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What are the downsides / hidden costs to privately-owned van-based MPVs? I am wondering if they are treated differently from cars in some situations (eg on ferries, parking charges, insurance, or other factors).
 

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If it's a BEV then the only thing you'll get done on is extra length at ferries and occasionally finding a parking spot.

Bonuses are, people naturally get out of your way and are more courteous to you when at an intersection or overtaking.

Insurance wise we paid about the same as for our car, though our car was a crumple zone from bumper to bumper.
 

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If they are legally a van, they are taxed and insured as light commercial vehicles.

For EVs, they would receive the PIVG, instead of the car grant.

As far as EVs go, that might be the Kangoo maxi Z.E. with rear seats. I think the eNV200 with back seats is a passenger car.

\\
 

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Having driven a van for years, I would add that some insurers put van no-claims in a separate category.

Many don't and others just will not insure a light commercial at all.

Another oddity was our insurance went down when I added occasional business use. We had been on commuting and pleasure use only.
 

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If it is an ICE van, you will pay the light commercial VED. Nearly all are in a single tax band of about £240 a year. It was a bit crazy when we changed from a small 1.3L Combo van to a 2.4L Defender 110 and the tax was the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am thinking forwards in terms of a small BEV combo van eg eNV200, Kangoo or Caddy (if it ever happens), but with greater range than the current crop. I would prefer an estate car, but I don't see anything on the market that currently fits our needs for range and load carrying.
 

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@donald should be able to answer a few wuestions. He runs an allied e-expert

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
 

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What are the downsides / hidden costs to privately-owned van-based MPVs? I am wondering if they are treated differently from cars in some situations (eg on ferries, parking charges, insurance, or other factors).
In general, no. No problem. They are just 'big cars', in every way. Taxation/revenue class/type-approval is 'M1', just like any 'other' car.

I used to have an 8 seater Transit Tourneo a few years ago as a family car. Bought one new when they first came out with the TDCi engine. Made a Galaxy feel like a toy car.

The only downside I can mention is that once you're over 1.8metres tall, then getting into some car parks becomes problematic, and likewise once you are over 1.8metres wide it gets very tight in the parking spaces even if you do squeeze in on height!

The e-Expert has been doing sterling work recently ferrying stuff into storage. We have a Grand Espace too, which I would have sworn was the most practical car you could own by taking out the seats a leaving a cavernous space for transportation. The e-Expert makes that feel like a mini - the seats also come out, and it takes a full twice as much as the Espace, and bigger/longer stuff with ease that the Espace could not practically do.

So other than finding parking spaces when parking is tight (and the ENV200 is pretty narrow and short as vans go), what's not to 'like' about a van-derived MPV?
 

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Depends how van it is. I run a 15 seat minibus privately. It can only be insured as a minibus - not a car regardless of use since it's over 8 passenger seats. Tax is relatively cheap at £165 last year (low emissions donkey) but obviously varies from one model to another.
One thing I will say is things just don't wear out. Tyres last at least 50,000 miles, it's never had a set of brake pads yet (it's done 70,000 now), never needed bushes/bearings/etc.
Maintenance wise it just gets serviced and needs wiper blades every couple of years.
Of course mine is Transit based and gets treated properly. Car based ones will probably last as a car but a full on commercial is designed to do major mileage under hard use so when it's only used to potter about with a load of children in it there's no strain on anything. It also sticks rigidly to 30+mpg around town or 35+ on a run. Doesn't sound like much but 15 seats is the same as running at least 3 normal cars. 105mpg with 5 people onboard is probably asking a bit much of most things this side of a tesla.
Basically if you have a large family and/or kids have friends or you carry a lot of stuff about I don't think they can be beaten.
 

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I just looked at Renault's website to see if Kangoo Maxi Crew Van Z.E. is M1 (passenger car) or N1 (light commercial).

For the most part if the rear is unglazed, it is considered N1. Not always though, the rules are more complex than that and they change from year-to-year.

It isn't possible to tell from the websites. The on-line information conflicts.
Perhaps the only way to know would be to buy one and see what comes up on the V5.


New Renault Kangoo Z.E. Maxi-crew-van-cab-z.e. for Sale | Kangoo Z.E. Offers & Deals
Pricing & specification | KANGOO Z.E. | Vans | Renault UK
https://www.cdn.renault.com/content...al/Brochures/Vehicles/kangoo-brochure-jun.pdf
 

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I asked DVLA directly about this and they said that the distinction they make is if the area behind the front driver's seat is more than 50% occupied by passenger seating.

The logic is that if more of the carriage space is cargo then it's for carrying cargo, and if less then it isn't.

The Maxi Crew Kangoo does have less than 50% as seating, and indeed it is N1, glazed or otherwise.
 

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Is removing the glazing is required for VAT status? I'm not VAT registered, so I don't pay attention.

There are car derived commercials that have the rear seating and glazing removed or blanked out.
Outlander PHEV 4Work:

outlander-2014-phev-cenex1.jpg



I'm a bit surprised we haven't seen an i3 or LEAF van. There is a niche market waiting to be filled. Maybe the Clubvan was a flop??

MINI Clubvan (5).jpg
 

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It should be mentioned that when you go over a set amount of seats it then becomes M1 (as mine), regardless of seat to space ratio.
 
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