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mancunian

Car Vs Van

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    Hi all,

     

    I'm currently backpacking with my girlfriend and we are stuck between buying a car (station wagon) or a van.

    I really want a van because we will have more room to move, sleep, cook, eat and live.

    She really wants a car because they are cheaper and she thinks cars are more reliable and cheaper to fix.

     

    Can any backpackers, ex or present help us out with advice on what they have and why?

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    Welcome to the forum, when you say van do you mean a campervan or something like a transit van?

    A car would be cheaper on fuel, parts would be easier to get if you break down rural especially if you get something like a Toyota or Nissan. 

    You could look at an ex Wicked Campervan they are around $5,500 and they can buy it back for around $2,000 after 12 months. http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/australia-campervans/vans-for-sale.html although they will have done lots of mileage.

    Another option I would personally consider is getting a 4 x 4 but that's because we like exploring hidden places where you can have them to yourself. You could get a roof tent and set it up something like this

    IMG_3558.PNG

     

    I would highly recommend getting a check done on the car/van/4x4 before purchase, it may cost you a couple of hundred but it could save you breaking down in the Outback. I would also look at taking out RACQ or similar. We are with the Ultimate package and when we rolled our 4 x 4 they gave us a car to use, paid for a hotel and then transported us and the car back home.


    If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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    Hi Pom Queen,
    When I say van, I generally mean like a transit van. I think a campervan will be over budget and a normal van will be better at stealth camping.

    Thanks for the info, we never considered a 4x4 but I assume they will be very exspensive.
    I have already been looking online at cars and getting a free check done to ensure its not stolen or has finance against it, do you know what other checks I can do. I was thinking if hiring a mechanic for an hour to accompany me to view a car but I'm not sure that's a thing.

    I was just going to use comparethemarket.com.au for insurance. See what deals they can offer, would my no claims in England count over here? Or does insurance work differently.

    Cheers


    Sent from my SM-A520F using PomsinOz mobile app

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    Personally I would go the wagon but it's a coin toss really.

    You can get mechanics to check vehicles out ( even ring one and get their opinion on what to buy ) am sure even rac offer this service for $150 ish a time ( I think ? ), so i would  advise you go looking first and if something looks ok then get it looked at.

    Edited by Wa7

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    I wouldn't go for the transit van, in fact you don't see many on the roads. I would go the station wagon over a transit more economical and easier to find parts. The RACQ check is here https://www.racq.com.au/cars-and-driving/products-and-services/vehicle-inspections it may be expensive but worth it. You could always negotiate and get them to do it. Also think of your budget, second hand cars aren't cheap here.  Always check on this site https://www.redbook.com.au/ it will tell you what the car is worth according to condition and mileage.


    If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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    As Pom Queen has said transit type vans are very rare in Australia. In the UK almost every tradie drives a transit type van so used ones are cheap and plentiful. In Australia most tradies drive a Ute. And if you're wondering how they carry their tools safely in the back of a pick up it's because they fit them out with tool boxes like this:-

    Ute.jpg.62d30383fe4797f3a6e6039bd7e46ae0.jpg

    • Like 2

    Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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    Loads of useful information for me to look into, I'll take the advise on board and I'm sure it will help me. I'll go with the station wagon based on your points (and to keep my girlfriend happy).
    Thank you wa7 and Pom Queen

    Sent from my SM-A520F using PomsinOz mobile app

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    Hi Ken, funny enough I've noticed this different looking car/pickup vehicle driving around the streets of Melbourne. Never seen anything like it, is this what all the trades people drive as opposed to a van? dcea3636a494d2f750da6c97bb301441.jpg

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    6 minutes ago, mancunian said:

    Hi Ken, funny enough I've noticed this different looking car/pickup vehicle driving around the streets of Melbourne. Never seen anything like it, is this what all the trades people drive as opposed to a van? dcea3636a494d2f750da6c97bb301441.jpg

    Sent from my SM-A520F using PomsinOz mobile app
     

    Yes, that's a Ute too - and the tray does have more space for tools than a car boot (there's normally a hard cover over it to keep it secure), but not as much space as a transit hence the other type of Ute would be needed by the type of tradie who needs a transit in the UK. 

