Transport advice needed

Hi
I've just gone through a major house refurbishment using rental cars to ferry building materials around, and I can't face doing it again! I've decided I need to buy a very practical car/van so that I can cart about bags of cement, timber, etc. I have no idea what vans/cars would be good for this though. I'd like something practical with loads of storage space and easy to load/unload, but still respectable enough for taking to my mum's for Sunday lunch!
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to drive? Any tips gratefully appreciated.
Cheers, Ben
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Ben C wrote:

Another budding "white van man" in the making I fear.
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BillR wrote:

I absolutely point blank refuse to have white vans at work, don't even like white cars really but that's just me being awkward. What do you want to put in it? Do you need something Transit sized to get an 8x4 flat in the back or would the likes of an Astravan be nearer the mark? We've got a Peugeot Partner and I reckon it's a cracking good wagon for it's size and the more upright driving position is very comfortable. Maybe an estate car could do both jobs, just make sure you use seat covers when it's in work mode though otherwise it soon starts looking tatty.
--
James...
http://www.jameshart.co.uk /
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bags
for
Have you considered using a *normal* car (i.e. one you would choose for normal use) but towing a trailer to carry your building materials? The car won't then get damaged by bricks and bags of cement etc. - and you can leave the trailer behind when you go to your Mum's for lunch!
Roger
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bags
for
A friend bought an elderly Volvo estate for this very purpose. He said it was much better than a van.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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Wonder what the difference was?
--
*If I worked as much as others, I would do as little as they *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Side windows.
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
The uk.transport FAQ; http://www.huge.org.uk/transport/FAQ.html
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Of course.
--
*Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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How about a vauxhall combo?. Ive just got rid of one of these at work after having driven it for maybe 4 years. It was a 1700cc deisel and was on the road night and day/summer and winter and it was very reliable,economical and best of all,it was good at the traffic light grand prix!!plenty of whoomph even though it had loads of tools and gear in the back. Checkout your local auctions for Transco ex fleet vans.
It was replaced by a nissan vannette 2.3 diesel. Its a good van as far as driver comfort and space is concerned but its a waste of 2 and a half litres becuase its gutless!!,my old combo could cane it no problem but the vanette is a take it easy kinda cruiser,not bad though all in all.
joe
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Hello Ben

Ex GPO 3.5 tonner hi-top LDV vans are sold at auction after they reach 100-110k for 2.5k to be flogged on at 3-3.5k later on. Good for at least another 100k. Mine's a roller door and is great. Uses the Transit 2.5litre non-turbo diesel engine and gearbox, does 25-30mpg, cruises at 70+. Mine has a teddy bear tied to its grille. :)
Takes a 1 tonne dumpy bag if the forklift driver's not a complete muppet, 12' gates/planks, phenominal amount of space. Dead easy to drive, but can be a problem to park.
Only downsides to van ownership: Friends pestering you to shift stuff, and breakins from scrotes wondering what interesting things you're hiding if you leave it parked in rough areas.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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wrote:

And dont' forget the other downside - you'll be assumed to be a commercial operation at the local tip....
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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snipped-for-privacy@digdilem.org (Simon Avery) wrote in message

Teddy Bear Protection League where are you? I remember the dustbin lorry that used to come to our house had one in the seventies...
Time moves on but teddy bears still get treated badly!
I suppose it makes parking safer? soft landing if you get my drift...
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I always have a large estate car. Last time a Renault Savannah for 13 years and now a Mondeo. Also always with a towbar to use with my trailer if necessary.
Rob Graham
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I use a ford galaxy with a roof rack and a trailer, but with planning I get 99% delivered free by the mearchants. I use the trailer a lot for waste to local tip and have not had any problems. I would check on insurance it maybe a lot more for a van than say an old estate, Id go for an old volvo, cheap to buy ,good size and should not be too expensive to insure. Rob
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I always buy estates, something in the 2 litre range. I have never had a Volvo but hear tell they are the best. They were among the best for build quality decades before Leyland got their act together. Mind you they are designed for conditions in Sweden.
They are beloved of antiques dealers as their capacity is the greatest. But any old estate car is adequate. The only problem is addressed above; thieves can get a good look in. So wire mesh is a must for regular users with loads of tools. And a set of padlocks fitted too if you are leaving tools lying around.
I've toyed with the idea of locking most of the doors with hasps and staples internally just using the driver and rear doors. Never got around to it though. I just carry all my gear up the stairs to my flat night and day. I know where it is then, right in front of me when I get up in the middle of the night to fall over it.
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I'd have to agree with the estate car idea. Cheaper to insure (others may have found different) and no problems taking stuff to the tip. If your local authority is anything like mine, don't even try turning up in a van at the tip whatever it's size.
A Mondeo Estate is pretty big and being Ford it's quite reliable (albeit dull). I've a hatchback Mondeo and I can fit a cement mixer in the back without too much trouble.
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I don't think the new-shape ones are dull (in comparison with estate cars in general - which are not known for their sporting qualities).
Rob
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Ben C wrote:

I use a long wheelbase landrover, but its not the cheapest or most ideal vehicle.
Actually any big estate car with a tow bar and trailer is what you need
if you also want it for social use: Otherwise you can't beat a small pickup truck.
The cots of an old one plus insurance versus car hire often shows you can buy, use, and throw it away at a profit.

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How about a vauxhall combo?. Ive just got rid of one of these at work after having driven it for maybe 4 years. It was a 1700cc deisel and was on the road night and day/summer and winter and it was very reliable,economical and best of all,it was good at the traffic light grand prix!!plenty of whoomph even though it had loads of tools and gear in the back. Checkout your local auctions for Transco ex fleet vans.
It was replaced by a nissan vannette 2.3 diesel. Its a good van as far as driver comfort and space is concerned but its a waste of 2 and a half litres becuase its gutless!!,my old combo could cane it no problem but the vanette is a take it easy kinda cruiser,not bad though all in all.
joe
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Ben C wrote:

Depending on budget: Cheap estate + trailer, or Renault Kangoo / Citroen Berlingo in car versions (even Clarkson likes it), depreciation on them both is about 50% in the first year. Domestic insurance on a diesel van is outrageously expensive, just try a quote.
--
Toby.

'One day son, all this will be finished'
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