New Equipment, Nissan Primastar
We have pretty much always ran PSA group vans. Primarily Citroen Dispatches, and last year we added a Vauxhall Vivaro, same van, different badge. The Vauxhall was the LWB version which came in handy when transporting our gourmet burger units.
To be fair, they have been pretty reliable. Normally we swapped the oldest one in each year. Covid, mucked the system up, and we found ourselves needing three new vans.
Originally in 2021 we ordered a new Dispatch. It was going to be delivered for September. Then October, November December, January, and finally some time after March. At that point we cancelled it.
That turned out to be a mistake, since between ordering and cancelling it, the price had gone up some four grand, and the spec had been cut in half.
Everywhere we looked, they were quoting, pretty much indeterminate delivery times. Eventually I happened on a garage with a Vauxhall Vivaro, still at a reasonable spec, but a lot more expensive then we had been paying for vans. We added that to the fleet last March.
Roll around 2023 and the decision was made that we needed another two vans. Queue a look around our usual suppliers. What we found was that they had gone up another four grand since last year, while simultaneously the spec was cut again. So in effect, we would be paying more per van than the top of the range versions had been a couple of years ago. And for our money we would be getting something not much above the minimum spec.
Enter Nissan Primastar
To be honest, the cut in spec pissed me off as much as the jump in price, so I decided that maybe it was time to look around. Now that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat, Toyota and Vauxhall are all the same van. We hired a couple of Ford Custom’s one Christmas, and everyone refused to drive them, the handling was that poor. My experience with Mercedes vans, is that if you drive through a puddle of water they start to fall apart with rust within the week. VW transporters were liked, but just too bloody expensive for what you got.
Eventually we turned up at Nissan. The vans were a nice drive, slightly larger inside both the load area and the cabin than our previous vans which was a plus. Similar on fuel economy. Came with a shorter service interval than Citroen which is a bit crap, but were twenty per cent cheaper and came with a top of the range spec. they didn’t come with twin side loading doors as standard, but it was an option for only £280. So overall we decided to give them a chance and ordered two.