Age of van, does it really matter?

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Age of van, does it really matter?

Postby stevegarside » Tuesday 2 February 2010, 19:11

I am looking into getting a van. I have been looking at the obvious to get more potential work. An xlwb sprinter/transit etc. within 3 years old. However I wondered what work would be available out there if I were to go for a van, lets say 5-7years old. Thus being a lot cheaper! Are any of you guys running older vans but still getting in sufficient work?
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Re: Age of van, does it really matter?

Postby slim » Tuesday 2 February 2010, 19:39

Thus being a lot cheaper!

Not necessarily so.

Clean van more important than reg'. Your van needs to be reliable and therefore well cared for.
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Postby stevegarside » Tuesday 2 February 2010, 20:00

To initially buy the RIGHT van would save me alot of money, but what I mean is, is there a vast wantage out there for vans under 4 years old or some that will deal with older vans?
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Postby graeme » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 10:14

I ran a W plate Sprinter for nearly two years up until last August, customers didn't mind it at all. It was kept clean, had 280,000 miles on the clock and never lost a days down time with it...well, until that dry stane dyke jumped out in front of me :oops: . Now I have a 2005 Sprinter. As far as I'm aware :!: :?: I've never lost out on work 'cos of the age of a van.
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Postby bramble43 » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 11:32

My van is ancient and don't get problems with customers, they don't care as long as their goods get delivered.
I take it all over europe and had 2 problems in last 15k.
Thermostat gasket (bodged at side of road in Munich) and gearbox went crunchy and finally lost 5th on way back from Prague last week and cos it's an old banger it cost me £180 in total for a replacement s/h box, oil and filters change, spare key. Bargain
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Postby steve jones » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 12:07

5-7 year old van is dodgy when it comes to reliability.
2 choices,you either go as old as Bramble has gone where you can get s/h parts from any breaker yards at a cheap price or go 2 or 3 year old with low mileage and some chance of getting 3 or 4 year of use without major problems,when the major problems come on a 5-7 year old van you may aswell dump it.
For me it's not what the customers want to see me driving, no for me it's i want to get home without hassle's.
Anyway it's your game play it how you want to play it.
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Postby dino » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 13:09

steve jones wrote:5-7 year old van is dodgy when it comes to reliability.
2 choices,you either go as old as Bramble has gone where you can get s/h parts from any breaker yards at a cheap price or go 2 or 3 year old with low mileage and some chance of getting 3 or 4 year of use without major problems,when the major problems come on a 5-7 year old van you may aswell dump it.
For me it's not what the customers want to see me driving, no for me it's i want to get home without hassle's.
Anyway it's your game play it how you want to play it.


My van's 4 years old now but my last van was a 1997 sprinter never let me down and i would still have kept it but needed the 4 meter sprinter for new contract (old one was 3 meter) i had a private plate on it and kept it clean one company i used to sub for insisted on vans not being over 4 years old but i used to get loads of work of them they never questiond how old my van was, it was tidy and i was reliable that's more important if you are good at your job and you get on well with your cutomers i don't think they mind how old your van is.
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Postby Craig Souter » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 13:29

Some companies will not take you on if the van is over four years old - but if they use you and find your work is OK, they will often turn a blind eye if your van gets older or "changes shape", as long as it looks all right.

Mostly, it is a condition you need to comply with to get a foot in the door ... when they know and trust your work, things get easier.
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Postby A KIRK » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 15:17

Makes no difference as long as its tidy, hm then again my old 17 year old tranny luton(pikeu wagon) was neither new or tidy.

My current one is just over 5 years old now, I reckon I'll use it for another 2 years then change it
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Postby ian » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 18:13

mines an 03........runs perfect and customers never complain. even tho i'm goin to change it this year, but still stickin with the same shape.
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Postby stevegarside » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 19:31

Okay, this is really interesting especially the comment about Needing to have a newish van to get your foot in the door. I reckon I might as well rent for a few months just to get known THEN get my own van. The sheer cost would halve if I had my own van, thanks guys!
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Postby slim » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 20:25

When you rent make sure you understand the pitfalls of doing so.

Fines will be likely paid by the company upfront and claimed from you plus fee, leaving you in a difficult position to protest from.

Fine toothcomb over the bodywork,screen, for damage and sign as. Ask how they interpret their fair wear and tear policy ( if they have one) dent repair/third party resolution.

Don't write it off, or lose it. You'll be paying rent on it, and your replacement until settled.