    Edited by Ken

    Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia)

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    If you are going on long / more remote areas then go for Toyota, such as a basic 7 series tray back. These are very popular in remoter places and so parts are very common. They are also very reliable and have 4x4. 

    However, if you are considering going to areas more remote particularly if going off Tarmac roads, though even metal roads in remote locations let me know and I can give you detailed advice on such a trip. It is very important that you are able to properly plan such trips as remote parts of Australia can be incredibly beautiful but very dangerous for those that haven't planned and people do die as a result. 

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    If you are going on long / more remote areas then go for Toyota, such as a basic 7 series tray back. These are very popular in remoter places and so parts are very common. They are also very reliable and have 4x4. 
    However, if you are considering going to areas more remote particularly if going off Tarmac roads, though even metal roads in remote locations let me know and I can give you detailed advice on such a trip. It is very important that you are able to properly plan such trips as remote parts of Australia can be incredibly beautiful but very dangerous for those that haven't planned and people do die as a result. 

    Hi Verystormy,
    The 7 series seems to be a forklift truck?
    Thanks for the offer on tips and info regarding outback driving, I'll reach out to you in due course, it could even be another topic to start. I think the only long distance drive I'll have to do will be to Alice Springs but it will be a couple of months away and hopefully I'll have more knowledge by then.
    87a2c02b5d4efee26b878ad68daef3e3.jpg

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    Sorry, should have been more specific. Google Toyota 7 series single cab ute. 

    It is a ute. The pluses are that as well as being 4x4, is very reliable, lots of parts - it is the work horse of the mining industry it is also incredible off road, but the tray back is big enough for 2 people to sleep on if you don't want to sleep on the ground (some good reasons not too, though I usually did)

    A trip to Alice should not cause to many issues, though you should have a radio and some basics and make sure you know how to change a wheel and the kit to do it. The single most important thing is water. Lots of it. A breakdown in summer in the desert even on a good road can mean you are stuck for a good while. A rented sat phone is a good idea - there are lots of areas with no mobile signal and while normally someone will stop to assist, it is better not to rely on it  

    I spent many months in very remote parts not just off road but off track, so had a 7 series that was adapted (twin fuel tanks, roll bars that acted as 100 ltr water containers, armoured base, bull bars, fitted shelf for de-bogging kit, fringe freezer, survival kit, twin radios, high performance off road tyres, electric air pumps and some other bits. But I was in areas that are hundreds of Km from even a dirt road. But, if staying on metal roads don't worry. 

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    1 hour ago, mancunian said:

    Hi Ken, funny enough I've noticed this different looking car/pickup vehicle driving around the streets of Melbourne. Never seen anything like it, is this what all the trades people drive as opposed to a van? dcea3636a494d2f750da6c97bb301441.jpg

    Sent from my SM-A520F using PomsinOz mobile app
     

    These are Utes but more for boy racers from what I've seen. 

    You then have the dual cabs so this one in black and then you purchase a canopy like the white one. You could get a cheap mattress and fit it in the back

    IMG_3560.JPG

     

    IMG_3561.JPG

     

    we had a ad a Mitsubishi Pajero but we ended up rolling it in the Outback, it took an hour before we were found and nearly 3 hours before the police came out. It's a good job we weren't in a critical situation and had a sat phone (which by the way you can hire) We now have one like the white one above as we were told the Pajero is too top heavy.

    AF5DA3CF-6F53-4C2B-BC3F-4274E2DF54AB.JPG

     

     


    If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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    1 hour ago, mancunian said:


    Hi Verystormy,
    The 7 series seems to be a forklift truck?
    Thanks for the offer on tips and info regarding outback driving, I'll reach out to you in due course, it could even be another topic to start. I think the only long distance drive I'll have to do will be to Alice Springs but it will be a couple of months away and hopefully I'll have more knowledge by then.
     

