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By Blackswanwood
#1336512
I am looking at getting a small van as a run around as my “proper” car isn’t really that practical. As I am embarking on bringing a couple of outbuildings back to life having something that can accommodate a bit of building gear feels and mess it feels like a good option.

Researching online and having a look at local dealers the VW Caddy looks to be a good option. Has anyone any experience of using one that they could share?

Cheers
By Rorschach
#1336520
Can't speak to the van itself but make sure when you are doing any research that you take into account things like insurance. Vans as commercial vehicles can have higher premiums and more restrictions, even if only being used for personal rather than business use.
You might be better suited buying a people carrier or estate car and putting blackout film on the windows. Guess it depends on the type of work you plan on doing.
By Blackswanwood
#1336528
Thanks - it’s actually cheap to insure ... £160 comprehensive with a £250 excess. There seems to be a lot of insurers catering for non business van owners.
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By Lons
#1336534
i can'r comment on the Caddy but I had 3 VW Transporters which were completely reliable and virtually fault free. I wish I'd kept my last one and converted it into a campervan which is what my wife wanted me to do.
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By El Barto
#1336555
I drove a Caddy for work for a few years in a past life (about 15 years ago) and it was bloody brilliant! Never had a problem with it.
By Jasper42
#1336558
Wife had a caddy for work a while back, she loved it, drove really well and never any issues. Unlike the 3 none VW has had since then.
By Fitzroy
#1336561
The 8x4 sheet is the key. Rented a small wheel base van once without checking a full sheet fit and it totally limited what I wanted to do.

F.
By petermillard
#1336565
One thing to watch for is that often vans aren’t welcome at local tip/recycling centre, or are made to pay. It does depend where you are in the country - as an LBHF resident I can take stuff to the local tip in a van, but I have to go into the commercial section via the weigh bridge, so a load of paperwork and hi-vis/hard hat etc..etc..

Unless you specifically need van capabilities, I think I’d consider at an old estate car/people carrier you can pull the seats out of and make van-like.

Moot point if you’re not planning trips to the tip of course, but something to consider.

Cheers P
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By Lons
#1336568
Fitzroy wrote:The 8x4 sheet is the key. Rented a small wheel base van once without checking a full sheet fit and it totally limited what I wanted to do. F.


That was critical for my vans so I had LWB versions. The VWs even with full bulkhead could carry 8x4 easily either flat or on edge. I fitted a simple wood frame support rack in each so I could tie up up end as I often carried plasterboard and plastic sheet as well as ply and MDF without damage and freeing up space for all the other stuff, got used a couple of times for part of the kids house moves as well though I'm not sure that was a positive thing.

I often miss having a van available even though I kept my trailer and a mate has recently done the same thing as the OP is considering, got rid of his wifes Nissan and bought an ex BT van. The downside is she now drives his car and it's developed a rash of dents and scratches. :)
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By RogerS
#1336595
petermillard wrote:One thing to watch for is that often vans aren’t welcome at local tip/recycling centre, or are made to pay. It does depend where you are in the country - as an LBHF resident I can take stuff to the local tip in a van, but I have to go into the commercial section via the weigh bridge, so a load of paperwork and hi-vis/hard hat etc..etc..

Unless you specifically need van capabilities, I think I’d consider at an old estate car/people carrier you can pull the seats out of and make van-like.

Moot point if you’re not planning trips to the tip of course, but something to consider.

Cheers P


You beat me to it. As you say it depends on what you're doing. Sheet materials..most companies will deliver. But renovating something ? You're always going down to the tip (unless you want to spend a fortune on skips and even then when you think the last skip has gone, there's always more crud to take to the tip). I had a Hyundai Santa Fe...removed the rear seats and inserted a three sided MDF box. I slung the lot in there ...from bricks and rubble to junk. You should have seen the look on the tip guy's face ! I could fit more in the Santa Fe then you'd get in a small trailer (and we only had passes for 6 trailer loads a year)
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By Trevanion
#1336599
petermillard wrote:One thing to watch for is that often vans aren’t welcome at local tip/recycling centre, or are made to pay. It does depend where you are in the country - as an LBHF resident I can take stuff to the local tip in a van, but I have to go into the commercial section via the weigh bridge, so a load of paperwork and hi-vis/hard hat etc..etc..


Our local tip doesn't allow trailers with more than two wheels to enter without a waste carrier's license. I know someone who took one without knowing that rule and was rejected at the gate even though the rubbish was clearly domestic and not excessive, so he reversed it back out of the gate and jacked up the trailer and took off two wheels and went back in without any issue...
By Mark A
#1336614
We have a 2013 Vauxhall Vivaro, bought new (pre-registered for a massive discount) and it's been faultless. Apart from tyres and brakes, nothing has needed to be done to it. For three years it pulled an 8x5 trailer, often loaded right up to the van's 2 tonne max tow weight, and never missed a beat.

We're thinking about changing the van this year for something newer before it needs any expensive repairs, but what to buy? Modern diesels are becoming increasingly complicated (Adblue, DPF's, twin turbos, start-stop etc) and with that comes cost when things break outside of the warranty period.