Category Archives: Van Guides

When Is The Best Time To Buy A New Car?

postal delivery courier in a van showing thumb up hand sign

Dealers may make you think there are hot and cold seasons where they see many and few sales, but even though there is a little truth to it, the fact is it rarely affects prices unless the company is going out of business. The best time to buy depends almost exclusively on you and your personal circumstances.

The Rare Occasion When It Doesn’t Depend On You

There are certain things that happen in the car world that do affect the prices of cars in your favour. For example, the two-seater Smart cars were once popular for their 100% safety record, their excellent fuel consumption, and their size that means they are ideal for city driving. However, when the four-seater version came out it became a big success, and dealers were falling over themselves to stock up on them and shift their smaller two seater versions quickly–so many offered big discounts.

The Economics Of Buying A New Car

The best time to buy depends on you, but there is something you should know first: a new car is a massive waste of money except under two conditions. The first condition is if you sell the car for more than its second-hand value (they call it the blue book value). The second condition is if you take care of the car, keep it for many years, and run it until the end (or near end) of its life. If you work under either of those conditions, then the economic side is a good reason to buy a new car.

When You Want To Save Money?!?

The two conditions mentioned above will save you money. If you buy a car and take care of it for years, it will save you more than if you changed your car every few years and had to put up with overly frequent repairs. Stretch out the cost of repairs for your new car and it comes to less than the money you pay for repairs when buying a series of second-hand cars over the same period of time.

Buy When Repairing Your Current Car Will Cost More Than The Finance Payments

Do the maths and figure out if you are saving more by buying a car, even with a loan or on finance, over keeping your current car. If your current car is costing you an average of £350 per year, you can probably find a finance deal with interest lower than £350 per year; ergo you make a saving and get a new car too.

Hooray For The Relay: Citroen

relay

Panel vans have been popular for many years and the Citroen Relay has consistently ranked at the top of most lists. As of 2014, this model was redesigned and is can now keep pace with rivals such as the Ford Transit and the Volkswagen Crafter. What are some of the aspects that make the Relay a great option to consider?

Important Updates

It is first a good idea to mention a handful of the most noticeable updates which have taken place within this newer model. The Relay boasts a new grille, redesigned headlamps and even an optional LED strip to add a bit of extra flair. These amenities are then paired with updated brakes, an engine with lower emissions and an interior that offers technological gadgets such as satellite navigation and tyre pressure sensors.

Engine Power

All engines supplied within the Relay range offer a 2.2-litre diesel capacity and their horsepower will vary accordingly. This will range between 108 and 148 bhp. This is an excellent benefit in terms of flexibility, for drivers with varying needs will be able to choose the power level that suits them the best. On a final note, the Relay provides between 39 and 41 miles per gallon; ideal of you have been interested in purchasing an economy vehicle with muscle.

Interior Space

The Relay is considered to be one of the most practical panel vans currently on the market. This is largely due to the fact that there are no less than four different lengths and three different heights for you to select. So, some models are ideally suited for family transportation while others can be used for commercial needs. As the rear door is able to be opened to a maximum of 260 degrees, this van is a great option for those who are constantly loading and unloading freight.

Safety

The Relay has always scored high in terms of safety and this latest version is no different. ABS, hill assist and emergency braking systems are all included as standard features. Lane departure warnings and a driver-side airbag round out this category.

Those who are interested in a cost-effective and yet highly versatile panel van will not be disappointed with what the Citroen Relay has to offer. If you have been searching for these same qualities, you cannot go wrong with what these newer models have in store.

7 Reasons A Citroen Nemo Is Perfect For You

nemo

Realising that you need a van for your needs can be a sobering thought if you’re used to driving a car: you can be forgiven for thinking about driving lessons before you take to the road. However; vans like the Citroën Nemo have turned the concept of the small van on it’s head. Here are seven reasons why this van is perfect for you:

1-It’s great value

The Citroën Nemo is priced very reasonably at £9,375-£12,175, which is comparable with many small cars. There’s a choice of 72bhp petrol or 74bhp diesel engines, 3 trim levels and a further choice of options.