    @mancunian @VERYSTORMY has made a good suggestion as vehicles like that or the Nissan are used by the mines so you should be able to,secure parts in many rural places. If they don't have a part they may have to order one up from the nearest large city and it usually arrives by greyhound coach.

    We have broke down 3 times rural. One was a hired campervan which blew a tyre and we didn't have a spare so we had to drive 300km to Barrow Creek on 3 wheels. In fact the roadhouse we reached was the one that Joanne Lees ran to when she escaped that night in the Peter Falconio murder https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Falconio

    The other was on a 4x4 track at Mary Kathleen exploring abandoned mines and the time we rolled we had called ahead to go and get access to fossick on some mining land, thankfully when we didn't turn up they sent a fire engine and search and rescue out for us. If we had never called them that morning to say we were setting off I don't think we would have been found for a long while. 

    This was their remote ambulance sorting out my sons wounds 

    539B7EBE-F227-40B4-BEEA-F3EBA40DA042.JPG

     

    There are a lot of us who have travelled around Australia so we can help with ideas, routes etc. Try and drive most of it as you miss so much by flying.

    @Bobj is a lovely elderly gentleman who has been travelling the Outback and camping for probably 50 years so he will have lots of good ideas as well.


    If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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    3 hours ago, The Pom Queen said:

    @Bobj is a lovely elderly gentleman who has been travelling the Outback and camping for probably 50 years so he will have lots of good ideas as well.

    Just completed a 9500 km trip out from Mackay, Qld through to 150 km north east of Alice Springs, to Kununurra in WA and on to The Keep River , back to The Alice and back across to Mackay in a16 year old Holden Rodeo that has over 230,000 km 'on the clock'. It didn't miss a beat even in the remotest places.

    As @The Pom Queen says, have been using 4wds in the Kimberlies and Pilbara since 1964 and I must say that of all the types of fourbys I have driven, the best is the Toyota and then the Holden. Saw 2 Mistusubishis broken down on the Stuart Hwy and 1 Nissan.

    Cheers, Bobj.

    P1060491.JPG

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    Just seen this on another group but I bet you could knock them down to $5,000

    Holla!

    After crossing a large part of Australia, from Tasmania to Darwin through the West Coast, it's time for us to part with our baby Toyota Hilux Surf. It has just had 277 200 km.

    FOR SALE ON DARWIN

    TOYOTA HILUX SURF 1992
    277,200 KM
    REGO WA until 8 December 2017
    Automatic box Sunroof Diesel
    ROOF TENT ARB + ANNEX

    PRICE: 6500 $ NEGOTIABLE

    EQUIPMENT:

    - 2 jerricanes of gasoline of 20L (very practical to adventure in the desert)
    - 3 water cans of 10L
    - 2 camping chairs + 1 table
    - 1 coocker gaz
    - All necessary cooking utensils (stove, pans, cutlery, plates, glasses ...)
    - Snorkelling equipment (3 snorkels, 2 pairs of fins, 2 masks)
    - 2 hamak to chill in beauty
    - 5 storage boxes
    - 1 guitar if you want to perform in music aha
    - 1 icebox
    - 1 small fan
    - 1 tire deflator (very convenient for 4x4 roads)
    - 1 solar shower

    ROOF TENT:
    - 1 super comfortable mattress
    - 1 new cover for the roof tent
    - 2 plaids
    - 2 duvet
    - 5 pillows
    - An annex

    CAR :

    - 5 seats
    - Second battery
    - 2 new front shock absorbers
    - New Output Housing Seal
    - A new belt
    - The 4 tires were changed at the end of 2016 / Beginning of 2017 so like new
    - 4WD Mode, 2WD Mode
    - 2 new roof rack
    - Radio for call rangers or someone else for example when you are lost and there is no reception
    - New starter of December 20, 2016
    - Sunroof
    - Air conditioner
    - TBELT (Timing belt) has changed in 50,000 km
    - New brake fluid

    Our 4x4 is in perfect condition. We drained every 10,000 km. We checked in very regularly, and we changed / fixed everything we needed. The last appointment of September 12, 2017. The only thing I chose, I'm not repaired is the chest, the window is lowered with the key in line and it no longer works on us even without a problem! The piece can be changed about $ 130. We kept all the bills.

