Should I get a diesel or petrol van for short journeys?

I have often read in your column of the shortcomings of diesel engines when used for frequent short runs, particularly the huge expense of replacing a DPF. I am in the process of a career change, becoming a freelance gardener, and I need to buy a small van. Unfortunately petrol-engined vans, which would be more suitable for the type of short journeys that I will be making, seem to be very thin on the ground. Do you have any suggestions please?

Asked on 19 January 2013 by IC, Harvel, Kent

Answered by Honest John
Older diesel vans don't have DPFs so are no trouble in that respect. And a friend of mine (who was a gardener until a nasty accident with a hedgetrimmer) used to swear by, rather than at, Renault Trafic FWDs because of their exceptionally low load decks that made it easy to load motor mowers, etc.
Similar questions
Currently I am driving a KIA Magentis SE in which I drive an average of 8,000 miles pa. It is beginning to cost a lot at MoT time. Having had a shoulder injury, I have been advised to get a vehicle with...
Can you tell me if there is van available that does not have a DPF? I drive 10 miles per day, with the odd run of 35 to 60 miles every six weeks.
I've run Ford Transit Custom models (2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre diesel models) for the last 6 years. Next year I'm considering downsizing to a smaller van (such as Citroen, Toyota, Peugeot) to reduce...
Related models
Good quality and comfortable medium sized van, makes a very useful nine seater minibus, now has Renault 2.0 chain cam diesel, robotised manual option.
 

Value my car