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  • Does anyone use a Van every day (car replacement)
  • spooky_b329 – Member
    Rustynissan… Heard that complaint a few times. Try lowering the seat right down (most seem to Jack them right up), seat back a couple more clicks and backrest a bit more upright.

    thanks for the info – I think a problem is that i’m just over 6’5″, so the seat is all the way back and down.
    We did a 3 week tour of Spain&France the other year and I never found a comfy position despite trying a different seat position every day.

    Oddly Sprinter/Crafters are fine – I think the reason being you sit lower with the steering in front of you in a more car like manner rather than the steering wheel being lower as in a Transit or Ducato which maybe pulls the shoulders downwards.


    I’ve got an old naturally aspirated 1.9 Peugeot Expert. I had a car when I bought it but I’ve since sold id. Yes, it’s noisy, slow and not exactly comfortable but I wouldn’t change it. 29er in the back no problems (in fact 29+ also no problem). The bloke I picked up a few months ago limping his bike back to the carpark at Haldon was certainly grateful that I had it.

    One thing though is that I would always make sure I got a van under 6’6″ high so that I can get in most carparks with it.


    The T5 is great when I need it but as a car it is crap. Glad I have an alternative(s).

    Premier Icon eskay

    Tried it. When we bought our T5 we got rid of our BMW thinking the van could do it all but in reality we found it a pain in the arse. Car parks are a chew despite the usual “but T5s are no longer than a Passat” stuff. Regardless, having lived with one they are more difficult to park and manuvere around car parks especially.

    My Vito is RWD and has an incredibly tight turning circle that makes parking a doddle in tight car parks.

    Premier Icon luket

    We have had a van for the last 10 years, a T4 then a T5.5, alongside a car. The newer van is used for a “daily” type of driving. The old one was in less regular use.

    While some vans can be driven at 40+ mpg, the same driving will get far higher mpg out of even a big car, fuel type etc being equal. You can eak 40 out of our T5 if you try really hard, but you do have to try hard. My 2.2 diesel mondeo will do 50+ with the same driving, and it’s not known for its fuel economy. Both of ours average a lot
    lower. Depreciation depends on what you buy but overall is probably fair to assume a bit more on a van. Servicing is more, I’d guess by a similar percentage, and our insurance is more on the van, but by less than £100. The process of getting insurance is not as easy on a van but that doesn’t mean it’s hard.

    So costs are more; you might think unmanageably so or immaterial. I think somewhere in the middle.

    Personally the inconveniences of a van are no problem for local driving and the space is nice. For regular longer journeys I’d get fed up with a big van quite quickly on grounds of comfort, noise, speed and economy, in that order. And ours is quite a nicely specced one.

    Premier Icon core

    I’m using a SWB Caddy as my only transport at the moment, always had hatchback cars previously. Thinking was that it’d be ideal for moving the bike without removing wheels and getting a car dirty, and for shooting now in the winter handy for all the kit and dog etc.

    Haven’t ridden my bike since I’ve had it (6 weeks or more) and been shooting 3 times………

    It is bloody handy, but to be honest I’m already lusting after a car again a bit. Mine is the C20 104, so the more powerful of the standard options, 2009 1.9 TDI. Things might change when I get around to doing some sound proofing/insulation/tarting up internally.

    I do about 20k miles a year on rural A and B roads travelling between building sites mostly, with quite a lot of farm tracks etc. Van is much nicer for those than a car, and ground clearance is good on the Caddy. My journeys are generally 1/2 hour or less, if I was doing longer journeys regularly I’d want something more refined i think.

    Thing to watch with a Caddy, and bigger vans (that aren’t classed as car-derived or dual-purpose) is that lower speed limits apply, 50mph on single carraigeway, and 60mph on dual.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    So costs are more; you might think unmanageably so or immaterial. I think somewhere in the middle.

    I came to this point.

    So bought the Galaxy.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott

    So far I’ve found the additional costs of running the van over my SMax to be marginal. It’s a camper so not sure if this makes a difference. My insurance transferred over from the SMax for nothing but a minor admin fee, so insurance cost negligible – and that was for the usual full on camper insurance cover including UK and Europewide breakdown and recovery cover via Green Flag.

    Fuel is not that much more. A fill up is about the same as the SMax, around 65 litres if I run the tank right down to the reserve, and for the same fill I’m getting maybe 20 – 30 miles less out of a full tank than I was getting with the SMax – so about 470miles per tank instead of 500 miles per tank. On a long uninterrupted motorway run in the SMax I could eek out 600 miles, so not done that in the van yet.

    So more on fuel but not that much more.

    Not serviced it yet but no reason at all why it should cost more to service than a Golf/Audi/Seat/Skoda with the same engine.

    Sure the van is not quite as insulated as a car, it’s a bit nosier, rattlier, but that is not bothering me – its more refined than a lot of cars I’ve had in the past. Maybe earlier versions of the Transporter were more raw than my T5.5 Highline.

    Like most things you just need to decide where you’re prepared to make your compromises. I was happy to sacrifice a bit of refinement for the practicality and fun factor of the van. Dismantling bikes and squeezing dirty bikes in the back of cars trying not to damage or dirty the interior is far more of a ballache to me.


    thanks for the info – I think a problem is that i’m just over 6’5″, so the seat is all the way back and down.
    We did a 3 week tour of Spain&France the other year and I never found a comfy position despite trying a different seat position every day.

    Slamming the seat in our work Expert makes no difference to how uncomfortable it is. It is particularly bad for it – Transporters and Vivaro/Trafics aren’t as bad, but aren’t great.

    Parking and so on isn’t a problem, if anything it’s easier because of the massive mirrors.

    Premier Icon johnnystorm

    My T5 is no less economical to run, no less comfortable and not really much more hassle to park as I don’t often go into a multi-storey. Insurance is cheaper and my daughter likes it that all three of us can ride up front.
    I’d not swap it for a car now. I must note mine isn’t a fancy leather lined example. 😉

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