You have a lot of questions.
We get asked a lot of questions.
We thought we'd try to consolidate all that information here to help.
Q. I want to buy a Vanagon/Eurovan/Bus – where do I start?
A. There are a lot of great internet resources to determine which platform is best for you and help you narrow your search. We often encourage people to be very thoughtful and deliberate in the decision – but also to go for it if it’s something you are passionate about. Some of the best resources can be found at www.gowesty.com or at www.thesamba.com. The most fluid marketplaces are still local ones – craigslist being the most popular.
Q. How much should I expect to pay?
A. There is no way to predict this one. Buying and owning one of these vehicles is more art than science. Some people spend $15,000 and geta great deal. Some people stretch north of $25,000 and don’t due their due diligence and have to spend a lot. For later model vanagons (most popular), we tend to talk about four levels. Below $15,000 you’re looking at something that is going to need to some love (read - $). $15-$22,000 you should get something that is in decent running condition but definitely has some major work coming up. $22-$30,000 yourVanagon should be good to go with only the normal care and feeding. Over $30,000 it should be in extremely clean condition and likely have an upgraded engine or similar. Add $10-15,000 for the Syncro. Note – these are very, very broad numbers and should be taken with a grain of salt and mostly local to the Northwest. There are exceptions to all of these.
Q. Anything I should avoid?
A. YES! Two things we try to steer people away from are fresh paint jobs (unless you have receipts showing a substantial investment) and what we call OPC, or Other People’s Conversions. If you are buying a vehicle with a motor conversion, make sure it has been done by a reputable shop, the wiring was professionally done, the motor was broken in properly, etc. In most cases, if the conversion was not done by a known shop, it’s simply not going to be worth it.
Q. I want to sell my van – are you buying?
A. We have a pretty firm policy of $500 for non running vehicles. If your vehicle isn’t worth restoring or is in such a state (rust or some other catastrophic issue where the cost of repair exceed retail cost) but it still run, we will buy it for $1,000. If it is a “decent” vehicle, we do selectively buy vehicles but we are transparent that we won’t be the highest bidder. What we do offer is a very clean transaction and a karma neutral/positive transaction.
Q. Do you have anything for sale now?
A. We don’t carry inventory of vehicles for sale. We do restore vehicles for resale, but these are often custom project built specifically for you. Give the shop a call to see what projects are coming up. Keep in mind when we do restore vans, it’s not unlikely for them to exceed $60,000 in price by the time everything is said and done. Depending on options, we have had projects pencil in considerably higher. Of course, at that price you are getting a vehicle that has had every major system gone over, replaced and updated.
Q. What is it like working with Peace Vans?
A. At Peace Vans we are not focused on any single transaction– instead we are about a relationship with you and your vehicle. Every single one of our customers loves their vehicles and most have quite the tight bond with them. Everyone in the shop owns and drives one of the vehicles so we get it and we treat you like we would like to be treated ourselves. We go out of our way to understand what your short and long term desires are and then tailor the work to you. Our customers have a wide variety of budgets, timelines and needs and we work very closely with each person to gain alignment.
Q. I love the idea of a long term relationship with a shop – how do I start?
A. Give us a call! Or email to email@example.com. We are very active on email and always respond within a day. Most new customer opt for a full vehicle inspection – that gives all of us a baseline of information for your vehicle and lets us collectively plot that path forward.
Q. How far out is your schedule?
A. We try to keep it to 1-2 weeks. There are times where this stretches out – so if you can schedule ahead, it’s best if you do. Summer can be ridiculously busy – we limit employee vacations and try to keep some extended hours to help, but be prepared for a slightly longer lead time (particularly for major work) in the summer months.
Q. I’m leaving tomorrow for a road trip I’ve been planning for a year and my Van is making a weird noise and has a leak…Can you Please help?
A. YES! We can almost always make room for an emergency like this. The flip side is that there might be a time your van is in the shop for non-emergency work and we call you and delay it a day or two – because we had an emergency fix to take care of. We love that our customers give us this trust and flexibility. On a side note, it’s not a best practice to wait until the night before you leave to make sure your van is mechanically sound for that long planned road trip.
Q. It seems like I always drop my vehicle off and it’s a few days before you start on it, or it’s completed. Why?
A. There are two main reasons for this. First, the nature of working on these older vehicles is much different than a normal repair shop. Often times parts aren’t available the same day, we rarely have the ability to use computers to diagnose and therefore have to take a few more steps, and many times the problem is further downstream than the initial symptom. All three of these can conspire to do what we call “take the vehicle out of the workflow”. At that point, we assign the tech another vehicle and your vehicle comes back into the workflow when the parts arrive, the diagnostic is final or we have a complete picture of what it’s going to take to repair. The second reason is that the projects often creep out of scope for myriad reasons, but regardless it requires your approval to go ahead and this can take time. While waiting for the approval, your van will often come out of the workflow and it can take a bit of time to get back in. We always strive to be transparent when you make your appointment or when you drop off that this will be the case. If it is an emergency or you have a special situation we can manage same day turn around but this has to be discussed ahead of time.
Q. Can I drop my vehicle off after hours?
A. Yes. We have a secured key drop box on the front door.
Q. Is my Vanagon safe at your shop?
A. Yes. The shop is secured at night as our both lots. We have a 24 hour video surveillance and ADT alarm systems.
Q. DO YOU WORK ON ALL VWS?
A. As much as we would like to work on all VWs, right now we only work on buses, vanagons and Eurovans.