Archive for the ‘Passenger Van’ Category

Volkswagen Ceases Production of Iconic Vehicle at Close of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

While you may know it as the VW Minibus, “Vee-dub,” or some other name, the iconic VW Kombi may be seeing the end of a 60-year production era, but will still be sought after throughout the world.

It looks as though the market for VW buses for sale will only get fiercer now that the iconic VW “Kombi” has ceased production as of December 31, 2013 at the world’s only remaining factory in Brazil. Safety legislation specifically surrounding requirements for anti-lock brakes and passenger airbags, which cannot be retrofitted to the 60-year-old design, will send the factory’s Kombi workforce to other parts of the plant building other VW models.

History of the VW Bus

It is known by many names throughout the world but most often called a Microbus here in the U.S. Officially known as the Volkswagen Type II (the Beetle was the Type I), the Kombi is one of the oldest, if not the oldest motor vehicle in continuous production. Having first appeared on the scene in 1950, there are more than 10 variations of the Type II. The Kombi is actually one variant produced at VW factories between 1949 and 1967.

The origins of the Kombi go back to Dutchman Ben Pon, a VW importer that sketched out the now iconic design from seeing the beetle chassis that German VW plant workers used to transport parts around the factory. Its official debut came in 1949 at the Geneva Motor Show. Built first in Germany, high demand around the world led to the Anchieta VW plant in Brazil adding the Kombi to their assembly line in 1957.

They first came with the distinctive split windshield design referred to by Kombi aficionados as the ‘Splitty.” This was followed by the “Bay Window,” which was made for the U.S. market from 1968 to 1979. More models followed through to the production shift from Germany, Mexico, South Africa and finally Brazil where health and safety laws finally caught up with the beloved vehicle.

VW Bus Nicknames

The name Kombi comes from the contraction of the German language name Kombinationsfahrzeug, which translates roughly to ‘combination cargo passenger vehicle.’ It is known as “Combi” in Mexico City where it is a vital part of the public transportation system. In Peru, it is called “Combi Asesina” (Murdering Combi) nicknamed for the recklessness of bus drivers in the South American city. Some give it nicknames based on its distinctive shape such as “Pão-de-Forma” (Breadloaf) in Portugal and “Rugbrød” (Rye bread) in Denmark due to its resemblance to a mold-baked bread loaf.

The distinctive name of mini-bus came from the Finish that dubbed it “Kleinbus,” which became a catch-all name for every type of passenger van. Other names include “Campervan” in the UK, “Camping Car” in France, and “Volksie Bus” in South Africa. Kombi was also the generic nickname in South Africa, Swaziland and Nigeria for all vans and minibuses. In the U.S., it is affectionately called everything from “VW bus” and “Vee-dub” to “Minibus,” “hippie-mobile,” “hippie bus,” and “hippie van.”

VW Bus Advantages

Still built primarily by hand rather than today’s robotic assembly, the Kombi is renowned for its reliability, ease of maintenance, one-ton carrying ability, removable seats and ideal setup for camper conversions. Throughout the world, they are still highly desirable as camper travel vehicles.

Despite the fact that many wayward travelers and families look for a used school bus for sale or passenger van to convert for travel as well as business and group transport, nothing beats the vintage look, adaptability and easy maintenance of the Kombi. From Woodstock to the surf set, the camper van’s versatility and affordability made it a 60’s icon for counter culture transport for living, playing, and working.

Today, it is still among the most sought after buses for sale for those looking for vintage camper and travel transport. More than 3.5 million Kombis have been sold worldwide with nearly half of those built in Brazil. It remains the sixth best-selling light commercial vehicle in the world.

VW has built a run of 1,200 Last Edition models, aimed at collectors at a costs almost twice as much as a basic Kombi. Guido Mantega, Brazil’s finance minister reportedly plans an investigation as to whether an exemption from the safety legislation can be made for the Kombi, based on the fact that its original design didn’t allow room for such features.

VW Bus Collectors

The long list of celebrity Kombi owners includes The History Channel’s American Pickers’ Mike Wolf, UK and PBS series Doc Martin star Martin Clunes and boy band One Direction. There are dozens of places to get them restored, retrofitted and talk with other owners in online clubs. That is not to mention VW camper-inspired websites as well as actual Kombi gatherings and shows around the world. While new models may be a thing of the past, it is a guarantee that millions of lovers around the world will never let it completely fade away.