2-It’s very economical

The 1,360cc petrol engine will return a respectable 40mpg, and this helps to make the basic X model a real consideration for those wishing to take advantage of the low purchase price and the lower cost of petrol compared to diesel. However; for long-distance drivers the 1,248cc diesel is more powerful and more economical, with a possible fuel consumption of 66mpg.

3-It’s easy to drive

The Nemo is based on the Fiat Punto and drives more like a car than a van. The driving position features good visibility with large mirrors and a deep windscreen. It also has power-assisted steering, making life easy for the driver.

4-It has a huge storage capacity

The Nemo has a class-leading 2.5 cubic metres of space, which rises to 2.8 cubic metres when the passenger side seat is folded into a recess in the loading bay. This capacity is double that of comparable hatchback vans.

5-It’s practical

The Nemo features rear doors that open through 180 degrees to aid loading, and higher-spec models feature a side door. There’s also a choice of bulkheads including a folding cage that encloses the driver to protect against shifting loads when the full load capacity is used.

6-It’s safe

The Nemo now features Electronic Stability Control (ESG) as an option on the basic models, and this comes as standard with the EGS version. All models feature ABS as standard.

7-It’s environmentally friendly

The diesel automatic version of the Nemo with start-stop technology boasts an ultra-low CO2 emission level of 109 g/km, and all models are compliant with Euro-5 emissions regulations. This makes the Citroën Nemo perfect for those wishing to lower their carbon footprint.

Citroen Dispatch – The Ultimate Middle Van

citroen dispatch
Overview:

First launched in 2007 as a joint venture between Fiat and Peugeot Citroen, the Dispatch has become the mainstay of Citroens mid-range fleet. Available in a short-wheelbase model L1, and long-wheelbase model L2, there is also a high roof variation of the L2 designated L2H2.

If you need to carry staff as well as goods, then crew cabs are an option, as are six and nine seat combination variants, designated SX models. A platform van with various loading options is also available.

Running Costs:

Although petrol engines were available on the earlier models, the range now is exclusively diesel using 1.6, 90bhp and 2.0 litre, 125bhp HDi engines.

Economy is the name of the game running commercial vehicles, and the engines, designed by Ford and PSA, return an impressive 42.2mpg with emissions of 177g/km for the 1.6 size, and an even more impressive 44.1mpg, with emissions of 168g/kg for the 2.0-litre.

Although the 1600 may be slightly underpowered, the fuel consumption figures put the Dispatch in the same box as the Vauxhall Vivaro ecoFLEX, and the VW Transporter.

Load Options:

Depending on your choice of body, the Dispatch can carry 5.0, 6.0, or 7.0 cubic metres of cargo.

Unfortunately air suspension is an extra, but at a cost of 410GBP, well worth considering. It allows the rear end to drop to 491mm, lower than any other similar commercial. The package also includes automatic monitoring of the tyre pressures.

Safety and Reliability:

One of the Dispatch’s big let downs is electronic stability control is an optional extra, and not available at all for the L1H1 1000 HDi 90. Fitted with a driver’s airbag, a passenger airbag is a 140GBP option and side airbags aren’t available for any model.

Engine wise, both 1.6 and 2.0 litre sizes have a tried and tested history, and are a good reliable workhorse in commercial vehicles.

Cab and Comfort:

I’ve always found the driving position in Citroens, both car and commercial comfortable and relaxing, and the Dispatch is no different. With seat height adjustment, and steering column adjustment, the Dispatch will accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes.

The range doesn’t have an automatic gearbox option, but the manual five and six-speed boxes have a light action when shifting up and down through the gears.

Plenty of cab storage space is available with the usual door pockets, plus cubbyholes in the dash, and a deeper bin on the passenger side. Central locking, electric windows and trip computer are all standard. If you require a higher spec cab the Dispatch Enterprise offers air-con, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, and a USB socket for 880GBP.

All in all, a hard working economical mid-range van, high load carrying capabilities and an easy drive make the Dispatch a good, value-for-money, all-rounder.

