Farm Ireland
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Thursday 8 December 2016

Value vans for farmers

Our motoring expert looks at the pick of the new van models

Aidan Timmons

Published 23/09/2015 | 02:30

Ford Transit
Ford Transit
Volkswagen Caddy
Citroen Berlingo

While most farmers tend to require something with four-wheel drive and enough poke to tow a heavy trailer, there is certainly a strong case to be made for a small cargo van stepping in to fulfill the duties undertaken by retirees or part-time farmers with scattered land holdings.

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Best of all is that the new wave of vans are far more 'car-like' in that they feature comforts and specification hitherto before unheard of in a 'dirty auld van'.

You can almost forget about buying a used one. They are rarer than hens' teeth. Anyway, there are some great deals on new ones and especially when you take the VAT out of the price. Motor tax is just €200 and there is a decent load compartment in many of them and certainly enough to give a short wheel base commercial a run for its money. Here are a few to whet your appetite.

FORD TRANSIT COURIER CONNECT

The Courier van was reintroduced into the range in 2014 but it could prove a touch small for many farmers' needs.

If you find that to be the case, then look to the Transit Connect. The Connect 200 is the short-wheel base, the 210 is the long-wheel base.

The former carries 625kg while the latter can manage 715Kg.

Both sell best with 95bhp but you can opt for a 115bhp if you will mainly use it on roads instead of around the farm.

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CITROEN BERLINGO/PEUGEOT PARTNER

Basically the same van with different badges. Most have three seats but if you are almost always a lone wolf, then the two-seater versions come with arm rests. With a decent bulk head the noise should be kept to a minimum. Payloads vary from 560kg to 850kg. Both have good engines and hold their values particularly well. Deals on new ones means the prices are attractive to begin with, too.

VOLKSWAGEN CADDY

There is a new one on the horizon and it is based more around the Golf than ever before.

The Caddy holds its value like nothing else and can come in a range of bodies.Get the Caddy Maxi if you need extra carrying capabilities. For added power, skip over the 75bhp and get the 110 version instead. Carrying capacity is over 700kgs standard, which is great for lugging about bags of calf nuts.

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