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Buy a cheap Transit van

THE boys on Top Gear are at it again. This time they’ve bought a used 2-tonne Transit van and turned it into a hovercraft.

As we write this, we currently have 5,396 transit vans for sale on Van Trader. That's nearly 5,400 vans!

Here’s our rundown of the cheapest, the most expensive and some others that have striked our eye as having potential for conversion. 

Out of the 5400 Transits on sale, the cheapest one is just £650. This Transit is 13 years old and in Manchester. It’s a high roof version which means you can really load it up. But with only 75PS, you might well find it’s a big sluggish with the back full. Its owner says it drives very well and is clean and tidy, but it doesn’t have an MOT. At £650 for a high roof Transit, you can’t complain.

This next one is ideal for carrying passengers. Well, at least when it’s had some work done to it. The seller says it’s a runner, but it’s very noisy and the exhaust needs repairing. What do you expect after four owners and 62,000 miles in the past 12 years? Go on, for £650 you might well be able to get this up and running as you’re very own fun bus. 

Another 2000 year model but this has a 2.4 litre diesel engine so will have a bit more poke than the £650 one. It’s on at only £1,195, which might have something to do with the weird green turquoise blue paintwork. Still, if the colour doesn’t matter, then it’s had a recent service and the MOT will last another 11 months. 

The guys in Top Gear bought 2007 model year Transits and on the site we have about 600 of these for sale. Out of those we reckon these two are the best buys.

This one’s done nearly a quarter of a million miles and has a yellow roof but for just £2,500 you can own a Transit TDci with a years’ worth of MOT. The seller says the bodywork is very clean because this van has been "wrapped" for some time. 

You don’t always have to be a white van man. Why you could own this orange Transit and really stand out on the road. The seller has put plenty of photos online so you can see what you’re getting.  It’s a high roof version and has a tow bar and is plywood lined. The MOT runs out next May. At just three grand, this orange monster is a great buy.

Here’s our final pick and it’s a former postie van complete with faded red paintwork. The mileage is high at 110,000 as you’d expect from a postal delivery van and no doubt with so many different drivers behind the wheel, you might find it sounds like it’s been round the world. Still, the Royal Mail services its vans well and it has an MOT until December. It’s still got enough legs to make a few more deliveries we think.

So there you are. With a few searches and some fine tuning you can find yourself a Transit to suit any budget. Or you can buy a new one, there’s a 1-tonne, the Transit Custom, a 2-tonne Transit and a 3.5-tonne+ Transit.


1-tonne Transit – 13,500 sold so far this year

1-tonne new Transit Custom – 4,370 sold so far this year

2-tonne Transit – 10,800 sold so far this year

3.5+ tonne Transit – 1,400 sold so far this year.


Ford is currently refreshing its entire commercial vehicle family by end of 2014 and that means a new 2-tonne Transit is on its way. Here’s what’s coming out when:

Transit Custom high-roof - available to order now 

Transit Connect drives – from mid-October 2013

Tourneo Connect drives – from late-October 2013

Transit two-tonne model – 2014

Transit Courier model – 2014


By Dan Tye, Van Trader Editor