Do I Need a CDL to Drive a 15 Seat Passenger Van in California?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Commercial driver’s licenses are issued by individual states according to federal guidelines. Commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) are issued for driver’s who wish to operate a number of different classes of motor vehicles for commercial purposes. States also issue other non-CDL endorsements for certain vehicles that could be considered commercial because of their size or weight but are not operated as commercial vehicles.

State endorsements vary by state and are only required by drivers who live in that state. Visitors driving vehicles that would require a special endorsement to operate in California, for example, are allowed to drive that vehicle without the endorsement if their home state does not require it.

15_passenger_van_rental_15_passenger_van15 Passenger Vans

The answer to the question posed in the title is, it depends. In some cases, you need a CDL to drive a 15 seat passenger van, and in some cases you don’t. If the vehicle is designed to carry 10 or more passengers including the driver, and is being operated for hire or profit, a California CDL is required. The same is true if a non-profit group or organization like a church or youth group is using the vehicle.

The exception to the rule is when the van is being used for personal reasons. For example, a large extended family could own and operate a 15 seat passenger van for taking the family on vacation or the movies, and the driver would not be required to have a CDL to legally drive it in California.

Who Needs a California CDL?

Anyone who drives commercial vehicles must apply for a commercial driver’s license. You must be a legal resident of California in order to get a California CDL. To establish residency, you must be at least one of the following; registered to vote in California, paying resident tuition at a public college, filing for a California homeowner’s property tax exemption, have another license such as a fishing license, or have another benefit or privilege that is not normally available for non-residents.

School district employees as well as community colleges and private schools that own and operate 15 seat passenger vans must have a driver with a valid California CDL. This includes vehicles that are manufactured to carry 15 passengers regardless of how many are in the vehicle at any one time, even if some or all of the seats have been removed.

CDL Exceptions

There are exceptions to California’s CDL requirements such as people who are exempt under Health and Safety code 25163. Persons who are operating a covered vehicle in an emergency at the request or direction of a peace officer are exempt from needing a CDL. Drivers of housecars that are between 40 and 45 feet do not need a CDL but do need a special endorsement.

Enjoy traveling or transporting a group in a 15 seat passenger van. For more information about finding a Prevost for sale visit bargainbusnews.com or call 877-277-7253.

Top Uses for a 15 Seat Passenger Van

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Perhaps you’ve heard of the famous play by Sir Thomas More A Man For All Seasons, which is about a man’s struggle with his conscience. There is another story about a man who grew tired of hearing his children complain that they didn’t have enough room and his wife’s concern that her parents were getting too old to drive themselves to family functions, let alone join them on vacation.

Our story is not as much about the man, but how he managed to solve many of the problems in is life with a van for all seasons – a 15 seat passenger van to be specific. Our man, we’ll call him Ted, tried minivans, station wagons, and SUVs, but nothing quite fit the needs of his family of 5 children, a dog, and occasionally friends of the kids, both his parents, and his in-laws.

Ted became a man obse15_passenger_van_rental_15_passenger_vanssed with the complicated logistics of coordinating multi-vehicle caravans to visit his brother in a neighboring state or bringing the family and friends to his alma-mater’s homecoming game. Ted’s life became a tangle of phone calls to schedule pick-ups and drop-offs. He was spending more time and effort planning elaborate schemes for making sure members of his caravans didn’t get separated than he did enjoying time with family and friends until Ted purchased a used 15 seat passenger van!

Suddenly Ted’s life got easier and the complaints and concerns of his family melted into distant memories. With plenty of room for everyone – children, parents, in-laws, friends, even the dog – Ted was able to enjoy spending time with his family. Travel was transformed from a hassle to heaven all thanks to that 15 seat passenger van.

Trips to the water park, the beach, and the mountains that used to take hours of time to organize became simple. No long did he have to negotiate with the kids about who could take a friend this time. Now they could all take a friend, every time. Hitting the open road was now as easy as opening the door and letting everyone climb on board. Ted was a happy man.

Ted loves his van so much he now loves to car pool to work and business functions. Ted is first in line to volunteer to take his son’s baseball team to away games and his daughter’s Girl Scout troop to camping trips.

Ted’s wife, Cindy, loves taking her girlfriends on shopping excursions because there’s more than enough room for all of them to travel together with plenty of room to carry home all of their purchases, too. Ted wonders how he ever managed without his van for all seasons before.

Is a 15 seat passenger van the right solution to your family’s transportation headache? Find out more about how a 15 seat passenger van can work for you by visiting bargainbusnews.com or call 877-277-7253.