Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Paul Robinson
Spent yesterday delivering my eldest daughter to university for the first time. She had dismantled her room to be transported and reassembled in Norwich, we just managed to cram everything in my Audi 100 saloon, by using 75% of the back seat too!

She is bound to acquire more possessions so I am anticipating problems when it comes to clearing her room at the end of term, plus this will be on going for the next five years.

Short of buying a Transit van, or taking two cars each time, I?d interested to hear suggestions of a suitable low cost vehicle to acquire, it?s a five hour 300 mile round trip to uni so reliability and economy are important too!
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John Slaughter

I'll be doing the same thing next week, 400 mile return trip, but I sure am not going to sell the BMW Coupe!

Why on earth are you considering buying something that you need only a few times a year? Simply hire something suitable for the Uni run - much more cost effective surely? Also, see if the Uni has a store room, or if a local company offers storage, and avoid lugging it all back every term.

As it happens, we're sharing with friends who's daughter is going to the same Uni. The answer - 12 seat minibus for the weekend. £200 plus the fuel, split between us.


Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Ian Cook
Paul, this is a serious suggestion. Have you though about the benefits of a low cost van?

I've been through the uni phase with my two sons and appreciate the amount of paraphernalia (sorry if the spelling's wrong) that kids accumulate.

I bought a cheap Citroen C15 diesel and it probably gets more use than the car. especially for odd jobs and at the week end. 45mpg is guaranteed and it only needs tpft insurance, plus you can park it anywhere.

John Slaughter's suggestion about hiring is very sensible, but if you need a second vehicle then think about a CDV (car derived van).

Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Andrew Bairsto
xm 2.5td estate there for nothing
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Darcy Kitchin

Have you considered having a towbar fitted and buying a trailer from either the small ads or Halfords? I'm a keen advocate of keeping a car if you're happy with it on the "better the devil you know" principle. Trailers are useful for taking stuff to the tip which you might not want in your car, and for other load-lugging jobs.

Your speed would be restricted to 50 mph on main roads and 60 mph on duals and m'ways.

Just a thought.
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John Slaughter

Crikey, someone who knows about trailer speed limits! I'm sure you've noticed the camping trailers doing 80 on those tiny wheels- very worrying. Trailers are also banned from the outside lane on 3 lane roads, but I was passed by a Discovery doing about 85 in the outside lane the other week.

That said, it's a very good solution to Paul's dilemma.


Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Darcy Kitchin

It never worried the French though, did it? Their camping trailers always seemed to bat along at 70-80. (Old f*rt's bit) Do you remember the single-wheel-on-a-castor type that clamped on to the bumper bars?
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John Slaughter
Er, no. When was this?


Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Darcy Kitchin
1960s 1970s France. Had 2 big bolt clamps onto rear bumper (obviously only worked with separate steel bumper), 1 wheel on a castor, no lights (it was narrow). They were used as camping trailers. My dad used to say "Only the French would get away with it".

Sorry if I've unfairly/inaccurately classified you as an old f*rt.
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John Slaughter

Yes, now you describe it I may have seen one in France a good while back.

No offence taken. As DW said a while back it's difficult to judge correspondents ages, but as you'll have worked out, with a 19year old daughter, I'm no longer in the first flush of youth. Still feel it though!


Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - peter
Ther is no simple solution! Based on experience the clutter expands to fill all available space.

On one occasion the xmas return to uni consisted of a 240 Estate with roof box , bike rack and no passengers + a fully laden Fiesta !

Buy a 2nd house in Norwich and just keep filling it up!

PS Anybody want to buy a house in Portsmouth!
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John
No thanks . Just bought one in Leeds. Im off tomorrow in a 7.5T lorry! 475 mile round trip. I can't wait!
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Alistair
Why not just buy her a car? I bet she'll sacrifice the kitchen sink for her own set of wheels.

Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Oldsinjun
I had the same problem a few years ago plus I also had two dogs and things were getting a bit cramped anyway.
I traded in my 1.6 Rover Cabriolet for a three year old Honda Accord Estate which was one of the best cars I ever had - and fun to drive.
If you buy her a banger as suggested you will be forever forking out on repairs and think of the insurance - been there with the second son !
Good luck !
Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - John Slaughter
No, don't do it - oldsinjun is right. All the potential problems and miles from home. It'll either sit there all term, and won't start at the end or she'll be the taxi service for her friends. Big problems either way!


Re: Spacious, reliable, low cost estate? - Mark (Brazil)
I had a beaten up wreck when I was at college, and it did very well. I had a mini and a Singer Chamois (don't ask).

They didn't get used in the week, but at the weekends they did a lot of trips.

Otherwise, you run the risk of her working out that she needs transport and two-wheels is cheaper than four - this would be VERY bad news.

Alternatively, rather than transporting her friends, she might be transported by them. You may well trust her to drive carefully, sober and safely, but would you trust her friends so much ? Given that some of them might be like me ? And I was not not a safe or sensible human being. I'm not great now, but then I was a disaster.

