MOVING house can be one of the most stressful times of your life. Completion date anomalies, wondering whether the sofas are going to fit through the door and logistically getting everything from one house to another all add to the anxiety.
Having access to our long-term Ford Transit served to ease my troubles though as the vehicle has proved a valuable member of the fleet since its time with us.
It’s bad enough worrying about scraping items of furniture along newly-painted interior walls without being concerned that the same items could also damage van panels.
Its design though – with cutouts along the panels allowing the use of ropes to secure items properly and the wooden ply lining tough enough to shoulder any knocks – ensures the van looks as new as the day it arrived with us. Well almost, but nothing a little attention won’t sort out.
And that’s no easy feat as the van has been in use almost every weekend since it’s been here but it’s proving a very sturdy vehicle. For a company with one of these vans it means maximum residual values are achieved at defleet time. Not only does it swallow up an enormous amount of stuff, but it boasts other fleet workhorse qualities and has a powerful engine that pulls you along with ease.
OUR Transit has certainly had its work cut out since arriving at Fleet News. I also used it for a major house move, several trips to the DIY store and a 100-mile-round trip to Ikea.
I’m not the stereotypical van driver – or hope not anyway – but I can’t believe how easy it is to manoeuvre. I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually in a van when negotiating tight bends or squeezing through narrow lanes. I was concerned about the full bulkhead before getting behind the wheel, as the largest vehicle I had driven prior to the Transit was a 1969 Volkswagen camper. But my worries were unfounded. The oversized side mirrors provide an adequate view of approaching traffic and the parking sensors make reversing a breeze.
The Transit, as it has for decades, makes an ideal vehicle for a high mileage van driver.
Price (OTR): £19,100 ex-VAT
CO2 emissions (g/km): n/a
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 22% tax-payer: £9 per month
Insurance group: 13T
Combined mpg: n/a
Test mpg: 28.6
CAP Monitor residual value £6,075/31%
Expenditure to date: Nil
- Figures based on three years/60,000 miles