Volvo estate

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • Hi everyone. Need some advice if you can please, and maybe a bit of encouragement.
    I have the opportunity to buy a 1996 Volvo estate.
    It's gonna cost me £600 which on the face of it may seem a lot but it comes with a full 12 months test and has been looked after.
    Will this do to live in do you reckon. I'm under no illusions as to the difficulties with it being a car as opposed to a van and it's gonna clean me out initially. Haven't had my own car for years so insurance is sky high.
    Hope you can help guys.

  • Hmm, wouldn't be my choice but it's up to you of course. Can you not find a van for that money? There are worse vehicles to live in I guess, and sounds like a good one anyway. Good luck :)

    ' When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place '

  • as a volvo fan (my last 10 or 12 cars have been volvos), I can say that with any luck the car should be good for at least 250,000 miles (my last was still running well at 265000) space wise, tight, with the back seats down you should have space to sleep, but it could get very cold, fuel economy, expect just over 30mpg on a motorway run, probably around 21 round town. a 1996 is good as it is the old style - before ford took over (thicker body panels better build quality.
    You dont say which model, a 960 will give you the most space, an 850 or 740 wont be too bad, but dont try anything smaller.
    You will have to consider things like cooking, and how you will manage this on a rainy day. most volvo estates will let you undo the back door from inside, but thats another thing worth checking.
    then you also have to consider where you will put all of your gear while you are sleeping, probably in the front passenger seat.
    electrical issues are possible, the relays tend to fail when older as the solder cracks and makes bad joints, the electrical side of the ignition switches can cause problems, but are easily replaced. the electronic circuits in some of the dash boards can have the same solder issues as the relays on some newer models.
    if you have a choice a van will probably give you more room and be easier.
    Grendel (currently driving over 100 miles a day in a volvo v70 from 2000)

  • Thanks guys. That helps a lot!
    Grendal, it's a 960. The other good point about it is that it already has a tow bar fitted which gives more possibilities when I get more cash.
    I would much prefer a van greenvanman but haven't been able to find anything for that amount of cash.
    I know that the volvo is right regarding reliability. Just gonna be a bit tight for space.

  • from memory the 960 I had had lots of little compartments and hidey holes for stowing stuff away, so you should be able to find a pocket for valuables (there are side pockets and under floor pockets in the back). I managed to fit a whole small kitchens worth of units into mine when I had it ( 2 double units plus 2 1/2 sized units plus 2 wall units).
    Good luck.

  • I tried living in a car, but found the lack of a toilet too limiting. It will be cold due to the windows. I would highgly recommend trying to get even a smaller van, never underestimate how good it is to stretch. Some vans can be cheap.

    This is the first van on the Gumtree list for under £600…e-2002-tax-mot/1091276643

    However, Volvos are great. Mum used to have one, it ran so beautifully, it was called Glider.

  • An old friend of mine used to live in a car sometimes between living in buses or vans. But this was only a temparary like for a few nights at a time. Although they can be cold, they are also quick and easy to warm up if you need to.
    Having spent the odd night in a car from time to time myself I have found that i never really slept well in them and it wouldn't be my preferred choice.
    I would make an offer of 500 for the car (cash talks) and look out for a cheap caravan to tow along sometimes you can get one for 200 or so. Just make sure it's dry.
    Best of all good luck.

    Btw them volvos are good cars and if you do really have to live in a car then you could do a lot worse than a volvo.

  • I wonder if it's entirely safe to sleep in a car? As its windows steam up while you sleep people will be alerted to the fact that you're asleep inside, and drunk idiots or policemen will perhaps disturb you in one way or another. Ecobob's idea seems the best, and if the car needed work doing to it your home wouldn't be stuck inside a garage somewhere waiting for parts or whatever.
    Whatever you decide to do have a wonderful time and remember you are a hell of a lot better off than the average housedweller with mounting debts up the wazoo and no hope of ever escaping them. Best wishes Mally.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Do you have to move into a vehicle immediately? Would it be possible to wait and save up a couple of hundred more and get a van? Vans are much better for living as you don't have all the problems with the windows (cold, privacy, people bugging you, etc.) I got my van for 795 (with tax and test) and spent a couple of hundred replacing the driveshafts, wheelbearings, and getting the engine checked over before I hit the road. I paid just over a grand including the conversion costs (bubble foil insulation with fabric overlay, carpets, made a bedframe from scrap wood and a bed top from a floorboard, the cut off from which became my table) and now have a wicked little stealth camper that does about 300 miles per week happily (at 50-55mph... but who needs to go faster anyway). You'll have more room, which believe me you'll appreciate if you're living all or most days per week even if you don't think you'll need it right now..

  • Another great thing about a van Raffi is that you can stuff a Portapotti under a seat then slide it out when you need it. It's a bit difficult to perform normal daily functions on a Portapotti in a car.

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Another great thing about a van Raffi is that you can stuff a Portapotti under a seat then slide it out when you need it. It's a bit difficult to perform normal daily functions on a Portapotti in a car.


    God. Windows. Who needs them?! ;)

  • Ha ha. Good points entirely Lionheart and Raffi. It seems that the general consensus from everyone seems to be, much better a van, which I kinda knew anyway, but if it's gonna be a car, then a volvo is about as good as it gets.
    I don't actually have to move into a vehicle straight away Raffi. I'm just being a bit eager there.
    It has been hard to save even to this extent and at times, the money goes down rather than up.
    I thought to get the car then save again which would be much easier with less bills to pay.

  • You shouldn't get any nasty effluvia coming from your potti if you use the right amount of chemical Subgenre, but I know where you're coming from with the al fresco dump thing. There's something wonderful about the "In days of old when knights were bold..." thing that is difficult to beat. It's not so 'convenient' however if you have to park where people are, or where they soon will be, like an industrial estate or commercial park.
    You know what, it never ceases to amaze me how many people flush and callously send their valuable fertiliser winging it's merry way down to the sewage processing plant then go out and buy growbags, peat and growmore, plus the fuel to and from the garden centre. My dear old dad used to say when he was a boy growing up in the country he wondered why food never tasted as good as the stuff from his dad's garden, and then he found out that when you dig that magical stuff back into the ground it is eaten by bacteria within a couple of weeks and is manna from heaven for a hungry vegetable plant.
    Humans eh? What nutters!

    Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is meant to be serious.

  • Don't really like the idea of chemicals being used for the convenience of having a dump in my truck, that just leaves you with sludge that is hard to get rid off and has to be processed by a sewage treatment plant. Compost is way less energy intensive. In tight spots and cities i usually use public toilets, community centres or pubs. Thankfully i dont spend much time in the city. A personal thing I suppose.

  • I think the toilet thing would be the biggest problem, especially in a car! And especially for me as I tend to go a lot, (bowel disease) as I have to eat a lot of fibre and drink a lot of water. I've thought about it a lot and I think I could get by with a bit of tactical parking for public conveniences and also as Subgenre suggests, having a shovel to hand.
    I take it you were into Judge Dread then Lionheart