Buying a used van can be extremely difficult. Which van do you choose? What things should you look out for? How can you find out the van’s history? These are all questions you’ll have to answer.
It’s worth making sure your finances are in order before purchasing any used vehicle. And perhaps the main consideration you’ll have to make when shopping for a used van is how much money you’ll have to spend. There is a wealth of choice available in terms of van type so it’s worth looking at how much you want to spend as this’ll give you an indication of what’s available.
Where to buy
Before you go shopping for a new van try to make yourself aware of the current ‘going’ prices for the vans you are looking at. This will give you an idea whether a vehicle is cheap or is expensive. Look at all the places you could use to purchase a vehicle. Van dealerships, private sales, second-hand van dealers – all these are viable options however some, such as the dealerships, will likely offer some form of guarantee and you’ll have more rights as a purchaser if you avoid a private sale.
It’s not just the initial purchase price which will affect your vehicle choice, you’ll also have to look at the extra costs associated with purchasing a van such as the running costs and the maintenance costs. Some vehicles will typically be more expensive to maintain than others. It’s also worth looking at the condition of any parts which may have to be replaced such as brake pads and discs, exhaust systems, tyres and even things such as the windscreen wiper blades.
It’s always worth giving the vehicle a test drive before you buy. After all, the only way you’ll be able to tell how the vehicle drives is when you are sitting behind the wheel. If possible take it on a drive where a mixture of conditions is available i.e. motorway driving, urban driving and on twisting roads.
It’s difficult to tell the history of the vehicle as even crash damage is now easily disguised, however you can run a vehicle check with the DVLA to see if it has been involved in an accident. This is when buying from a dealership can be a good idea as they’ll often give you some sort of guarantee which will enable you to return the vehicle a certain period of time after the purchase if you are not totally happy.