What car for a paddling vehicle?

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yabbadabba
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What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by yabbadabba » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:58 pm

Ok so I have a big old van I use all of the time, with fuel costs I am looking at getting a 2nd vehicle for paddling trips and daily commuting.
Key points required if possible.

Car needs to be as small and as economical as possible, hatch back or estate and diesel and preferably in the lower tax brackets.
On paddling trips it will need to be able to hold 2 x playboats in the back, 1 driver and 1 passenger in the front.

Reason for playboats in the car is to save on fuel, strapping down etc as most of my paddling trips will be over a 300 mile round trip :-(

Budget £1000

Suggestions welcome, if possible make/model/engine/milage/mpg :-)

Yew
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Yew » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:01 pm

Maybe a mondeo? Its near the bottom end, but you might be able to get an early Mk3 for that. I can get two playboats in the back of mine, with lots of room in the front.


if you get a saloon, make sure the seats go down!

snuggle_bunny
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by snuggle_bunny » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:27 pm

definately go for a diesel estate- plenty to choose from. 1000 quid should get you a decent ford focus or similar. go for a turbo if poss as diesels are a bit flat otherwise. mles per gallon 50-55 if driven sensibly. i was thinking of getting a small van but glad i got an estate now

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Jim
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Jim » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:12 am

Unless you have really short playboats it will need to be an estate, I have to recline the front seat of my vectra hatch to get any boats in it.

For the sort of round trips you are talking about a diesel estate makes most sense, but maybe not if you are doing a short commute too - I cringe at the amount of tootling around I do in mine but I'm damned if I'm cycling in this weather! You'll need to do your own research into tax and insurance costs but I would say don't go too small on body style or engine, small cars just wear out faster when driven around loaded. Something like Vectra, Mondeo, Octavia, C5 turbo diesel estates should work and be more efficient than the van.
For diesel don't be scared off by high mileage, obviously run it and make sure it seems OK, I got mine at 170k and now approaching 210k with very little engine work other than routine servicing - suspension and body work on the other hand I have had to do quite a bit of, Oh and a clutch. Estates have better suspension as a rule - made to carry heavier loads.
The engine is still strong though, and I can get between 37 and 45 mpg with a roof rack and boats on, if you get a slightly newer model it will be more efficient, 50-55mpg is pretty achievable if you aren't using a roof rack, but if you use it around town expect to get a lot less and clog up the intake which will reduce efficiency in the long term.

icklepaddler
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by icklepaddler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:15 am

If getting a diesel estate, think about the dpf! Also the injectors, turbo failure rate and whether the system needs any additives to meet euro compliance.

If it looks like it has just done short journeys then it may have knackered the dpf.

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StillNewish
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by StillNewish » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:00 am

I agree about the dpf (diesel particulate filter), but I think most cars before 2007 weren't 'required' to have one, so may not.

Something to watch out for- find a car that does not have one fitted if at all possible. Don't ask me how I know this.... ;-)

Microbat_230_Fan
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Microbat_230_Fan » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:10 am

I keep pondering buying another car for my paddling I'm own a fiat Seicento can fit 4 kayaks on it at a push but usually carry 3 to the Lee Valley sessions. It isn't fast but cruises at 70 but the great pro is you can park it in many small spaces that helps when your paddling rivers with poor parking :) I have fitting a eskimo duo on there but I had a tiny bit of over hang lol!

Sam Williams
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Sam Williams » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:28 am

If you intend to keep the van and save money you are probably on the wrong track to begin with. I looked into running two vehicles and decided annual costs greatly outweighed any potential fuel saving

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Jim » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:09 am

I'd agree about avoiding a DPF, they really are only suitable for motorway cruisers. When the sensors decide it's blocked the engine management will force the revs up for about 15 minutes so best to be in a mid gear on a straight road when that happens! Of course motorway driving stops it getting clogged in the first place, or to put it another way, Diesel + DPF + short commute or school run = misery!

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StillNewish
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by StillNewish » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:11 am

Jim wrote: Of course motorway driving stops it getting clogged in the first place...
If only that were true... :-)

The one on my Focus got clogged, even though the car spends around 90% of it's life on the motorway. Seriously, avoid a car which has one fitted, you'll save a lot of misery and money.

Good luck with the new wheels, be interested to know what you choose in the end.

Cheers,
Colin

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Adrian Cooper » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:17 am

Well I’ve just replaced my Passat estate; was very pleased with the last one. New one has Bluemotion so tax is £30 / yr. Back is big enough to sleep in fully stretched, you should get two short boats in fine.

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by osb » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:52 am

Go for an Octavia estate. VW quality engineering at a lower price.

Get a silver one and people will think you're an unmarked police car... ;)

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Jim » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:49 pm

StillNewish wrote:
Jim wrote: Of course motorway driving stops it getting clogged in the first place...
If only that were true... :-)
Yeah, what I meant was stop it getting clogged as quickly, it is inevitable!

icklepaddler
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by icklepaddler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:11 pm

I investigated which engine to get for my style of driving, and was impressed by the rave reviews in all the motoring press about the focus diesel tdci. All said it drove well, gave good mpg and was the estate to have - they still state the same.

I agreed with it all if you only keep cars for 3 years. After that the modern diesels just appear to have been ruined by euro lV rules. I hppe they have got better with the feedback following dpf introduction - the tdci in the focus is really prone to expensive failures.

I love the drive ability and mpg of diesel, but even with a healthy mix of long runs I would question getting another until issues are fully sorted.

Bring on hydrogen!

