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Buying vehicles - advice on the credit options

Discussion in 'Transport - 4x4 - Canoes etc' started by Paul_B, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    I'm currently on my 4th car since I've owned the cars I've been driving. I've always bought outright or at most got a bank car loan for a fraction of the car's cost. This has always limited me to a £4-5k car. I've had really good cars doing that but now with a family and wanting to get something more means we're looking at a credit deal. Before we go shopping for vehicles, what do i need to know?

    The reason we're looking at it is because we want to get either a campervan or a van we could convert over time. It's a one vehicle for day to day plus weekends and main holidays throughout the year. Not formalized our plans. Either a van to turn into a day van or a proper campervan. We can't afford to buy outright.

    I know people on less money than us getting new audis on credit. Even Mercedes coupes. One friend always v did what I did but for a more expensive car. He got a very good deal through Audi main dealer that worked out so much cheaper that he could get for a year old car. Whilst i hate debt (mortgage is my only debt apart from student loan) it's still an option. I just need to know what are the best options and how to go about it.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Fadcode

    Fadcode Full Member

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    If possible at all. buy outright, if not try and get a low interest bank loan, try and avoid Hire purchase on a car, at least with a bank loan you have the option of selling the vehicle if an emergency happens, don't be misguided by these adverts on TV with a low monthly payment, by the time you add in the deposit and the VAT its really expensive,(and you never own it) there are many good second hand vans out there which you could convert into a camper, look for a full service record, avoid vehicles with dual mass flywheels, and particle filters(diesel vehicles obviously) if you are not sure get the AA or RAC to look at it, or at least take it to an independent MOT garage and get it tested, don't rush into it, read the reviews, check MPG, Insurance rates etc, you should be looking for a vehicle that will last you years...........Do not Buy a Mazda/Ford Friendee type vehicle..............most dealers will not touch them for part ex, etc.(even though they are nice vehicles)
     
  3. homesicksteve

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    Sometimes you can get 0% finance from a main dealer.
    Often a large deposit is required (up to 50%).
    The deposit can be financed with a low-interest bank loan.
     
  4. didicoy

    didicoy Full Member

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    The law tightened up on commercial vehicles being mot'd as campervans a few years ago. For a commercial vehicle to now be MOT'd as class 4 (cheaper than class 7) which most commercial vans are class 7. Also to insure a vehicle as a campervan/motorhome it should be registered and MOT'd as such. A campervan/motorhome should no longer be capable of carrying a sizeable payload etc. A converted DIY campervan/motorhome must also contain the minimum following. A water container, a fixed seat, a table (although removable is allowed). A wardrobe, a bed perminantly fixed to the chassis. Any gas hoses must be properly fixed to the structure. This isn't the entire list of requirements and there's lots of advice online. The Vehicle must now look like a campervan from the outside. It should have at least one window in the back and a side door. Some campsites won't allow obvious commercial vehicles used as campervans/motorhome on their sites.
    There are a few insurance companies who will insure a commercial vehicle as a campervan/motorhome under construction. (Campervan/motorhome insurance is often cheaper than commercial vehicle insurance) Reason for the clarity in classification and declared intended use is to avoid any voided insurance at a time of any potential insurance claim. The conversion requirements above is a newish EU directive that came out a few years ago. I'm not sure how VAT is effected with putting in windows in a commercial vehicle though. Modern commercial vehicles are computer managed and some makes like the Mercedes Sprinter can be costly on repairs and parts. There's the obvious rust worm to consider with any vehicle, also vehicles that has spent time around the coast with salt damage from sea spray.
    Another thing to look at is fuel type and if the vehicle is to be driven into LEZ areas like London. It must comply with emission rules or a daily charge is applied on the commercial vehicle. MPG on commercial vehicles isn't always that good. Then there's any driving licence restrictions. If you and your partner passed your driving test before 1997 you can legally drive upto 7.5 ton. If after that date it's 3.5tom. Most MWB /LWB vehicles after conversion, passengers, fuel, water and kit can be at the weight limit for legal weight driving licence covers after 1997. These are just a few thoughts off the top of my head and may need verifying. Buying a used secondhand motorhome is now a minefield, prices have gone through the roof and winter is no longer a garenteed best time to buy. There are a few DIY, self build campervan/motorhome subforums on the internet where advice and used vehicles for sale can be found. If you can find the right secondhand campervan/motorhome for the right money. It's still possible to get a few years free or cheap motoring out of them if you shop around and are prepared to eventually sell on.
     
  5. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Thanks for the info. Will take some thought now. The last post is a real wake up call and downer in one post. Still better to hear the worst than find it out too late.

    TBH i knew about some of the conversion regs. A fixed bed? Does that mean a lot of rock and roll beds that are easily removed are not enough to comply?

    LEZ isn't going to be a problem with London. If it comes into effect in other cities of the UK then possibly. Although I really can't think of anything worse than driving into a big city. I've not been near London for 15years and I'm hoping to make it at least another 15 years!

