Van advice - LeeFB
Good morning.

Self-employment beckons and I'll need a small van for business, needless to say I'm on a budget. My choices at the moment are between an ex post office Vauxhall combi diesel 2003, 37,000 miles, 1yr warranty & mot for £4,000 locally, or an ex British Gas Citroen Berlingo, 81,000 miles, 1 owner, 1yr mot for £2,700 further afield. Just wondering what advice anyone may care to give.
Van advice - R75
Have never run a Berlingo, but did have a Combi for a while - spent more time being repaired then it did on the road - ended up slinging it back at the rental company and getting a Ford instead - and after speaking to other Transport Managers at the company I was working for at the time I was not alone in having problems!!! Also Vauxhall are not set up for commercials so getting repairs done in a timely manner can be problomatic as they see no urgency in getting commercials back on the road!
Van advice - stunorthants
Im self-employed and I bought a Suzuki Carry brand new in december for £6500 on the road inc VAT. They arent the fastest things on the road and dont handle like a GTi but the only time it will be seeing the dealer is once every 9000 miles for a service. It also averages 45mpg laden so comparable with a diesel. It also has an amazing turning circle!

They apparently have stopped making them so a nearly new one should now fall in your price range or there may still be some pre-reg ones around as my local dealer was having trouble shifting his last few he had in stock when I last saw him.

Mine came with a CD player, PAS and central locking so its got a few useful things aswell.

As a secondary note, I also looked at the Daihatsu Extol and I managed to get one down to £6850 on the road inc VAT, so maybe a nearly new one of them?

You would get a much newer van with these and a million times more reliable. Worth a look surely.
Van advice - Vansboy
You'd be better off buying EITHER of the ones you mentioned, yourself directly from auction. Clik Auctionview link to our left. Look for Commercial Auctionview.

Both Royal Mail & BG have seperate 'branded' sales of their vehicles at British Car Auction sites countrywide, you'll have a wide choice of mileages & condition to choose from.

Each will have been reasonably well maintained & both mostly one driver.

Main differnce being stop start Royal Mail, but only light weights carried, whereas the BG will have quite a bit of racking (maybe still installed) as well as tools & stuff, thus carried more weight around.

I'd choose the Combo, with a 50,000 miles or so, it'll have done longer runs & plenty of Royal Mail maintainence is still in house.

& not too often did I come unstuck from this fleet & I've sold HUNDREDS of their vans!!

Van advice - LeePower
Had a 04 plate Combo on loan from work for 6 weeks.

Nice van, Remote deadlocking, loud ultrasonic alarm ( with only one built in flaw like Ford ) aircon, ABS, airbag, cd player, folding passenger seat that turned into a desk, not a bad thing to drive either, Only thing it was missing was electric windows.

Do go for the 1.7 CDTi engine, The 1.7 DTi is a little gutless on motorways or if shown a hill.
Van advice - LeeFB
Thanks very much for replying all.

The third option was a new van and since reading Stus' reply I had a look around, the Daihatsu Extol, new on the road is £7,240 all in from a local dealer, north Liverpool (no haggling here). Its more than my budget and I hate getting loans, but peace of mind means a lot, probably why I asked for advice in the first place. If I had a bit more motoring experience I'd be tempted by auctions but I think I should play safe, time will tell. Thanks again for replying, good forum this.
Van advice - LeeFB
Just out of interest what insurance would you expect to pay on a new van, self employed, parked on street - short cul de sac. I've been quoted online between £800 and £1,000?
Van advice - AlastairW
What sort of self employment? Different jobs attract different rates.
Van advice - LeeFB
Painting and decorating, carrying tools, workbench etc, age 39, full clean licence, cover comp, 1 driver only, not planning on carrying anything hazardous!
Van advice - Vansboy
For insurance on a van click CVD link in....

Doing it this way, gets to help keeping this site free!!

Van advice - stunorthants
I use my van for car valeting and I pay £350 fully comp business use.
You should be able to get a nearly new Carry or Extol with the balance of warranty for alot less than the new price, they dont sell as fast as the usual mainstream ones and the dealers discount them like cars. Mine was discounted from £8800 I think to £6500.
You were unlucky to not get a discount off the Extol, they have a huge margin in them.

Theres a 20,000 mile Carry on Autotrader for £4295 on 04 plate

Infact theres quite a few so worth a look on there.

Ask Honest John

Value my car