Buying A VW Transporter
Daunting is the best word to describe how buying a new van can feel. Thankfully there is plenty of info on the world wide web to help you make an informed decision. We have outlined the main things to look out for when buying a new Transporter, take a read before you purchase one!
Firstly, it is vital that you go and test drive the Transporter and check it for any problems. Never just buy a vehicle based on photos and a description.
Transporters are renowned for their long-lasting engines. Many can easily clock up 250,000 miles, with that being said, the majority of people will look for a used Transporter with less than 100k miles. This is a safe bet as long as the previous owner has taken care of it when required. We recommend going for a van that has just over 100k miles. Something like 105,000, the reason being that anything over that threshold tends to start getting cheaper and it’s not worth paying the premium for lower mileage.
Consider a Transporter with 150,000 – 200,000 miles to be average and anything over 200,000 starting to lean towards high mileage.
Rust – When viewing the Transporter, check underneath the chassis and around the doors for patches of rust. Although a small patch may not look menacing, it spreads easily and is the start of an uphill battle. Rust is a common problem for T4’s & T5’s so be especially careful on these models.
Scratches – No one wants a van that’s covered top to bottom in swirl marks and scratches. Deeper scratches are the ones to worry about. Fortunately, they can be easily spotted on dry days, make sure it’s not been raining as the water can mask defects. You can spot a deep scratch by looking for paint primer in its centre. If the scratch has penetrated the clear coat, coloured paint & primer then this isn’t going to be cheap to get fixed. Capitalise on any small marks by pointing them out to the seller and requesting a discount.
Dents – Get close to the panels and look along the length of the vehicle. Check each side for dents, they can often be found in areas where car doors have been opened onto the panels while it was parked.
Lights – Have the lights fogged over? Do they all work? Two questions to respect when doing your once over. Light clusters are expensive to replace so it is beneficial, not essential, to have lights in good condition.
Inspect the tyres and check their tread depth, use a Tire Depth Gauge for this, a relatively inexpensive tool that will last you a lifetime. Aim for above 5mm on each tire, anything below 3mm will have to be replaced. Also, check the tyre walls for cracks and scuffs. This can be an indication of age and how much they’ve been abused by previous owners. We would also say that it is preferable to have matching tyres on each corner, this improves the ride and means you won’t get uneven wear.
Has the interior of the van been kept in good nick? This can be a reflection of past owners and give you a good idea of whether or not care and attention have been shown towards other areas of the van.
Stains, tears & smells are all tricky to eradicate from the interior without the right gear. A thorough detail should help once purchased. Remember that the interior is where you and your eyes will spend the majority of your time.
While giving the van a test drive check if the electrics work; windows, mirrors and the radio can all be expensive so take your time to go through every knob and button you can see!
The Test Drive
Here are some common problems that Transporters face: slipping clutch, rattling from the engine, steering column clunk, suspension clunking (caused by bushes most of the time). Make sure you check for these when out and about!
Service & MOT History
A true deal-breaker, it’s so important to check the full history of the vehicle. Has the van been cleared of any finance? Has it had regular services? Are there records of any repairs and maintenance that have been made? A helpful tool to give you an understanding of the Transporter’s health is the GOV MOT checker. Take the number plate of the van and enter it into this website, you’ll be shown all previous MOT’s, whether they have passed or failed and simultaneously the reasons why.
If the oil hasn’t been changed every 10,000 miles this could start to cause problems. A year missing in the service book means at some point in the Transporters life it hasn’t been looked after properly. This is a red flag.
Tax Category & Insurance Costs
Tax is calculated based on the emissions of a vehicle. If you know the number plate of the vehicle you’re looking to buy then enter it into this helpful tool. It’s by far the easiest way to find out a whole host of information, including an estimated tax cost.Tax Calculator
Transporter insurance can be expected to cost more than your standard car. This is due to the engine size and their large storage spaces (potentially a lot of expensive cargo). The best way to figure out the insurance cost is to get quotes from a price comparison website before you purchase the vehicle.
