally, in the van world, there are two types of vans. There are Transits, and there are vans that are not Transits.

    However, if you are looking at older vans, the history of the van is going to be a massive factor. Get the van looked at by someone that knows about vans. Mileage is less of a factor than good use, and good maintenance - a lot of vans will do a few hundred thousand miles. But stuff will fall off, and you will have to put aside some money to keep an older van going.
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #14
  15. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,293 338
    I quite fancy getting a Transit and converting the back into a camper...

    Two obstacles though
    Firstly, I can't decide whether to get an older one a relatively new that will hopefully require less maintenance, as it won't be used often.
    Secondly, and the bigger of the two obstacles, is that my wife won't let me get a van....
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #15
  16. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,327 3,233
    Just get one!

    My brother-in-law was also told by his wife that under no circumstances could he get a camper-van, so he just went out and bought one. "Hell, I earn all the money here, so she can just lump it!" was his attitude!

    She pulls a face and sucks air through her teeth every time she sees it, but in his eyes, it is a thing of beauty - and I have to agree with him, it is!
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #16
  17. Gordon - Commercial Finance

    Gordon - Commercial Finance UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,293 338
    We had agreed a compromise and I bought a pickup for myself instead...which is fine and I've now got my "dream car", but its not a van....

    If I can get say £15,000 worth of business from your recommendations @The Byre ....then I will buy a van and paint your face on the side of it....let me know if that works for you.

    I would consider also naming rights to the van...
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: Gordon - Commercial Finance Member since: Jun 26, 2017
    #17
  18. atmosbob

    atmosbob UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,665 817
    When I bought my first van I had some helpful advice from a repair garage that kept detailed computer records of all their customers' vehicles. The advice was "never buy secondhand". You just do not want breakdowns. They are much more costly to a business than just the cost of a repair by some tyro with a spanner.

    As funds were short I bought on a lease purchase agreement. By shopping around I got a lease deal £480 cheaper than I was first offered. Make sure you read every single word of the agreement.

    If the driver of the vehicle is an employee ask him/her to do a test drive. Happiness about your decision is important.
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
    #18
  19. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD UKBF Contributor Free Member

    99 28
    A good bet would be to find a company disposing of ex fleet vans- in particular BT, electricity boards or British Gas. They buy so many at a time that they can afford to let them go a little cheap, and they should have good service history.

    It's not foolproof- my 09 Corsa has been pretty bombproof since I bought it with 70k on it (now on 110k) I reccomended the company to a friend, he bought a Transit from them with similar miles/history and had no end of problems. I think he's scrapped it now, after a new engine too!

    In your case 200 miles twice a week is quite a bit. I'd be tempted to buy new on HP with the longest warranty you can find. This might mean looking at less popular makes.I did this with a digger. I got one with five years warranty and five years finance. So it costs me £xxx per month to have it sitting there for when I need it, and this is pretty much a fixed cost due to the warranty. After five years I shoudl get half the purchase price back if I sell it. Residuals won't be quite as good on a van, but run the math and see how it compares to the best deal you can get locally for hiring a van 2x a week every week. In my case it woudln't cost much per month to hire a similar digger, but after five years its mine and the time savings in having it here when I need it are worth far more than the cost of the finance.
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018
    #19
  20. Noah

    Noah UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,095 269
    But what about the van?
     
    Posted: Jan 14, 2019 By: Noah Member since: Sep 1, 2009
    #20