Whether you need a van for work or you want some extra room to transport sports gear or dogs around, a second-hand van may be on your shopping list this year. But not all second-hand vans are worth buying, so it pays to be vigilant for faults and other issues. Here is a quick guide to help you buy the best possible second-hand van for the money.
What Type of Van do You Need?
There are small vans and there are large vans. Short wheelbase vans are fine if you don’t need to carry much gear but if you regularly transport a lot of tools, plus larger items such as plasterboard sheets or doors, then a long wheelbase van is a better option.
Consider whether you need a separate cargo area or a tail lift. This type of van is often used to transport bulky cargo or in removals. Note that a box van or Luton up to 3.5-tonnes is the maximum you can drive on a regular driver’s licence.
Other types of van include flatbed trucks, dropside vans, refrigerated vans, and special conversions such as mobile catering vans.
Vans are traditionally powered by diesel, but it is possible to find smaller vans that run on petrol. In general, diesel-powered vans are more economical and have more torque compared to petrol, but for a non-commercial van that’s used only as an occasional workhorse, you may want to consider smaller petrol models.
There are also electric vans on the market too, such as the Nissan e-NV200, which has a range of up to 187 miles and is fully charged in 40-60 mins. However, you are unlikely to find many (or any) of these on the second-hand market!
Make and Model
It pays to do some research before you start looking at vans. Read reviews on sites like WhatCar and visit forums to see what people think about the various vans out there. Owner forums are a great source of information about known faults. Draw up a shortlist before you begin searching for possible vans in the local area.
Buy from an Approved Dealer
The advantage of buying from an approved dealer like Your New Van, found at https://www.yournewvan.com, is that you can take advantage of finance deals and part-exchange another van. All vans from approved dealers come with a warranty, so you have peace of mind you are not going to end up with a lemon. Private sales are not regulated and there is no guarantee the van you buy won’t break down within 10 minutes of you handing over some cash.
Arrange a Test Drive
It’s important to take any van you are thinking of buying for a test drive. Make sure you are insured and then take the van for a drive around the local area. Does it drive well? If not, why not? Pay for a proper inspection if you want to be safe.
Look for rust and bald tyres. Is the cabin clean? Is there a full-service history? Any signs of accident damage?
A van is potentially a big investment, so don’t rush into the transaction. Only hand over money if you are 100 per cent happy with the vehicle.