Also, if you buy the car, at least you know the car itself is safe.

I'd recommend buying the car, and buying from some small, older-style dealer near where she will live who can be trusted to look after the car for her. If you're dead lucky she'll be at university somewhere near where that nice Woollard chappy lives.

Uni girls. - David Woollard

Oddly enough I'm waiting with the yard gate open for a "jump started", but normally non-starting, Fiat Panda to customer and a young Uni girl.

She found me through an existing customer after she'd enquired at the Fiat dealers regarding a service and the no-start problem.

"Well you're due a 12,000 mile service" they said, "and that will be £150 labour plus parts and VAT", "any investigation into the poor starting will be extra".

"That's a lot " she says, "you only serviced it a while back". "Ah", they tell her, "that was just a 6000 mile service and now on this one we have to check the brakes and everything!"

Customer leaves them horrified the previous service was little more than a £75 oil change and now she was being softened up for the best part of £250.

Thing is the trade value of the car is about £150 so the repairs were getting out of hand.

I've managed to trim more than a little off these prices, pleased to subsidise a future Barrister!!

Re: Uni girls. - Mark (Brazil)
> I've managed to trim more than a little off these prices,
> pleased to subsidise a future Barrister!!

Yes David, I know. And were she a hulking great male builder you'd do the same !!

However, you did ought to say which area you are working in, who knows where these recommendations can lead to extra business and a happy(er) parent.
Contributors locations. - David Woollard
Nice sentiment mark, but I don't advertise, all my work is from contacts and my books have been quite full recently for the time I have available.

Add to that I thought it would help to keep this "pleasure" quite separate from business. I'm ill at ease pushing my services onto others!

Thank You - Paul Robinson
Thanks for all your suggestions, plenty for me to think about! Next time I may try calling in favours from clients with vans. Sadly buying said daughter a car is not yet an option as she is still to have success with a driving test, otherwise I would have been delighted for her to seek out the services of Mr Woollard
round-the-world by car - Kamil Shaidarov
Hi! We are russian family team "Adventurers" and doing well with our motorhome Fiat Ducato Caravan. We are in Lissabon right now and going to set up a new Guinness record on the matter of the age of team members. They are our daughter Lia of 9 and son Amir of 10 years old. Is it interesting to chat about?
Looking forward for your comments...
Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
>Is it interesting to chat about?

It is for me, although I would suggest you start a new thread for it.

Re: round-the-world by car - Martyn (Back Room Moderator)
Blimey, you read my mind all the way from Brazil!

I was just thinking, I bet Mark is going to pick this one up. And I was trying to find a way I could generate a new topic in kamil's name. Can't :-(

Kamil, start a new topic and copy your message into it. Then I'll delete this entry.

Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
oh Martyn, how sad. Watch this...
Re: round-the-world by car - Martyn (Back Room Moderator)
Yeah, but that's cheating!
Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
why ?

The IP address doesn't matter. The e-mail pointer works, it has his name and his words.

You're just miffed because you missed the blatantly bleeding obvious in your efforts to obtain a technically perfect answer. And as the world knows, I am a specialist in the field of the BBO.

I dunno, techie dweebs.
Re: round-the-world by car - Martyn (Back Room Moderator)
There's a thin line!
Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
and I'm other other side of it, I know.

Re: round-the-world by car - Martyn (Back Room moderator)
Not yet, you're not! But getting close
Re: round-the-world by car - Stu
What ARE you two doing?
Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
Me, I'm trying to stop Martyn being a perfectionist.

As for Martyn, he's trying to be one.

Sadly, as is so often the case, the perfectionist acheived nothing and the pragmatist acheived all that was important.

the life of a hero is tough.
Re: round-the-world by car - Mark (Brazil)
> the life of a hero is tough.

Even if he can't spell "achieved".

As anybody else noticed the amazingly mind-enhancing abilities of the "Post" button ?

It doesn't matter what I write, how often I read it or how much I think about it, as soon as I click on the "post" button, amazing revelations about spelling, grammar and errors flash into my mind.

Maybe it should flash up a following screen asking me if I am sure, allowing me to say no, certainly not, and go back and correct stuff.
iMAGINE... - Jana
I'm excited of the expirience of being heard. Thanks for Mark and Martin (by the way I haven't received private letters).
So I am not in the trip. My boss is a chief of thew project "The world without borders". His family decided to set up a new Guinness record in the roundtheworld trip. Now they are not allowed to go to the States and have to change the route of the adventure. They are coming back to Kazan from Europe. And then go on with the trip to another direction.
I work in Kazan (Russia, Tatarstan) at the headquarter. The site of Kamil Shaidarov is started and would love you to see it. Now I try to make an English version. If anybody check it out through email I'll be the happiest.
The design of site is terrible now. I find it out 15 minutes ago. The webmaster will be beaten, I feel..
So, I wait for you!
Re: iMAGINE... - Jana
Our website is
Re: round-the-world by car - Jana
Hey! They receive american visas! And it is great and incredible - unpredictible!

Value my car