Push hard for the best rate you can, they have increased their rates recently and it appears all the good deals have vanished, all the more reason to shop around.
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Postby RLT » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 20:33

stevegarside wrote:Okay, this is really interesting especially the comment about Needing to have a newish van to get your foot in the door. I reckon I might as well rent for a few months just to get known THEN get my own van. The sheer cost would halve if I had my own van, thanks guys!


Good plan
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Postby Stuart Moverley » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 20:40

slim wrote:Don't write it off, or lose it. You'll be paying rent on it, and your replacement until settled.


Now he tells me ... but a fortnight too late. :roll:
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Postby slim » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 20:49

Four ton of cotton wool available............... :D
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Postby Noble Express Couriers » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 21:15

stevegarside wrote:
Okay, this is really interesting especially the comment about Needing to have a newish van to get your foot in the door. I reckon I might as well rent for a few months just to get known THEN get my own van. The sheer cost would halve if I had my own van, thanks guys!


Good plan


Il second that - Just make sure it goes back in the same condition as you got it in. The simple answer to fines are dont accrue them!! You cant not rent a van because you might get a fine and they might add a £15 admin charge!!

You may even find that youl stick to renting. I long term hire all of mine (long term is defined as longer than 28 days). If I have a particularly busy period, I can have another van in within the hour, then if it slacks off again after a month or so, I send it back!!

Certainly in the early stages, renting is the way forward..without a doubt!!
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Postby stevegarside » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 22:26

675 wrote:
stevegarside wrote:Okay, this is really interesting especially the comment about Needing to have a newish van to get your foot in the door. I reckon I might as well rent for a few months just to get known THEN get my own van. The sheer cost would halve if I had my own van, thanks guys!


Good plan


Thanks!
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Postby slim » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 22:45

Noble Express Couriers wrote:
Il second that - Just make sure it goes back in the same condition as you got it in. The simple answer to fines are dont accrue them!! You cant not rent a van because you might get a fine and they might add a £15 admin charge!!



Just for the record. i have been a long time advocate of renting having had a four year stint with Norflex.

Many newbies pile into a rental agreement without asking the questions we know by experience to be relevant.

My remarks were intended to educate not derogate. Absolutely no probs with your comments Noble but i just posted this to qualify my previous post as not knocking rental.
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Postby dave creek » Wednesday 3 February 2010, 23:41

my van is 52 plate with 92k on the clock, ex ministry of defence run around, but no expense spared with service and parts, runs really well and needed 1 tyre for mot, keep em clean and make yourself smart thats the best way to get your foot in the door.
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Postby Craig Souter » Friday 5 February 2010, 00:30

slim wrote:
Noble Express Couriers wrote:
Il second that - Just make sure it goes back in the same condition as you got it in. The simple answer to fines are dont accrue them!! You cant not rent a van because you might get a fine and they might add a £15 admin charge!!



Just for the record. i have been a long time advocate of renting having had a four year stint with Norflex.

Many newbies pile into a rental agreement without asking the questions we know by experience to be relevant.
... I just posted this to qualify my previous post as not knocking rental.


It has cost me thousands, paying to get the dints knocked out of "renters"!

A lot of the dints were inconsequentially tiny (ie the van still looked OK), but experience tells me it costs £250 per panel to get the dints professionally neutralised, unless you are lucky - or a panelbeater.

You have to give a renter back in the condition you got it - and even then, you get the bloke at the depot who marks it down for "tree scratches", which are an unavoidable consequence of use.

If you are talking about a complete newbie, who might not have the gumption to succeed, suggesting that he rents a van is the cheapest option before he runs out of cash and fails. If he is going to succeed, the best option is that he buys/finances the van - and that the van is relatively old, but low mileage.

I would advise a complete newbie to work for an established company for a while, driving their van. If he doesn't get past the interview, he has personal skills to learn before he tries for courier work. You need those skills to get by in the job ... personal contact is important.
It doesn't matter if you think the customer is an idiot, you need his money.

Working for an established firm, you make peanuts for the first year or more - but you learn about the business.
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Postby dave creek » Friday 5 February 2010, 01:07

must admit last rental was over 3 years and they stung me for everything possible, put me right off rent/lease. if I get a dent or scrape now I only have to answer to me"! :wink:
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Postby steve jones » Friday 5 February 2010, 03:38

I used to rent from norflex,I allways asked for the older vans that saw abit of life.
I found norflex are alot more clued up they realise its a work horse they know its gonna get thrashed to hell and back even get afew new scratches and small dents.
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