What is the most reliable Transporter?
Although the T6/T6.1 are the most recent addition to the Transporter line they are yet to show how long they can last. The T5 on the other hand has proven itself time & time again, often reaching well over 300,000 miles they earn their reliability badge! To be more precise the T5 1.9TDI get a lot of praise, ~35mpg compared to the larger 2.5’s ~28mpg means you’ll be saving on fuel too.
If you need help identifying what Transporter you’re looking for then check out our ‘Transporter Trims and Variants Explained’ page. We break down how Transporters are named and discuss all the different options you have.Transporters Explained
Although it seems as though the list is never-ending, you’ll know when you’ve found the right Transporter. The Vee Dub Team wish you the best of luck on your journey and don’t forget, if you want to make your Transporter into something special, our upgrades are the way to do it!
The more you look at Transporters, the more confusing the naming, trims and variations get. We’ve written this guide, that breaks down almost every option you can get, so that you shouldn’t have any issues deciding which Transporter is best for you.
What Transporter Trims are there?
Historically VW offered 4 trims (The Startline, Trendline, Highline & Sportline) however with the most recent launch of the T6.1 only a Startline and Highline were available, more recently the Sportline has been announced. It’s hard to narrow down the best features of each trim, VW offers vast amounts of customisation and it can often be cheaper to get a lower spec vehicle as a base and then add the upgrades you want in the customisation process.
Notable Features of each Trim
– 6.5” touchscreen
– Electric front windows
– Heated door mirrors
– Power steering
– Interior LED Lighting
– Body-coloured door mirrors
– Single front passenger seat, instead of the double seat in the Startline
– Rear Parking Sensors
– 2018 Onwards comes with a steel bulkhead
– 16” Wheels
– Sliding side door
– Cruise control
– App-Connect for phones
– An alarm system as standard
– Body-coloured bumpers, door handles and mirrors
– Adaptive cruise control
– Headlights and Wipers have an automatic setting
– Folding wing mirrors
– Parking sensors on front and rear
– 204 HP engine with DSG Transmission
– Tinted rear lights
– Driver’s armrest
– Auto-dimming rearview mirror
– Heated windscreen
– Lowered suspension
– Reversing camera
– Power latching side doors
– 18″ Alloy Wheels
– Sportline front bumper
– Puddle lights
– Rear spoiler
What’s the difference between a Panel Van, Kombi, Shuttle, Caravelle and California Transporter?
A bare-bones, basic Transporter with no side windows & no rear seating. These are the lowest spec that VW offer and by no coincidence, they are also the cheapest. The primary target audience for this type of van are commercial workers because of the huge open space in the rear that allows for tools and machinery to be stored.
Recently the popularity of van conversions has skyrocketed. Many avid DIYers start off with a panel van as it is the cheapest option and it also allows for the most upgrades and modifications to be made. If you want to see a great example of how our accessories can transform a panel van then have a read of this blog post: Our T6.1 Transformation.
A step up from a basic Panel Van, the Kombi has 5 or 6 Seats depending on your preference (3 Front + 3 Rear or 2 Front + 3 Rear). The Kombi is a combination of a people carrier and a standard van, hence the name. Windows are fitted to the sliding door panels to give passengers in the back some light & the rear of the van is left relatively empty.
With 9 seats in total, the Shuttle’s main use is for getting lots of people from one place to another. Perfect for long-distance Taxi drivers and larger families. To allow for the best riding experience for passengers the Shuttle comes with windows on all sides and although there are plenty of seats, the Shuttle sacrifices the luxury feel you get with the Caravelle. The interior is basic and made to simply get the job done.
The Caravelle is a vehicle based on the Transporter line. Broken down it is just a van but with some added bells and whistles. The interior is where the main changes are made, with seats and trim in the rear that are comparable with a high-end passenger car. If you’re looking for a comfortable family van with 7 total seats then the Caravelle is for you!