    We're fortunately old enough to have grandpa rights so 7.5 ton isn't an issue legally but i really don't want to drive that weight. Driven a 3.5 ton max vehicle loaded up but not near the limit. Not a good drive.

    BTW what's the rules on a simple day van? Still class 7 i take it? Mini bus? Crew cab van? All class 7 until sufficiently converted to campervan i guess. What happens if a van was converted before the changes to the regs? Did they suddenly revert to class 7 or stay at the lower class?
     
  6. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Don't most diesels have a DMF these days so what can you do about that issue? Doubt you get many auto vans. It's just another case of disposable car/van parts to make money out of motorists. Live with it or give up driving.

    BTW even the highly rated vw t5 vans have DMF I read somewhere. Vivaro/trafic, vito, transit, etc. All have DMF.

    We looked at getting a nice mondeo once. Lovely drive except the salesman mentioned flywheel issue (kept mentioning it as clutch problem). Couldn't really notice it though. We didn't get the car not because of this issue which he said he'd fix before selling to us. We took the view that any dealer who doesn't fix such an issue before putting the car on the forecourt isn't one we'd trust to buy from. IMHO get them right and ready to drive off before putting on sale.
     
  7. didicoy

    didicoy Full Member

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    A fixed bed is one bolted to the vehicle. Rock n roll beds are. It's to stop a settee being thrown in and classing it as a bed.
    If it's been converted and changed on the log book then it's class 4 if it hasn't been changed on log book its stock vehicle for want of a classification.
    I do know several people who have been lucky and just presented then for MOT as a campervan or motorhome. In the old days it was down to the MOT station to decide or the owner of the vehicle to declare what it was. Some still go stealth and get class 7 MOT's but to register for a change of use now, they want photograghs of inside and outside. There's still ways round it. Most just pay for class 7 and use the social/domestic side of insurance policy.

    Who knows how it will go if the powers that be take it to the letter of the law. I know many who had converted ex-library buses into motorhomes were worried they would not be legal. They still own and drive them though. They are getting heavyer on terminology when pulling these converted vehicles over, if the floor area and wide access doors mean the commercial use of the vehicle still exists etc. There's new bebate about having a garage onboard for storage and the available carrying space. I know of people stripping out caravan interiors and sticking that into the vans, only to get the paperwork sorted. Then take it all out and go kminimal. But should anything happen and the vehicle gets inspected after recovered theft or accident, rightoff etc. It could leave owners out of pocket and luck. Avoid vehicles that claim to be MOT excerpt. Commercial vehicles are getting stollen all the time. Never to be seen again. They are targeted for tools etc. Campervans/motorhomes are taken to Europe or broken for parts. If you were to park up a standard van in a remote area while off day walking, chances are it gets robbed for tools or equipment. Reported abandoned etc. Campers are more likely to be left alone. It's an excellent mode of transport if you can afford to run them. I came down from £100 per week fuel bill Ford Transit 2009 that was stolen to £55 per week fuel bill Renault Kangoo. Each vehicle has its merits and drawbacks. Micro campers are now the way to go if there's only one or two of you, plus they hold a better value.
     
  8. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    Would be a lot easier to buy a family car and a family sized tent IMHO.
     
  9. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Got those already but looking for space. Days out you come back to a space you can just climb into out of the rain. Have a fresh brew/soup and chill before moving off home. Or quick weekends away with half your setup already packed. Winter getaways in the van when too cold for car camping. Two adults and a young child so micro campers are out. I've actually seen a new 4 bed micro camper out of a Berlingo sized car. Or there's a BMW conversion you can get that looks like the modern, slightly wider version of the narrow suzuki vans. These would simply not work for us.

    What would work would be a rock and roll bed made out of tuv standard seats (available for a wide range of van makes). A fold flat table and captain seats. I'd even seen a seat platform for double bench seats thatv allows them to face backwards when stationary. All approved designs to get you through a change of use to class 4. Once you've met other criteria of course.

    My worry is a van mid conversion might have restrictions that would affect us too much initially. Campsites not accepting commercial vehicles is one issue. We'd be using it as only vehicle and converting it at our own pace. A crew cab is our preferred base vehicle because of the 2 rows of seats plus 2 rear doors in some models.
     
  10. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    How about a Citroen Dispatch Combi.

    CitDispatchCombi0907(3)_794_529_70.jpg citroen_dispatch_combi_2.0_hdi_125_l2_sx_5dr_9_seat_diesel_estate_30994.jpg
     
  11. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Perhaps you have reached the stage in life when a caravan would make a lot of sense?

    More space than a campervan (with one or more kids this will become an issue), you can keep it loaded up ready for the weekend/hols and you don't have to pack everything away when you go away from the campsite for the day or want to pop out for a takeaway etc.

