Having a bike van as my only transport
I’ve had vans as my personal drive for most of the last 5-6 years until recently
I and miss it
Had an expert ugly as **** but three seats and could sleep in it
Replaced that with a huge master
And that’s the one I miss , it was so comfy
And not to hard on fuel being 6 speed and a 120 dci
Who needs cars well apart from car parks with height limitsPosted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
Had a lwb transit. Not the only car but the one I used the most. Survived well but 30mpg was a killer for the long commute. Sold when we moved to oz but will be replaced soon. There were 3 in the works car park by the end. Some people daud stuff but it looked better than some of the modded chav carsPosted 4 years agoDrRSwankMember
I’m lucky at the moment in that I’m able to afford a car and a bike van. I brought my little Berlingo (Bingo) and have really enjoyed driving him around.
Having a vehicle that can cope with Ickes with wheels in is just brilliant and I’m finding myself driving Bingo more and more. To the extent that I’m tempted to sell both van and car and buy a bigger and newer (Bingo is quite old) van.
I’ve been eyeing up the new Transits which are three seats across the front and as nice to drive as my car (and better equipped).
I work in an office and its fair to say any van would be alone in the corporate car park…. Has anyone else chosen the way of the van? And I appreciate there are many out there that have vans for work – this is a “lifestyle” choice and is definitely not a necessity.
Do people that don’t need vans, have vans as their sole transport?
I’ve le this in the bike forum as it seems vaguely related.Posted 4 years agodoubledunterMember
Only van driver here for last two years, had an old kangoo van for work duties and the odd bike duty and an audi a4 which hardly moved , decided to get rid of the car and buy a newer van, ended up with a Renault Trafic sport, best decision I made and probably wouldnt go back, van does everything I require.Posted 4 years agoSamMember
For all the time I’ve lived in the UK until the last 18 months I only had vans – first an L reg Renault Trafic – the french wench, ex-school bus with the seats taken out. That not only had horrible mileage but didn’t do more than 60 miles an hour.
Next up was the longest lived, an R reg Transit SWB high top. Did my first (quite shonky indeed) camper conversion on that and it was great. Was getting the usual Transit rust over the wheel arches and back door – funniest work time was turning up at the BA offices for meeting with them in it, all suited and booted.
Then I got my sadly departed VW LT35 MWB. Fantastic van but really pretty huge for general driving around town. Absolutely hauled on the motorway though and was nearly done with a very nice camper conversion when the engine blew up – in the middle of Ireland no less – very sad to see it go.
Now I am no longer corporate at all I have the most corporate car yet, VW Passat, I can throw 2 whole bikes in the back and very easy to stick a towbar mounted rack on for another 3. So much more comfortable and economical to drive around town it’s not funny.
So yes, it’s do-able, but a regular car will be much more practical as a daily driver. That said, I will own a van again some day – probably with something small and sporty for general use.Posted 4 years ago
If you work in a office and use the vehicle twice a week for bikes, for me thats a heavy compromise. A van is great if you use it most of the time for stuff that a large estate can’t handle.
In Jedi’s case he uses it for work/his job, a gardener would love a van etc etc.
I love Transit’s, love how you can place them really easy, move them around etc etc. However a three-seater, well my neighbours wouldn’t like it (couldn’t blame them). However why not a van but….with 5 seats, two side windows etc? Makes it more usable?
T5, Vivaro etc etc all have them. Makes them a great family bus/cross utility vehicle and you wont look like a Pie key trawling an area for motorbikes/pickings etc… 😉 This way it looks acceptable in all situations.
I keep thinking about the newshape Berlingo (car).Posted 4 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
My Caddy is perfect for lugging bikes around and isn’t too much bigger than a car. It’s a little short to sleep in but the Caddy Maxi would be about perfect.
Mine’s the 1.9TDi and averages about 45mpg 😀
Personally I can’t see myself going back to driving a car.Posted 4 years agobazzerMember
Recently got a new Renault Trafic Sport for carrying mountain bikes and my motorbike for trackdays.
I do have a car as well, but hardly used it since I have got the van. Its way easier to live with day to day than I was expecting.
Van is nice to drive more economical than car (BMW 135i) and it has all the toys on it. SatNav Bluetooth phone and A2DP etc etc
I really like it and if one of my vehicles had to go it would be the BMW at the moment !!!Posted 4 years agochimpymcchimpSubscriber
Not exactly the same but I have a Peugeot Partner (same as berlingo). It can be a car when needed for regular stuff; with the seats folded a van (have easily fitted three MTBs in the back without removing anything, and has a towbar too); and with a Boot Jump it can be a camper van too. Absolutely love it! It’s really slow though, but the last time I calculated I got 47mpg from it, and I’m happy sitting at 65. It’s also super comfy and like driving a conservatory 🙂Posted 4 years agograhamgMember
‘Only transport’??! Don’t forget walking, cycling, buses and trains, if you think about the odd alternative like that then you won’t have to use the van for every single journey. Then relish the journeys you take where the van is a boon and don’t bother with ballache journeys that aren’t essential.Posted 4 years agochakapingSubscriber
I’ve recently got a Vivaro SWB crewcab, replacing Mondeo.
It’s slow, does rubbish MPG and handles crap. Spec is very basic and it’s a pain on the odd school run I have to do.
Hugely practical for family holidays and bike trips though.
We’ve also got a Fiesta for local journeys, not sure I’d be happy with just the van. Would probably want something a tad smaller.Posted 4 years agomadjakMember
I have had vans on and off for years and have had a van as my daily transport for over 10 years and love them.