How to Lose Your Van Virginity

White Commercial Vehicle Mockup

Driving a van for the first time is always a different experience for everyone. Handling a van is quite different when compared to other vehicle types like a sports car or midsize sedan. Vans are taller, longer, and have different sightlines than other average vehicles.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should be afraid of purchasing one or reserving a van rental. If anything, modern vans are quite simple and easy to drive since they are endowed with similar features that you would find in many cars—small steering wheels, excellent power steering, and dash-mounted gear sticks among other features. So you just need to understand a few tips about how to drive a van before you climb behind the wheel.

Mirrors

Most vans lack rear and central-view mirrors. Instead, they have large wing mirrors that are more useful than normal car wing mirrors. When driving a van, therefore, you will depend on the wing mirrors to see what’s happening around and behind you than you do in a car. Accordingly, ensure that your wing mirrors are correctly adjusted before you set off.

Master Your Controls

Before you drive a van for the first time, familiarise yourself with a few controls of the van. At the very least, know where indicators, hazards, headlights and wipers are. Check the gears—usually placed on the left just off the dashboard and adjacent to the steering wheel. Some modern vans may have a sixth gear. Utilising the sixth gear on long motorway runs will save you extra diesel and cut down on the van’s noise. Again, get used to the brakes; they are designed to handle full load and can be a bit sharp and over responsive if your van is empty.

Driving

Current van engines, power steering, and gearboxes are pretty powerful. Accordingly, driving shouldn’t present any challenges. However, you have to be cautious when the van is loaded. When loaded, the van will be longer and wider, heavier, slower to stop, and less stable when negotiating corners. So stay calm, brake and corner gently, and look further than usual.

Parking your Van

Parking is perhaps the van’s only genuine intimidating aspect. As aforementioned, you won’t have rear-view or rear windows. To see your rear, you will need to use your wing mirrors or just stick your head out of the window (this works perfect!). You can also get your co-driver to jump out and give you direction. Just take it easy. Remember, it is not only tricky because of the parking manoeuvres; your braking distance is also longer than a normal car anyway.

Bottom Line

Driving a van for the first time can be easy, simple, and safe, as long as you are aware that a van has unique features and should be handled differently compared to an average car.

Citroen Berlingo – Your Best Mid-Sized Van

Citroen Multispace

If you are looking for the perfect mid-sized van, the Citroen Berlingo is a great choice. With many excellent features, you can choose from a range of body styles. In this article, we look at this useful vehicle and weigh up the pros and cons.

Bodystyles

There are five options available, from the smallest 625 L1 to the 725 L2 crew van. Both models use the same wheelbase although the body lengths are different, with the L2 having a longer load area.

Power

Both models are available in a 75bhp or 90bhp diesel engine, and the L1 also has a 1.6 litre petrol engine option. Recently, a entirely electric model has been added to the range, the L1H1. The Airdream model is a great choice for those looking to lower their harmful emissions.

Equipment

New Berlingos come with all mod cons, including sat nav and vehicle tracking devices together with subscriptions to both Trafficmaster Smartnav and Trackstar for three years. Buyers also benefit from three months of free subscription to safety camera alerts.

Interiors

The Berlingo benefits from a choice of bulkhead options and seat configurations, including a model that seats five.

Running Costs

Buyers will be pleased to note that the Berlingo is one of the most efficient vans in its class, achieving 62.8mpg in the Airdream model. The electric L1H1 gives drivers 106 miles of trouble free driving after a 12 hour charge It even has a power boost feature giving 80% capacity after just 35 minutes of charging time. The Berlingo also comes into the category of one of the lowest priced insurance groups, making it great value for money.

Practicality

The Berlingo offers an excellent load space which can even be extended up to 3,000mm. When compared with similar models from other manufacturers, the Berlingo has both a longer load area and can hold two Euro pallets.

Reliability

The safety record of this vehicle is very good and no serious manufacturing problems have been reported on even the oldest vehicles of this type.

Pros And Cons

Advantages:

Offers a dual passenger seat and five seater models
Option for low emissions

Disadvantages:

Cramped seating in crew model
Smaller load space than some other makes.