    Perhaps most importantly, you are not compromising your daily driver - diesel is (once again) a "dirty" fuel and I'd be wary of a diesel vehicle as a long term investment with new low emission zones likely to appear outside London.

    I speak as someone who ran a 1976 VW Kombi as an only vehicle for several years in the nineties and noughties and spent over three years living out of a 110 Defender - both score high marks in the camping credibility stakes but sometimes sadly a caravan makes more sense.
     
  12. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Caravans have their plus points but unless we pay for storage somewhere secure it'll be stuck on an already crowded, terraced street. Not going to go down well with the neighbours. Caravan doesn't suit us for a few more reasons. We've looked into it and ruled it out, more negatives and problems than solutions. Plus doesn't solve the day option we're looking for. The only way would be to get a caravan and a van of some kind. Defeats the object, just get the van.

    BTW commuting is covered by public transport and bikes. We both commute at least a couple of times a week by bike and train the rest of the time for me. My partner uses the car now a few days but also works from home too. It's less of an issue for us.

    LEZ? Anyone hear talk of one in north Lancashire/Cumbria? The day that's likely we'll be on other power source i reckon. Tourist industry in Cumbria would not do too well with a LEZ!

    So finance? Bank loan over a dealer's credit deal. Thought that'll be the case. A bit late getting on the cheap loan bandwagon i reckon. They've been talking rate rises for long enough now for me to think it'll happen before a loan period ends.
     
  13. didicoy

    didicoy Full Member

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    I've been looking at various campervan, motorhome DIY conversions over many years. Can I suggest you spend a little time looking at the many designs and tips, found online. Often we get a basic idea and go a head buying materials, building, fitting out. Only to find there's a better way of having designed it etc, and either redoing it at a later date or not making the most of the vehicle. I have a Ford Transit County 4 x 4 campervan conversion that I designed myself. It is a ex minibus. So it has windows. I designed the kingsize bed to be winchable up into the roof cavity ( this gives me full load space should I need it or the bed can be unpinned and removed within them minutes. The kitchen is a type of butchers block, wooden Island with a fixed 2 ring lpg cooker fitted to the top.) This is clipped to the vehicle floor and can also be removed within a few minutes. I have two fold down, extending aluminium ramps fixed inside the backdoors and when stowed become part of the bed headboard. These allow for heavy loads or for transporting my electric wheelchair or quad. All curtain tracks and insulation lights are flush and help with security. I have a full length roof rack and rear ladder for toys and equipment storage including a large topbox. If I can post up a few pictures I will. What I do like about this kind of conversion is. If I swap vehicles, upgrade, I can re transplant the furniture simply into another vehicle if similar in size or even sell on.

    How old are your kid/s? Our boy is now 12 and getting quite tall. Years ago I made a flat bed base that fitted across the front driver and passengers seats. Making more room in the rear for me and the boys mum to have a kingsize bed. With full storage under the bed. A small free standing cooking/kitchen unit and the rest is floor space. If your over 5'6" in hight, and your vehicle has very little wall insulation. Most of the commercial vehicles on UK roads will allow for sleeping across the vehicle. If not the full length bed will eat into the floor space on most vehicles. I'm going to try and post a link to Pinterest I've tried to include a link to a Mercedes DIY camper conversion http://sprinterlife.com/our-home Hopefully you can look at various designs and ideas, adaptions, inventions and campervans/motorhomes which may give you inspiration if you sign up to a Pinterest.
     
  14. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Fair enough, you have good reason to avoid the shame if becoming a shed dragger and I hadn't realised you were that far north in Lancs so you are pretty safe from a future Greater Manchester LEZ.

    Good luck with whatever you end up choosing! :)
     
  15. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Dislike cities. Even Lancaster is a bit too busy on a Saturday for my liking. I'd be very surprised if Lancaster set up a LEZ any time soon. Besides i don't go there often.
     
  16. Swallow

    Swallow Native

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    Ever seen a mitsubishi delica?

    That could cover alot of your angles.

    I haven't seen a trailer tent in long time. What are they like these days?
     
  17. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    IIRC there's a brand called opus who do nice trailer tents. As Always what you get depends on how much you have to spend but that brand has attachments to allow things to be fixed to the top of it. A roof rack, cycles, canoes, etc. Plus it looks good pitched.

    Some still look like the boxy old frame tent look though some are nice to look at. Inside they're a veritable aladdins cave of goodies. Stoves and cooking areas that slide out off the body of the trailer. Storage all over. Toilets o believe too. Seriously they're like a caravan with a canvas top that folds away for transport. I sometimes think folding caravans and trailer tents are getting very close to each other.
     
  18. didicoy

    didicoy Full Member

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    I found trailer tents can be very awkward to stow away early mornings, usually I would be the last to leave camp after waiting for canvas to dry out. With a caravan, packing can be done the night before leaving. Making breakfast and just hitching up the caravan (after a holiday) is less stressful than packing down a canvas camp.
     

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