Used Van Buying Guide: Ford Transit 2006-2014

 

The Ford Transit is one of the best and most versatile vans, thanks to its huge choice of bodystyles and load weights. This means it's a sound choice for used van buyers, with a Transit for sale to suit all budgets and business needs. 

The Mark6, and later Mark7 Ford Transit being even more versatile than most, thanks to it being the first Transit to be offered with both front and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive versions are also offered too, but are rare. 

Engines available on a Ford Transit

Browse forums and there is lots of discussion about the Transit’s diesel engine. Up to 2003 it was a conventional turbodiesel, Ford adding a high-pressure common-rail turbodiesel to the line-up. These are badged TDCi over the earlier TDI units.

Early common-rail Transit models can be problematic, though most of the problems are due to fuel contamination. If that’s the case the entire system will need flushing, new injectors, a replacement pump and pipes. Do all that and you’ll face a bill in the region of £1700. 

Other engines in the line-up included 2.3 petrol and a 2.4-litre TDI for rear-wheel drive models, with outputs ranging from 75PS to 145PS, the arrival of the facelifted mk7 Transit bringing some changes to the engine line-up, as well as some sheet-metal revisions and taller headlights.

Inside it featured a far neater dash layout, more driver’s seat adjustment but still no height adjustable steering wheel. The engine range consisted of a 2.2 TDCI with power outputs of 85, 110 or 135PS for front-wheel drive derivatives, the rear-wheel drive retaining the 2.4-litre unit with three power outputs ranging from 110 to 140PS.

Ford continued to offer the Mark7 with a 2.3-litre petrol, while a 3.2 TDCI with 200PS was also offered on some rear-wheel drive models.

Ford Transit (3)

Maintenance on a Ford Transit

Be wary of the oil light, you need to get the engine shut off quickly if it pops up. If you don’t it will likely seize the engine. Blame the oil pump, which can fail without any notice. On 2006 - 2012 models the engines often require a new vapour valve. It's not a tricky job to fix, though the engine needs re-coding afterwards. You'll be looking at a bill of about £200. You’ll know if it needs doing if the van cuts out at idle or hunts around for revs.

Dual mass flywheels can be troublesome, it's not uncommon for these to have been changed to solid units. Ford makes a conversion kit, a new one for the six-speed manual with clutch costing around £500, a five-speed one costing around £60 more. 

Rear-wheel drive models eat propshaft bearings, any knocking should be investigated. The best advice with the rare automatics is to avoid them, if they go wrong you’ll be looking at bill that’ll be as much as the vehicle’s worth, or more.

As with any vehicle, buy the best you can afford and make sure it’s been regularly maintained. Signs of abuse or neglect will cause you headaches in the future, and with plenty to choose from there’s no need to take the gamble.          

Ford Transit (15)

What to watch

  • Rust can be an issue, look around the door sliders and sills, as well as the wheel arches. Neglect and the build up of muck will result in the need for welding to pass the MoT. If it’s left too long it will only be fit for scrapping.
  • Check all the door handles work. They can fail, though it’s a relatively straightforward fix. A handy trick is to swap them over from one side to the other.
  • If it starts but doesn’t rev it’s likely that the accelerator pedal has failed. It’s a cheap - around £40 - and easy enough fix.
  • A complete service history is unlikely on the oldest vans, but the more receipts the better. Skipping servicing is a false economy.
  • We've heard of problems with belt cam 2.2 diesel engines belt tensioner failing at 1400 miles onwards.
  • Rough idling is usually caused by the EGR valve sticking open. An ECU remap does not solve the problem. You can still drive the van but to fix it, remove and set to closed, blank off or replace.

  • 2000-06 Transits need a service annually or every 15,000 as a minimum, newer Mark7s need more regular 10,000 services and using fully synthetic oil.

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Ford Transit Pricing

The earliest Mark6 Transits are now over 20-years-old, so don’t expect plate-glass dealer sales and warranties. A few hundred quid will buy you one, but it’s unlikely to give you an easy life. There’s plenty of choice around the £1000-£1500 marketplace, for a Mark6, while higher mileage early Mark7 models start at around £1800. 

Spend £5000 and you'll get a 2012 Transit in mid-spec with around 80,000 miles on the clock, while £8000 will secure one of the 2014 run-out models with modest mileage and a comprehensive dealer stamped service history.