Currently have a VW T4 Transporter 2.5td, use it for bike most weeks or camping in, its just a panel but insulated and borded with bulk head and a bike rack. Has a leisure battery for running the stereo and charging stuff. Love driving it, 36+ mpg round town and more on a run, up to about 45 mpg.
Insurance wise I have a car/private policy via HIC that lets me drive other cars as well. Point to note, a lot of companies who offer van insurance for SDP only (not for commecial purposes) will commute you NCB to commecial. You may then find it difficult to switch this back to a car policy. Worth checking first.
Lots of vans including the T4 come fitted with side windows and rear seats making them a great multipurpose vehicle. From the factory the T4’s like this were sold as window vans so you can do the national speed limits as well. I’m sure other vans have this as well. Car rates through tolls as well.
I’m in no hurry to go back to a car, just don’t miss them.Posted 4 years agomessiahMember
The van is not our only car so technicaly I’m cheating… we just ditched our medium sized car (mine) and big 4×4 (hers) for a smaller car (hers) and a van (mine). We use the smaller car most of the time for family stuff and shopping etc so the van is for adventures. I catch the train or bike to work a lot of the time unless the bike is in the back for adventures after work. I was never that happy leaving an expensive bike in the back of the car even hidden under blankets; but in the van under blankets its much harder to see what it is. Van is a Kombi so 5 seats with enough room behind the seats for bikes and camping equipment (for the 4 of us); no need for a towbar mounted theft magnet.
The van is nicer to drive than the big 4×4 it replaced (IMHO) and cheaper on fuel, tax, and insurance which is nice.
Picked up two friends to go biking last night with the van. Could have done the same with the car but the van was so much easier with no bike dismantling required and somewhere to change out of the rain and faff with bags etc… we could easily have piled in another couple of bikes and people if required and probably will in the summer.
No regrets so far and I’m looking forward to many more van adventures in the coming years.
*sing* van adventure, its an adventure in a van *sing*Posted 4 years agoJohnClimberSubscriber
Has anyone driven the new Transit Custom, smaller version.
How would that be to like with?Posted 4 years ago
Only got a van now, MWB medium roof Transit Crewcab (6 seats). As a community nurse it does look a bit unusual to turn up in a big white van, but who cares.Posted 4 years ago
Also, as I technically use it for commercial purposes (driving at work)I have to have proper van insurance although through the NFU it was the same as the cost of insuring my Mondeo.
No real problem using it day to day, more likely to use the bike or walk for short local journeys so thats a plus as well.
Measure economy tank by tank and getting around 30mpg at work, all stop/start short journeys, 38mpg on a run at 60-70mph.
Looked at a little run around car as well but the cost of running wouldn’t cover the fuel saving.eskayMember
I am seriously considering getting rid of my car and getting a combi.i cycle to work most days so do not use a vehicle much in the week, my wife has a car so the van seems sensible. I am constantly putting the tow bar rack at the moment to cart my bike and my 2 lads bikes to various events.
The question is though, how much do you need to spend to get a half decent second hand van? I would ideally like a swb combi transporter.Posted 4 years agob rMember
We’ve a LWB Ducato based horsebox, and while it drives well and is surprisingly economical (Luton style but still averages 35mpg) there is no way I’d want to have it as my only vehicle. Insurance is cheap at £220 comp (any driver, over 25).
And tbh surely a better compromise would be a people carrier with the rear 1/3 blacked out. That way still 5 seats but plenty of bike and other space – plus you could remove seats for more space.Posted 4 years agocolpSubscriber
Owned a Vito 120 Extra Long since 2006. I can fit 7 bikes in the back fully built up – just roll them in, and there are still 5 comfortable seats with loads of legroom. Auto box, does 0-60 in a bit over 8 seconds.
Economy is usually around 30mpg, maybe up to 34 on a long run.
I’ll be getting another in a few years, wouldn’t even consider a car again. Whenever we go anywhere as a family, we take the Vito rather than my wife’s Lexus as it’s just more comfortable in the end.
Just like this one:
Posted 4 years agojulianwilsonMember
It seems as though you working in an office seems to be the only barrier to you only having the van: stuff your colleagues, do it!
Transporter/vito sized vans are that bit narrower than transits (mine often parked nose to nose with my neighbour’s transit and I reckon his sticks out 8″ more into the road than mine), fit in ‘normal’ parking spaces without upsetting colleagues too much, and pretty good on fuel.
Our only vehicle is a t4 2.5 tdi caravelle and you can insure it as a car, it has 8 seats if we want (but usually rear bench is in the garage) and is quieter and comfier than the panel van version. We have a t5 “shuttle” (ie big people carrier) on loan at the mo whilst ours is at the menders, and it is even quieter/comfier still, and according to the computer it seems to do very resonably on fuel given that it is the lwb and full of seats, trim, gadgets etc.Posted 4 years agotinsyMember
I agree just do it, the new Transit is very good, as is the Vito, for me I would want the flexibilty of more than 3 seats so the Vito dualiner & the new Transit with seats would rock but I think the fully trimmed bus Transit is 34k or so, so not cheap.
Haiundai I800 is about 22k new or 16k 1 year old. Might be an option.
VW’s, are again OK, but seem overpriced for some kind of placebo/throwback to camper van cool…
Too much for me, I am looking at 2nd hand Dualiners (have been a long time looking though)Posted 4 years ago
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