Volkswagen Transporter T5 long-termer (2)



I think it was Confucius who said: “Man with van always have plenty friends.” Or was it my neighbour when he asked me to help him deliver a fridge freezer to his daughter?

Whoever it was hit the nail very much on the head.

Once you have a panel van sitting on your driveway, there is always someone nearby who wants a favour.

The funny thing is that the average car driver hasn’t got a clue how wonderful vans are to drive nowadays – they still see them as rattly old things that will shake your fillings out on long journeys.

If only they knew the truth I think everyone would forsake their cramped little cars and get LCV’d up.

Our long-term Volkswagen Transporter has been with us for a month or so now and I really don’t know what I would have done without it.

Three weeks ago, number two daughter moved to a new flat in London so yours truly was invited to help – providing I brought the van of course!

Next, number one son wanted me to deliver some long pieces of wood that wouldn’t fit into his VW Golf and number one and two grandsons wanted to go to the woods recently with their bicycles to yahoo about and wear themselves out.

Mum and dad didn’t want to make their own car all dirty in the process.

Then of course, there was my own favourite baby – my precious Harley Davidson Sportster, which needed transporting from my partner’s flat in Southend On Sea back to my home in Peterborough.

Yes I know I should have ridden it but it was slashing down with rain at the time and I didn’t fancy spending three weeks cleaning the bike up afterwards, so down went the Transporter and with about two inches to spare it went in the back, as you’ll see from the accompanying picture.

Despite the hefty weight of the bike, the Transporter behaved itself with the utmost aplomb, as it always does when empty – its a superb driving machine and make no mistake.

I finally got the chance to do some accurate fuel economy calculations on our van – the 2.0-litre 102bhp version – and I was a little disappointed to see that it is only returning 33.4mpg.

I had been expecting better.

Mind you we haven’t exactly been sparing the horses since the van arrived and we’ve been doing quite a bit of round-town driving.

I’m going to be making a conscious effort in the next week or so to see if I can increase this figure.

With the recent heatwave, I was mighty glad that the lads at Volkswagen had added air-con to our van.

I know a lot of operators scoff at such “luxuries” but if I was driving a van all day every day for a living I would get pretty hot and bothered in boiling weather, so air- can would help not only cool me down but make me a safer driver too.

The downside is that using air-con can add up to 10% on fuel costs but it’s better than having a crash I reckon.

The disposal experts also reckon that the cost of air-con should be recouped at selling time, so there’s really no excuse to scrimp on this item in my humble opinion.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.