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/ Thinking about buying a transit; what do I do?

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rockface - on 10 Feb 2018

I have no experience buying cars (haven't driven for long), but vanlife calls. I'm thinking MWB mid-high top transit. 3-5k£ <100,000 miles. Now I get that service history is more important than age or mileage, but that's about it... I'd be immensely grateful if some well-knowledged person would enlighten me on the details to be considered when buying such a van. If you already live in a van then bonus, tell me all about it. 

Oceanrower - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

The first thing you should think about doing when buying a Transit is, straight away, stop thinking about buying a Transit.

Instead, think about buying a Movano or a Sprinter or, or, or ANYTHING that doesn't rust as badly as a Transit!

3
rockface - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to Oceanrower:

My budget is only 3-5k. I'd love a sprinter, believe me, but they're just too expensive! Transits are cheap at least. For the same price, a sprinter will be older and have many more miles, so not an option. Movano, haven't really considered before..

Post edited at 01:27
Big Steve - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

Have you looked at the Citroen Despatch? You can pick decent ones up easily in your price range. Good solid van, not that much smaller than the standard transit and can be found in a high top version

rockface - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to Big Steve:

Aye, but it's too small. Plan on living in it for some time, so mid high top transit is about as small as I'd like to go. Cheers, tho. 

bensilvestre - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

Check for rust is yer main thing with a transit. Get fully underneath it and have a good poke around. We've got a mid high top short wheel base transit and love it, it took us a while to find one that wasn't dead rusty though. A bonus with more recent transits is they have by far the best cabs of any vans (why are cup holders so hard to get right?) making long journeys a pleasure. 

Cheese Monkey - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

Check for rust. If it's solid budget a few hundred quid to get it undersealed and it will last forever. Make sure it isn't smoking, has a steady idle and doesn't rattle on start up when cold. That budget should get you a 2011-12 one I expect so very unlikely to rust at that age anyway and galvanised from mid 11 onward supposedly. Excellent vans

garycrocker - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:Rust isn't such a big deal on more modern ones. We have a 2009 transit mini-bus and it's fine. We have had a lot of very annoying problems such as abs sensors and other electrical items fail. That said it is used daily on rubbish roads. It goes well and is not too uncomfortable for longer hauls. 

 

Dax H - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

A transit is the only handset I have ever owned that I got shut of as soon as the warranty ran out. 

It was about a 2008/09, mk7 the first ones with the gear stick on the dash, 100k in 3 years involved 2 new egr valves, a new fuel pump, dual mass flywheel and that's just the stuff I remember. It also had rust coming through behind the paint in a few locations. 

Best van I have ever had to drive but too many mechanical problems to keep it. 

Citroën Relays are good vans, I have a couple at 8 years old with well over 100k on them and they are still going strong and haven't cost me anything but consumables. 

garycrocker - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to Dax H:

We have had a solid flywheel conversion on our as the dual mass ones are a total pain.

peebles boy - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

Useful for checking the MOT history of any vehicle - gives you a bit of history as to what ongoing probs a van might have, or what problems might be in store!

https://www.check-mot.service.gov.uk/?_ga=2.173386275.1060377368.1497611091-1715105105.1497611091 

Rick Graham on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

I agree with all the advise above but would also suggest getting some idea of probable insurance costs before buying a different vehicle.

Even at age 60+ with full no claims and clean license , I get messed about with insurance on new vehicles especially changing between cars and vans.

Always a battle with that industry, don't get me started on discussing claims and loss adjusters

Take care, easier to have an idea of insurance costs earliest. HTH

L Vinceyoung - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

I have converted many vans.with that experience i have and van mechanic son in law,I have stuck with the Citroen relay,Peugeot boxer,Fiat Ducato vans. Up until 2007 they had the same good engine(Iveco) and cabs. Reliable and not rust buckets. The 2:2 or 2:8 engines.i had the lwb 

high top panel vans and now have a motorhome with the same engine n cab.

Ciro - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to rockface:

The sevel vans (Citroen relay, Peugeot boxer, Fiat Ducato) are also worth considering. I'm still on my first van - my initial thoughts were a transit, but after a bit of research decided the sevel shape was better for converting and living in (widest in class and pretty square walls), and otherwise they were pretty similar - both reliable, cheap to buy, and high availability of spare parts wherever you're traveling.

As long as you get the 2006-on model, rust shouldn't be a problem (I made that mistake with a 2004 so have had some rust to deal with) as it'll have a galvanised chassis.

Also, don't worry too much about higher mileage, age and condition is more important - a young high mileage van means it's been driving up and down motorways all day every day, which they're well suited for. Expect the engines to go well north of 200,000 if they've been serviced and looked after.

rockface - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to Rick Graham:

Cheers. I'll be sure to check insurance quotes before I buy. 

Mr Lopez - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to peebles boy:

Good call pointing out the mot history checker. I'd also advice to really read through the whole history, as often when they fail in one place, they just take it to a dodgy centre to get it passed for some cash in hand. You can tell when the re-test was done the same day or a day later, and the mileage hasn't really changed.

For example, i was looking at this van the other day reg BD54XNZ. It passed the MOT with 3 unremarkable advisories, however 1 day before 1 mile away it failed it with:

 

Reason(s) for failure

  • Offside rear parking (secondary) brakes imbalanced (3.7.B.6b)
  • Nearside Front position lamp(s) not working (1.1.A.3b)
  • Offside Front position lamp(s) has less than 50% of the light sources illuminating (1.1.A.3b)
  • Nearside Headlamp not working on dipped beam (1.7.5a)
  • Offside Front Anti-roll bar linkage has excessive play in a ball joint (2.4.G.2)
  • Offside Rear Stop lamp not working (1.2.1b)
  • Supplementary Restraint System warning lamp indicates a fault (5.4.2)
  • Nearside Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded CENTRE OUTER SILL HOLED & CORRODED (2.4.A.3)
  • Offside Suspension spring mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded CENTRE OUTER SILL HOLED & CORRODED (2.4.A.3)
  • Nearside Body or chassis has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings CENTRE CHASSIS HOLED & CORRODED (6.1.B.2)
  • Offside Body or chassis has excessive corrosion, seriously affecting its strength within 30cm of the body mountings CENTRE CHASSIS HOLED & CORRODED TO EXCESS (6.1.B.2)

 

 

Post edited at 22:13

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