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Yellow boat » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:44 pm

Focus 1.8 TDCI Estate mine is on a 52 plate done 170k+ still dose 55 mpg on a long run even with the roof rack left on.
I don't agree that they are any more prone to expensive failure than any other car in that price range. Parts are very easy to get and definitely cheaper than many.
I have hearse rails on mine so have good adjustment on the roof rack and it will fit 4 small play boats in the back without too much effort.

Paul

dundun1958
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by dundun1958 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:53 pm

Dont forget most of these diesels (Mondeo,Passat etc.) have Dual Mass Flywheels.These become unbonded with age.My clutch is fine at 95k miles but the flywheel has started to rattle.A bill approaching £800-£1000 awaits me !

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by DaveBland » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:58 pm

I thought real paddlers all drove Subarus. "Brown".
dave

webbymatt
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by webbymatt » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:04 pm

Vauxhall Astra Mk4 1.7, first car for me and was awesome!, 50mpg, estate so loads of room.

and, most importantly you can do it up like a chav!

What more do you want!

yabbadabba
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by yabbadabba » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:57 pm

Cheers for the replys so far :-)
I am an ex mechanic so pretty clued up on engines and suchlike, its what I can get 2 x playboats in the back off thats the main question.
My weekly commute 200 miles weekly all round so a 2nd smaller vehicle for commuting is going to be far better than the van.

Also van is fitted as a camper so its a lot harder to replace than a car so reducing its milage isnt a bad idea.

So ideally its the smallest car for commuting and saving money but just big enough to get 2 x 6ft playboats in.

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Uisce
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Uisce » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:01 pm

Microbat_230_Fan wrote:I keep pondering buying another car for my paddling I'm own a fiat Seicento can fit 4 kayaks on it at a push but usually carry 3 to the Lee Valley sessions. It isn't fast but cruises at 70 but the great pro is you can park it in many small spaces that helps when your paddling rivers with poor parking :) I have fitting a eskimo duo on there but I had a tiny bit of over hang lol!
Worth noting the manufacturer weight limits for your car. I'd suspect 50kg at most for a seicento including the bars! Not having a go as who hasn't driven around in small cars with 4 boats on the roof at some time. Ive no idea of he legalities mind or wether this is just a recommendation. Type of thing Insurers might pick up on perhaps? Just another reason I've always gone for an estate with decent roof rails. Legal limit is usually 100kg or so on these I.e. no problem with 4 boats.

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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Slime » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:10 pm

I own a Skoda Fabia Estate tdi which is like a stretched VW Polo. Before that Polos and Golfs. All great paddle wagons and my last VW Golf sadly died on the banks of the Guil with 200k on the clock.

An important point if you are looking to put playboats (or bikes) in the back is that you normally increase the usable length by about a foot if you can take out either the rear seat cushions or the rear seat backrest. You then have a big flat area going all the way forward to the front seats.

Good luck
Pete Knowles.

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Rory W
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Rory W » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:42 pm

If your passenger doesn't mind sitting behind you (assuming 1 passenger if 2 boats) you can get 2 playboats in something Clio/Fiesta/Corsa sized as long as the front seat goes all the way back.

Dirty Dave
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by Dirty Dave » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:44 pm

Another vote for either a skoda octavia estate (scrapped it at 297k) or a mondeo estate 130. Both excellent cars and not bad on fuel. Mondeo is huge and will take a Zet Director and a playboat inside. Also excellent for sleeping in, not that you'll be bothered about that having a van.

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Post by geyrfugl » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:40 pm

Someone seems to have chosen this car to go paddling. With a bit more water you can probably paddle in and out without leaving your cockpit:

Image

Assuming you want to paddle the Etive, of course. I doubt it will be good to drive anywhere else...

From reading earlier posts, I must be a real paddler, as I drive a Subaru ;-) 6 boats on the roof, no bother, but not very economic - 35 mpg average with boats on the roof, drops to 30 commuting to Scotland with 6 on top. Petrol, 2.5 Legacy Outback, 100k, still going strong despite towing caravan to the alps regularly (also with six boats on top and two bikes on the towbar - we don't talk about mpg in this context - it's not high).

Andy

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caveman_si
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by caveman_si » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:21 pm

With your criteria you are looking at an medium (ish) estate. I guess it comes down to how big your playboats are and how often you will have then in the car vs other driving. If you are mostly commuting then get a car idea for that and just accept the boats on the roof and lower mpg when going paddling. Often people buy a car for the ocassional use/activity and neglect what they are doing most of the time which is where the real saving can be made. Of course a massive over generalisation but you get the idea.

Personally I have had river runners in 3d yaris's or 4 door alfa 156's or mk2 fiesta so you can fit a lot of boat in a small car and they all fitted and it wasnt a regualer thing so not an issue so it doesnt have to estate. Others have suggested mondeos and octavias which are good choices id also recommend the toyota avensis either hatch or estate as they are hugh inside well specced and comfy for long drives.

And for those that said steer clear of dpfs not bad advice if your commute is a short one, but if its a long one then DPF's are fine as long you give the car a damm good thrash once the engine has warmed up to clear them.

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chrisps
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by chrisps » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:39 pm

If you can live with the slightly quirky looks, a Skoda Roomster is an excellent paddle wagon (just sold mine). Its not all that big (fractionally bigger than a VW Golf), but has amazing amounts of space inside as you can take the rear seats out completely, leaving a van like space in the back. I could get 2 creek boats and 2 passengers in the car (without feeling dangerous). They are also very fuel efficient and cheap.

mark62
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by mark62 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:21 pm

Can you get a roomster for a grand though?

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chrisps
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Re: What car for a paddling vehicle?

Post by chrisps » Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:30 am

I would have thought so... they are cheap to start with abd have been around quite a while now. Certainly they hold their value worse than some other cars that have been suggested here....

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