Do not be afraid of Ford Transit vans with 100,000+ miles on the clock, these workhorses were designed to cover huge distances and higher mileage examples will most likely be in a better mechanical condition than parcel drop city vans that have been used for repeated short runs from cold.

As always, history is the key to getting a good Transit, and with so much choice on the used market there is really no excuse to accept a van that's not sold with a folder full of old MoTs and receipts for repairs and maintenance.

To find the latest van values, visit: Honest John Used Van prices

 Ford Transit (6)

What we said

Backbone of Britain, best selling van for more than 40 years, a byword for light commercial vehicles. Call it what you like, the Ford Transit is the van by which all others are judged. If there isn’t a Transit that suits you business need then the chances are you either don’t need a van or should be buying a much heavier vehicle.

Where can I get a van history check for a Ford Transit?

Many companies offer a van history data check and we’d recommend using one, even if a used car seller says this has already been carried out. Better to spend a few pounds and be safe than sorry – and checks can be carried out online, via mobile phone or by apps on tablet PCs.

HPI Check Download (1)

HPI is the best-known vehicle history check companies - so much so that "HPI check" has become the generic term for checking a car's background.

There are two levels of cover: basic and the full HPI check. The basic service will tell you whether it has finance outstanding, has been stolen or written-off and has been exported/imported.

The full HPI check has a £30,000 guarantee and adds:  finance agreement details, mileage discrepancies, MoT history, write-off details, number of previous owners, CO2, Vehicle Tax info, stolen Logbook check, if it's recorded as scrapped, market valuation, past/future values and full plate change history.

HPI offers a clone check on its full HPI check service.

How much does an HPI History Check cost?

There are two levels of pricing for an HPI car history check - £9.99 for the basic service and £19.99 for the full HPI check. 

As with other vehicle history check providers, there's a discount on offer for multiple checks. HPI charges £29.97 for three checks that can be redeemed within three years.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Basic HPI check*

£9.99

-

Full HPI check*

£19.99

£29.97 (for three)

My Car Check  Mycarcheck (1)

My Car Check is a well-established car (and other vehicle) history check provider. It has been operating since 2005 and performs more than a million look-ups every day.

It's one of the cheaper on the market, with £3.99 and £14.99 history check options. The basic check will tell you if it's stolen, exported, a write-off, scrapped, its vehicle details, a valuation and MoT status and history. Go for the full check and you'll get a report into the vehicle's finance history and a £30,000 guarantee.

How much does a My Car Check Car report cost?

There are three levels of pricing for My Car Check, including - unusually in this market - a free option. This checks the vehicle's details, MoT history and gives a valuation

The basic level of history check is £3.99, its full-service options are a single check for £14.99, a three bundle for £19.99 and the five bundle is £24.99.

READER OFFER: Get an extra 10% discount on a full history check, 3 or 5 bundle if you use voucher code HJ10 at the checkout.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Free history check*

Free

-

Basic history check*

£3.99

-

Full history check*

£14.99

£19.99 (for three); £24.99 (for five); £74.99 (for 20)

Total Car Check History ChecksTotal Car Check Copy

Total Car History may not be the best-known of the vehicle history and data check companies, but it does claim to be the cheapest full check - both for individual checks and those done as a multiple. 

How much does a Total Car History Check cost?

The basic check will confirm basic details, such as mileage and MoT history, while the £8.99 full check will tell you if it has been written off, has outstanding finance, scrapped, VIN check, stolen, a valuation and a £30,000 guarantee.

 

Single check cost

Multiple check cost

Silver Basic Check*

£1.99

-

Gold Full Check*

£8.99

£14.99 (for three)

Ask HJ

Is a high mileage used Transit a safe buy?

I am thinking of buying a 2015 Ford Transit Custom with 138,000 miles. I'm a little concerned at what to look for with this mileage, but I will only average 2000 miles a year and would probably keep it for five or six years till I retire. I would appreciate your opinion.
There's no reason to shun high-mileage vans, so long as they have a full-service history that illustrates responsible maintenance and annual oil and filter changes. However, given your low mileage, I think a diesel van will prove to be more trouble than its worth. Diesels use complex anti-emissions equipment that relies on the vehicle being driven significant distances to regenerate. A diesel van driven only short distances (less than 15 miles per trip) will clog up and breakdown. An electric Nissan eNV200 might be a better option: https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/van-reviews/nissan/env200-2014/
Answered by Dan Powell
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