How To Keep Your Work Van Tidy

Isometric White Van Flooded in Two Positions

‘Work is worship’ and ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’ are sayings that have been there since ages, and a corollary emerging from them is the concept of a neat and tidy workplace. Research shows that a clean and organised work area enhances efficiency and productivity – be it your office cubicle or work van. Let me walk you through some tips on how to keep your work van tidy.

Your work van talks about you. A spick and span work van goes a long way in lauding your work habits and telling how methodical you are. It should not look like a junkyard with paper, napkins, wrappers and soda cans/ coffee cups strewn all around, or seats/cushions stomped over with spilt beverages.

First, all the junk should be disposed off as soon as generated. Neck deep in work, we tend to forget the mess created when we eat and/or drink something in the van or stash away invoices in the seat compartments of our work van. All the junk should immediately be thrown away or recycled, and the useful stuff not belonging to the car carefully put where they belong. Always keep a trash bin handy.

Second, the stuff in the work van should be restricted and properly organised. Usually, we look at the mess in our work van and decide to deal with it later. Thereafter, we forget and trash keeps piling up. The key is to contain the stuff carried in to the van and avoid any eatables inside. The longer the mess is around, the easier it is to get accustomed and ignore it. It is very essential that unnecessary items are kept out of the work van. Kids’ toys, pacifiers, cardboard boxes/ board games and most importantly pets are not meant to be inside work vans. Neatly put all the stationery in folders and pockets meant for them.

Lastly, the dust and dirt should be kept off. Dusting the van daily and vacuuming its interiors are good to keep it clean. A soft cloth to clean the windows and timely cleaning of the upholstery are essential to keep dust away. Keep wipes (wet & dry) handy. Washing the van every week will just clinch it.

Worship your work and keep your temple clean; that’s the mantra to keep in mind forever.

Citroen Relay: The Ultimate Van

relay

Overview:

The Citroen Relay has been in Citroen’s range of small/medium commercial vehicles for many years. So many in fact, its rivals, the Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Volkswagen Crafter, were getting away from it. In 2014 Citroen decided it was time for a makeover.

Built on similar lines to the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer, the new Relay has improved body styling which includes a new grille and headlights copied from the new car range, and larger than usual chrome chevrons. Optional LED headlight strips are also available and add that little extra styling.

Engine and Body Types:

The engine is the basic 2.2 litre diesel with a variety of power options from the small 110, 108 brake horse power unit; to the largest 150, 148 brake horse power version.

As one would expect from commercial vehicles Citroen have spent a long time looking at overall running costs, and fuel economy across the whole range is impressive. The smallest of the range returns a decent 41.5mpg. The 130, with the stop-start system, returns slightly higher figures at 42.8, while the L3H2, although not the largest model returns 39.2mpg.

CO2 emissions are well within range with the smallest van returning a low 175g/km, and all vans less than 3.5 tonnes, returning less than 200g/km.

Body types range from tipper, flatbed drop-side, chassis cab, and Luton box, with carrying capacity from 1,115 kg to a good 1,900 kg. Freight volumes range from eight cubic metres, to a decent 17 cubic metres in the largest L4H3 model.

Cab and Body:

Durability and reliability has been improved with the new Relay, with a view to keeping overall wear and tear costs to a minimum, while at the same time upgrading an old model to meet the rigorous requirements of today’s owner driver. Cab doors have been improved and driver’s airbag is standard.

Braking has been upgraded to include emergency and ABS. Hill start assist, and stability control are fitted as standard on all Relay models, and there are a variety of optional extras to help get away from the ‘basic’ feel of many commercial van cabs. Auto-wipers, a lane change warning system, tyre-pressure sensors, sat-nav, and reversing cameras are available.

Conclusion:

Citroen have invested a lot of time and money in upgrading a vehicle which was beginning to feel its age. Over 2.5-million miles of test driving has been carried out, and the doors have been slammed 500,000 times. With the new cab styling, and upgrading of engine efficiency and fuel economy, it shouldn’t be too long before Citroen begin to see a return on their investment.