If you’re into camping in style there is no better option for you… as long as you have the money. Fully kitted out with a kitchen, seating area, storage, pop-top bedroom and canopy there’s no shortage of gizmos to keep you happy. The California requires little attention once you’ve bought it, tailored for camping, ready to go whenever and wherever you want.
What do the numbers T26, T27, T28, T30, T32 mean on my Transporter?
The numbers are used to show the maximum gross weight of the Transporter. For example, if you have a T26 then the max laden weight will be 2.6 Tonnes. The true amount that your van can carry will change depending on the weight of the van when empty. If you’re looking to do a camper conversion it is recommended you get at least a T28 to allow for leeway once your van is fully kitted out. You can improve the maximum weight your van can take by upgrading your suspension, check out our range here.
We hope that you now have a deepened understanding of the different VW Transporters. For more info on identifying the Transporter you own click here.
The past 12 months have brought a lot of change to Vee Dub Transporters. Since the business was established in 2009 we have steadily been increasing our stock, staff and service. This year saw a drastic change and revolution in the camper conversion business. If Covid brought one positive thing to a lot of people, it was time. With nothing to do at home we saw more of you becoming DIYers! A van conversion is the perfect project to fill your day, the sense of accomplishment you achieve by finally having your dream camper parked outside is amazing.
We are so happy that we could continue to operate safely and effectively, to provide products throughout covid. With 12 years of operation under our belt & a flurry of amazing new customers, it was about time to make our first move.
Our warehouse was struggling to contain all the products we stock, we outgrew it so much that we had to store a lot of our stock at external premises, you can only imagine the logistical challenge this presented us daily. We wanted somewhere that could easily take all of our products, while also giving us the space to grow in the future and allow us to increase our picking efficiency.
This is where our new warehouse entered the playing field, an irresistible opportunity in the closest town to us called Sileby. 30,000 sqft of space, 4X the size of our current unit, a large office block attached to accommodate our staff, what more could we wish for?
You may have seen pictures of the warehouse completely empty on our social media, since then the move has happened. It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of teamwork. The bulk of our stock was transferred within a weeks timeframe, you can see the transformation process on our first ever vlog here.
What does the move mean for me?
Some of you may be left questioning what difference this may make for you, our customers. The answer is that with all this new-found space we are going to stock a wider range of products! We are already looking into many more exciting items to stock, there will be no shortage of new accessories heading your way over the coming years. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels to stay updated with the most recent releases @veedubtransporters.
Overall this move was very much needed, all of us at Vee Dub are so grateful to be given this opportunity and we are looking forward to the coming years, watching our business evolve even more. We hope you’ll continue to join us for the ride.
As you can probably guess, being Transporter enthusiasts ourselves, we have our very own T6.1. It’s called Smurf and she’s rather fast, but just like many Transporters, started out as a plain Ravenna Blue panel van. Since June 2020 when she was delivered we have been fitting our very own products as much as we can! Smurf is the perfect example of what can be achieved when using our accessories to stylise and transform the way that your dub looks.
In this post we are going to take you through the most significant steps in Smurf’s journey and talk about why we chose the accessories that we did. We always test our products on our own vans before putting them out into the wild. This is so we can ensure that A: Are products are of very high quality and B: Because they look awesome 🔥. This does mean that Smurf has been through many different outfit changes since delivery, so let’s start with the first changes we made…
Two of our most popular products were first on! Our HEKO Wind Deflectors and Carbon Bumper Protector. Both of these products are super simple to fit to your van and take no longer than 5 minutes each. Although they offer a subtle change, they pointed the upgrade train in the right direction. We wanted a van that would look mean, fast and bold and these dark highlights were the perfect first addition.
The third upgrade that we made was putting our Gloss Black Door Handle Covers on. This continued the black highlights theme however they also brought a practical purpose too. Our covers are the perfect accessory to prolong the paintwork around your door handles, one of the most commonly abused areas of your van. You haven’t got to worry about these bad boys falling off as they are attached with super strong 3M adhesive tape.
