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Blackswanwood

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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
 

Rorschach

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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.
 

Blackswanwood

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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.
 

Lons

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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.
 

El Barto

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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.
 

Jasper42

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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.
 

Fitzroy

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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.
 

petermillard

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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
 

Lons

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Fitzroy":ifgew68z said:
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. :)
 

RogerS

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petermillard":2xpivrbl said:
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)
 

Trevanion

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petermillard":2woc5dfc said:
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...
 

Mark A

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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.
 

Mark A

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Trevanion":xu5t8khy said:
petermillard":xu5t8khy said:
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...
Our local tips banned trailers years ago, and only allow vans and pickups to certain sites 12 times a year.

The nearest tip in the next county had no such limits on vans and trailers, so tradesman, house clearance companies, and travellers with tipper-loads of rubble and green waste would dump their commercial rubbish for free. The tip, operated by a private firm, recycled most of it.

From last spring they banned trailers and vehicles over 2m, and started to ask to see a proof of address after complaints that the queues were too long. From what I've heard, fly tipping is now more common round there than before. I wonder why...
 

TFrench

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We've always run transits and they're very good. The old shape connect was very good as a small van - the seat folded and bulkhead hinged to allow you to get an 8x4 in it.
 

Rorschach

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RogerS":of64erjd said:
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)
I forgot about the waste issue.

I like your idea of putting a box in the back. I will try and remember that if I ever need to do something similar.
 

Droogs

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I use a Kia Seddona. Probably the most versatile car I have ever owned and one of the most comfortable for long drives. It can carry 6 people each in their own captain's chair or 7 when using the bench seat for the 3rd row. It has electric sliding rear side doors just like a van and it takes literally 72 seconds for me to take the rear sets of seats out and 2min to put them back.
When not being used as a the family taxi at get-togethers , I use it as a daily van and can fit 10 sheets of 8x4; 22 3mx4x2 and a lot more in the rear with the seats out. It also carried 22 bags of sharp sand and 13 of cement in one go. When it is not use for that we use it as a camper van as it has space for two full size inflatable single mattresses in the back along with a camping fridge 2 x125ltr bergens a 4 person side tent, 2 chairs a folding table 2x5Gal water Jerry cans and both me and the missus and the mutt at the same time in the back. It has a built in DVD player and wi-fi headphones for when the weather turns rubbish, standard AC when its too hot or cold. It has so far averaged around 38mpg since I got it and it cost me the grand total of £800 with 50K on the clock and now has just over 80K in 2 years.
 

Lons

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Wasn't the Sedona was discontinued for the UK 9 or 10 years ago Droogs?
 
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