Britain’s 7 Fastest Vans

fast van

Finding the fastest vans in Britain can be a daunting task. There is so much choice on the market that it can be confusing to sift through all the options. To help you decide, we have listed the top 7 fastest vans in this article.

The Mercedes Sprinter
The Sprinter is one of the fastest vans in the world. It comes with a long trim on the wheelbase, which makes this van quite enjoyable to drive. You can easily change directions thanks to the stability control. These vans are undoubtedly the safest and most stable as they are well engineered.

Ford Transit
The Transit is a real contender in the van world and this time, Ford have managed to please their customers once again by injecting a little of the chassis magic into their vans. This is a truly pleasant car to drive, especially around the circuit. Its safety and strong suspension grip are really impressive. If you put your foot on the brake pedal too quickly, the stability control intervention comes into play. The Ford Transit is a well-balanced van with excellent handling, which is why so many commercial customers prefer it over other models.

Isuzu D-Max
This van offers low running costs and comes with a 3.5-tonne towing capacity. You can choose between the single cab or the double cab configurations with a maximum load capacity of 1000 kg, making the D-Max model exempt from VAT.

Ford Ranger
This rugged pick-up truck also comes with an impressive 3.5-tonne towing capacity, with a choice between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. It’s not only suitable as a working van for commercial use, but the lifestyle-oriented buyers can also find basic models that are perfect as family cars.

Fiat Doblo Cargo
This van comes in a wide range of body styles and interior sizes. It’s smooth to drive and offers 58mpg fuel economy. The secure handling is thanks to the powerful rear suspension, making this mid-weight van the best in the market.

Nissan Navara
The double-cabin Navara isn’t cheap but remains the best 4×4 pickup on the market. It’s perfect for off-road and offers lots of space in the cabin. Nissan Navara has an enviable reputation for safety and reliability and has all the storage you could ever need.

Vauxhall Movano
This versatile heavy-weight van ranges from 2800 to 4500 kg and is available in 4 body lengths. You have the option of 125bhp or 150bhp diesel power. There is also the minibus option that seats up to 17 passengers.

Citroen Dispatch: All You Need to Know

cit
The current Citroen Dispatch, launched in 2007 and given a facelift in 2011, is the result of a joint venture between PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat. It is a much bigger van than its predecessor and competes with the likes of the Vauxhall Vivaro and Volkswagen Transporter. The Dispatch is a versatile van and is available as a standard panel van, crew van and a minibus. It is available in two different wheelbase lengths and two different roof heights with a variety of seating and load options. 

The Dispatch has twin rear doors fitted as standard and two sliding side doors. The sliding doors open to a width of 924mm – enough to load a Euro pallet. The smallest Dispatch can carry two Euro pallets and has a payload of almost a tonne (988kg) while the longer wheelbase Dispatch can carry three Euro pallets and has a payload of up to 1,200kg. 

There are two diesel engines to choose from; the 90bhp 1.6-litre, which is only available in the lower roof vans, returns 42.2mpg and the 125bhp 2.0-litre which is more efficient returning 44.1mpg. Service intervals are 12 months or 20,000 miles and insurance costs should be competitive ranging from group 3E to 4E.

Driver comfort has not been forgotton with an adjustable driver’s seat and adjustable steering column, electric windows and built-in SatNav system. A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted to the 1.6 Hdi models and a six-speed manual gearbox features on the 2.0 Hdi models. Every Dispatch has a twin passenger seat and there are numerous storage bins and cubby holes, including a large glovebox, deep passenger side bin and overhead storage shelf. 

Air suspension is an optional extra enabling the rear of the van to be lowered to 491mm, ideal for manual loading. The system is self-levelling, maintaining a constant ride height, and includes tyre pressure monitoring. The system will automatically reset itself to the correct height if you forget before driving off.

Citroen says: “If your business needs to carry more – then the Citroen Dispatch is the answer. It takes up no more road space than a big people carrier and yet offers up to 1,200kg carrying capacity.” www.citroen.co.uk