The case for having a van - Ian Cook
Hey ho, it's Monday - back making a few dollars for my employer. Whilst continuing a major gardening project over the weekend I was minded to pose the following question - "why do a lot of us run a car at all?"

My second vehicle is a van (Citroen C15D to be precise) and it offers a brilliant alternaltive to a car. Just consider:

1. Cheap (under £2000 for an M plate, at the time I bought it)
2. Easy to service - basic IDI diesel and no fancy electronics on the vehicle
3. Doesn't really matter if it gets the odd parking ding, within reason. A positive benefit when left in a cark park - watch the BMWs etc. avoid parking anywhere near it
4. Bags of useful space for shifting things - furniture (including the contents of a student's flat), garden rubbish, building materials
5. Plenty fast enough - but not as fast as the fastest vehicle on the road (Astramax driven by a plumber's apprentice

How many of you guys out there run a van - and what are your thoughts?
C15D gets my vote. - David Woollard
Ian,

Owned one of these for six months. My first taste of driving that excellent engine, bet they'd really fly with a turbo.

Remember being driven briskly down a farm track by the wife while two of us sat in the back on the whel arches. With a good load of tools the ride was firmly damped and it was more like being in the back of a luxury car.

Just avoid being the person who ends up with it when the rear arm bearings fail. Over £200 a side at Citroen about six years ago.

I bought this van as a cheap load carrier while we were doing a few building jobs around home so wasn't worried much about its value or future. But I was puzzled at the the amount of faults it had with only 23 miles since the MOT a few weeks before. Then I noticed the receipt given to me by the farmers son who sold it to me had the same writing as the MOT certificate!!!

Ah...

David
Don't buy an Astra Van but a C15! - David Lacey
We (used) to service and maintain a 15 strong fleet of 1.7 low-blow IDI Turbo Diesel Astra vans for a local company (Fitted with that goddamn awful GM engine, not the better Isuzu unit) The amount of work these awful vans caused us was horrendous. Head gaskets, cambelts(!!! the old GF50 roller thread again!), turbochargers, oil coolers & oil pipes all failed with amazing regurlarity costing the poor company thousands. They were awful to drive with woolly steering and terrible brakes.
In complete contrast, we have looked after a C15 van for another local groundworks company and apart form a radiator (no head gasket, yet!) and a few standard Citroen electrical faults (sorry David W) they have performed faultlessly over the last 3 years. (I think we all can imagine the abuse the groundworkers give the poor van!) Anyway, the C15 would also get my vote anyday.
Regards
David
Re: Severn Bridge. - Gwyn Parry
8.70 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What we doin' paying for the bogginthing.............????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!????????
Re: Don't buy an Astra Van but a C15! - Alvin Booth
Ian,
Funny you should pose that question. Only today I was saying to the wife that if I ever change one of our cars the replacement would be a van.
I'm not sure why but I think some of the reasons you mention attracts me.
I'm always careful where I park at the moment, keep away from battered cars and transits etc and I think I would like to join them and let others do the worrying. I.m almost there with the wifes car a maestro diesel which others are beginning to avoid on Tesco's car park. feels good!!!!
Alvin
Re: Don't buy an Astra Van but a C15! - Ian Cook
Regarding converting your wife to driving a van I can definitely help you there. I would drive my van to work, but that would involve paying £8.70 to those b**t**ds who operate the Severn bridge so I take the Xantia instead.

My wife uses the C15 daily and she loves it! The hidden benefits keep surfacing. Last Christmas when plod coned off our high street whilst the traders were preparing for some festival thingy she simply drove past and parked outside the bank while she tansacted business. Nobody batted an eyelid. I dare say plod would have kept an eye on it for her, had she asked.
Re: van advantages - Alvin Booth
Ian,
never thought of that advantage of having a van. Its brilliant....
My High St is closed for traffic apart from deliveries and tradesmen.
Only today as I walked down there was several small vans.
I would even take it further and have some trade name on my van. After all I was a tradesman once before I became a retired layabout.
I could park anywhere, The Police would probably even watch it for me as I went swanning off.
Don't mention it to anyone else or there will be to many of us......

Alvin
Re: van advantages - Alyn Beattie
As a "third" vehicle we have a Series 3 Landrover. far more fun than a van and much more versitile. 2.25 diesel engine with an overdrive unit on gearbox. Cheap enough to run when being used on its own. but what a towing vehicle. We live right up on the top of the South Wales Valleys and come the winter snow, well it's more fun than sex (and it lasts longer) :-)

2 downsides, the wiofe cant drive it and you need to be useful with the spanners, (It's over 20 years old after all)
 

Value my car