Teresa66 Posted August 22, 2022 Share Posted August 22, 2022 Thanks for allowing me to join. I am thinking (have been for some time now) of giving up my old Fiat Panda and getting a vehicle to use as a car in the UK and for travel and camping in Europe. It's just my husband and I and for the last 15 years or so, we've gone camping every year to Italy in a tent without a car (rucksack job), so we're fairly minimalist, don't like to carry too much stuff and happy to adapt. I am Italian and the husband is British and we have started asking ourselves what we want to do with ourselves once we retire and have more time on our hands - at first, I looked at selling up and buying in Liguria, but there are too many complications right now, and we're pretty happy here in our little home on the South coast, so if it ain't broke... so I the first thing I started noticing on the roads are the VW Transporters, but quickly realised how ridiculously priced they are, so quickly moved on to panel vans, Ford Custom being the most obvious - not converted - we're happy to adapt it. We're on a budget, my husband doesn't drive and I could cycle to work every day (6 miles) so everyday travel is minimal. However, medium panel vans are a bit awkward as a 'car' and I am not so sure about Diesel in the future. So I tried looking for petrol vans, but there's very little out there. Electric is far too expensive for us, and not suitable for travel around Europe due to charge times. I stumbled on the Mazda Bongo and, having realised that the newest is 2005, I stumbled upon the Alphard - petrol - tick, car - tick, reasonably priced - tick, can carry a couple of bikes - tick, can be converted - tick. I was feeling pretty happy! It's a bit 'showy' for someone who has never dreamt of having a luxury car, but the price tag for a used one is in my range, so I suppose I can live with that lol. The MPG is eye-watering, but if I cycle all year, I suppose I can put up with that for holiday trips. However, as I delved deeper, I started to find obstacles (it always happens with too much delving!) so I thought I'd ask for your advice: Travel round Europe (and even UK) - OMG what a complication this has become, or will become shortly, with all the emissions regulations and everything else. If was planning of buying something for the next 15-20 years - can't afford to scrap it after 2025 or even 2030. I can possibly find a EURO 6 and ULEZ if the car was manufactured after 2007, but with EURO 7 coming out in November this year, is there going to be a whole lot more to worry about? Moreover, imports seem to have all sorts of missing info, so I am scared to get something that will get me stopped and fined wherever I end up in Europe (or in the UK for that matter). Carrying bikes - the interiors of the Alphard are ridiculously creamy - a bike rack is fine if you're in the car, but I don't trust 2 bikes on there while I am out and about in Europe, so can I seriously wheel two mountainbikes on that immaculate cream carpet?? Anybody had any concerns like this? What model and year do I go for for my needs - mainly with driving through narrow lanes in Europe in mind, with minimal camping equipment, but a couple of bikes? I was thinking a 2.4 would be fine (coming from a Panda!) but I saw a V and a G which I didn't even know existed today. Read up and am still none the wiser. Any advice would be very gratefully received. I have seen all the emission and ULEZ threads - read everything and it all seems still confused, so sorry to bring this up again, but maybe there are others who are also looking for a vehicle which won't become obsolete after two or three years... or is that too much to ask these days? Shall I just keep camping in a tent, continue saving, and wait 3-4 years to see where the world is heading? 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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