With some of our smaller accessories having found a home on Smurf, it was time to step up the game! One of the worst parts of the van to start with had to be the tiny and spongy wheels. We went all out by fitting new alloys, Blue AlloyGators & one of our Bilstein Kits (The B14 with 50mm drop). This was the largest visual change to the van so far, one of the best upgrades to be made in our opinion, well worth investing in!
With the new wheels on and a stealthy 50mm drop it was time to make a quality of life upgrade. Sometimes with a Transporter when shutting the front doors they can sound tinny and cheap. With a simple & affordable Cab Door Seal Upgrade this can be changed. They bring a premium “Golf Sound” when the door is shut and they also protect against moisture and reduce cab noise, a no-brainer if you ask us.
It was around the end of August at this point and we thought it was time for some more big changes to be made. Next up was; a Dub Style Rear Primed Spoiler that we got sprayed in Ravenna Blue, our Gloss Black 42mm Streamline Roof Bars, Gloss Black Rear Transporter Text & a Gloss Black Rear Badge. Yes that’s a lot of changes at once but WOW! It was definitely worth doing. At this point Smurf was truly becoming something special 😍.
Haven’t you forgotten something? No, we definitely hadn’t forgotten. Our windows were the next one of our products to go in and I think letting the pictures speak for themselves is the best thing to do here. If you’re in any doubt about taking the plunge and fitting windows to your Transporter then all we can say is the proof is in the pudding.
Since fitting our windows we have continued to make changes to the van. The most notable of which would be the addition of Vulcan Gloss Black Side Bars, these guys add a beefy look to your Transporter making it even more substantial on the road. On the practical side they’re also handy for helping you get in and out of the van.
Finally you join us in the current day where we have recently fitted our GTI Tartan Blue Rear Badge Inlay Decals and our stunning Matt Black Rear Quarter Decal. We were all shocked at how big of an impact our new decal range can have on the appearance of the van. Crazy what a bit of vinyl can do 🤯.
Hopefully this goes to show that our products are tested and trusted by us. Smurf is one of the best looking dubs we’ve seen and she only has a fraction of our huge range of products on her. The combinations are endless so make sure you have a browse around our website to find the perfect styling accessories for your beloved Transporter.
Dear Vee Dub Customers,
With regard to the recent government easing of lockdown, non-essential retail is now allowed to reopen as long as appropriate measures are in place. Since the start of the pandemic our reception area, found at our warehouse near Sileby, has been closed in order to keep our customers and staff safe.
We are writing this post to keep our valued customers informed of the decisions that we make. Although we are extremely happy that retail is once again being allowed to welcome back people in person, due to some exciting news that we will be announcing soon, we have decided to keep our reception closed. This means that you still can’t visit us to make an order in person, instead you must place the order online for click and collect or select a delivery option.
Why aren’t you Re-Opening your Reception?
Firstly we would like to say that this should have very little impact on the way that you can purchase products from Vee Dub! You can still place orders to click and collect on our website or you can call us on 0800 292 2005 to make a purchase.
There are several factors that have contributed to our final decision of keeping our reception shut, the main one being that we have some massive news that’s just around the corner! We can’t wait to tell you all about it, however that is still a few weeks away currently.
How do I Click & Collect?
It’s very simple to click & collect your order, firstly go to place an order as usual on the website, once you’re happy with your basket go to the checkout and select Click & Collect from the delivery options. As long as we have the product in stock and you collect it within our opening hours (Mon-Fri 9:00 – 17:30) we can have it prepared for you on the same day! Due to Covid-19 you will need to call when you arrive at our premises, a member of our team will then bring your order onto our forecourt for you to take away. Please let us know when you plan on collecting so we can have your order ready!
How Long will Delivery Take?
Our fastest shipping service will get your item to you within 2 working days. There is a 14:00 cutoff on the day of purchase that means if you place an order after this time then it will be classed as being made on the next working day.
Overall we hope that our decision has as little impact on your shopping experience at Vee Dub Transporters as possible. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media channels for an exciting upcoming announcement!
All the best,
The Vee Dub Team