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old trials fanatic

Best small van on a budget

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Ive got a Mercedes Sprinter at the moment but i'm thinking about getting a smaller van for better mpg. cheaper insurance, cheaper road tax plus smaller size. However must be able to get 2 bikes in and two people. Prefer if it has sliding doors on the side too for ease of access. Problem is i only have a budget of about £1500. Been looking on auto trader and i quite like to look of the Peugeot Expert and the Citroen Dispatch but was wondering if anybody has any experience good or bad of them or could suggest another small van that would suit my needs and budget.

Thanks    

Edited by old trials fanatic

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My '04 Citroen Dispatch has been pretty good though before I got it it had not been well looked after.  Alternator, starter motor, half exhaust and battery in about 6 years. The locks are rubbish and I replaced them. I am advised by my garage that the next version (08 ish?) earlier models are not as reliable, electronics apparently.  Mine always goes, there are 2 different engines fitted, one newer (HDi) and more economical than the other. 2 bikes fit pretty easily. Two and three seater versions about, some with steel bulkheads. Heater not bad! 

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Had 02 Expert non turbo diesel, flat as a witch's tit and thirstier than turbo, but less to go bang. Exhaust, discs, intermittent starting, wind noise from side doors, underside rust killed it, the rest of the bodywork holds up well as the steels plated. Good enough for 2 even 3 trials bikes, painfully uncomfortable passenger seats. Bought a Fiat Doblo and it's superb for 1 bike, never tried 2 in. 

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A Fiat Doblo, ideal for you.

sliding doors both sides, two bike size and cause it's a Fiat, cheap as chips.

okay'ish to run as well and shares all parts with the car range so cheap from the specialist car parts stores!

 

 

Edited by jonboy883
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2.0 hdi Citroen dispatch/Peugeot expert/Fiat Scudo,all very much the same.Im on my 3rd,if you can find an 04/06 model which has been maintained and not done much a huge mileage it'll be just the job.Can get 3 bikes in at a push,2 fit easily,and plenty big enough to change in too.Side door noise I overcome by a ratchet strap pulling the doors together at the top and just use the back doors.Locks are rubbish on the key ,ensure you get one with remote central locking.They need the cambelt and water pump changed at 100k,oil and filter every 8k,mechanically pretty tough,although electrical problems aren't unknown

They do about 38 mpg average and cruise 75ish comfortably,and don't rust

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"Had 02 Expert non turbo diesel, flat as a witch's tit and thirstier than turbo" - Sirdadalot

Interesting simile, but wrong engine. The HDi common rail motor in the Dispatch etc is more economical, more powerful and pretty reliable. Don't have any passenger/2nd rider complaints either as they are usually travelling free!

 

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I'd like to give a balanced argument for an economical van that will fit your needs...

Back in my youth I bought one of these, a Honda Acty van, it could easily fit one bike, I dare say two at a push and it had 550cc of pure usable power.

It was very very economical as you can imagine especially on the flat but when it came to the Cornish hills it did struggle a bit. A point noting if you're somewhere hilly. 

It was rather cosy in the front, certainly not your modern luxurious type of set up but more than adequate and probably kept the insurance down, nice ! 

You could work on the bike in the back too, although I suffer a bit now with a really bad back. It's worthwile bearing this in mind if you do go down the small van route. It had a sliding door too :) 

Having an Euro Ncap score of -9 is a good ice breaker in the venue car park, you can get those stickers "one life live it" they'll back the accident stats up. 

It's venue performance wasn't great to be honest, I would usually need a push out of a muddy field, a 4 speaker bespoke cassette system will help you to be oblivious to the pusher's woes.

I'm not sure if these are still available but if they are they've definitely got to be on your want to look at list ! 

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Fiat Doblo, but get the MPV version rather than the van.

You'll get two bikes in it still if you flip the rear seats, but pay less road tax and insurance than the van version.

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