    If you want to fully enjoy your trip to Australia, this 4x4 is for you!! :D

    Ps: Photos of the interior and roof tent are available soon

    7ef403b3535efa9a9ab77f9b353b3cff.jpg


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    If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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    A mate of mine used to run a youth hostel in Central Queensland; he picked up a few decent cars for next to nothing from backpackers who had bought them to travel in and were looking to offload them before flying home; he got a Pajero fourby with a boot full of camping gear for $3500 one time.  If you're in a YHA  you may have some luck that way.

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    When my Godson and his mates were doing the WHV bit a few years back, they were setting off from Sydney to drive drive round Oz, and they found that all the backpackers hostels had advertising boards that often contained ads for vehicles.   They picked up a Ford station wagon this way, and the camping equipment came with the wagon.    They had the vehicle for 10 months and drove from Sydney to Adelaide, up to Darwin, across to north Queensland and back to Darwin and then down the west coast to Perth.  They eventually sold the vehicle in Perth by advertising it at local Backpackers, and got almost what they paid for it.  

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    ......Just trying to be helpful so don't shoot me down if my personal views do not coincide with yours! :animal-dog:

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    On 10/1/2017 at 20:18, mancunian said:

    I really want a van because we will have more room to move, sleep, cook, eat and live.

    Good idea. I had a van and traveled in it from Sydney to Darwin. Saved a fortune on accommodation. Simply slept in the van (had a pull out bed in back) on side of road, and in free camp sites. Also had a portable stove, so was able to save on food. I remember one surreal night camping at The Devils Marbles in the carpark. Nobody else around, a billion stars overhead and felt like we were the only two people left in the universe. I lived in that van for six months, we even had a portable telly and sun shower.

     

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    On 10/1/2017 at 20:42, The Pom Queen said:

     

    You could get a roof tent and set it up something like this

    IMG_3558.PNG

     

     

    That is pretty much what we had. It was absolutely brilliant. It was a home away from home. We had a fridge, plus back up beer esky, fishing gear, sun shower, CB radio, portable telly, portable gas stove top, the bedding on top in the tent. The only thing missing was a portable toilet (had to dig a hole in the bush for that). Saved huge amount of money on accommodation and food. Plus it meant we could sleep anywhere for free, rather than having to find a motel or backpackers hostel. Got to sleep in some great places, like The Devils Marbles and Fruit Bat Falls. However, once a week we did sneak into a fee paying camp ground and used their washing machines. 

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    Hi all,

    Sorry it's been a while, I forgot my password and had trouble resetting it.

    Anyway I'm back and I can inform you I have bought a Van, more specifically a  mitsubishi express van with rear kitchen. The van ticks all our boxes and is more homely that we expected.

    Thanks for all your advice on this 😃

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    On 10/1/2017 at 19:39, Ken said:

    As Pom Queen has said transit type vans are very rare in Australia. In the UK almost every tradie drives a transit type van so used ones are cheap and plentiful. In Australia most tradies drive a Ute. And if you're wondering how they carry their tools safely in the back of a pick up it's because they fit them out with tool boxes like this:-

    Ute.jpg.62d30383fe4797f3a6e6039bd7e46ae0.jpg

    I would opt for transit van if the parts and services are readily available like in UK. That pick up truck set up reminds me of almost the same utility truck we worked on for a new set of tires, forged wheels, and the brake job. It got one door on the back though with layers of tool boxes and one large drawer at the bottom.

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    There is so much more that just buying a certain type of vehicle. There's rego, road worthy certificates, state tax. 

    You can even use your NO CLAIMS BONUS from your home country to reduce the insurance costs.

      Get it wrong and it can cost you, get it right and make money when you sell the car.

     

     

    Edited by snifter
    Removed URL

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