When you buy a used van from a dealer it needs to be fit for purpose and accurately described which is a legal requirement and protects the buyers from false claims by the dealer. You will also likely get some kind of warranty with your van whether its for 3 months which is the standard term of if its extended, you have peace of mind knowing that should a fault occur whilst under its warranty the vehicle will be repaired at no cost to yourself. When you purchase a second hand van privately you don’t have any warranty or legal comebacks once you have paid for the vehicle whether it’s for better or worse you are on your own.
When starting to look for a van it’s important to set a budget that affordable and realistic and stick to it, if you know what your limit is before you go looking you can’t overspend. Finding a van that suits you needs is very important if you only need a small van for your day to day needs and the occasional use of something larger, it’s much more economical to purchase a small vehicle and hire a larger van as and when needed.
Just remember when purchasing a van that they are used on a daily basis for work so unlike a car you can expect a certain amount of wear and tear on both the interior and exterior of the van. This doesn’t mean that it will be well worn, just that if it’s a van that’s been well used for a trade then it’s likely to have a few scratches here and there. The price of a van will fluctuate greatly depending on the amount of mileage and wear and tear of the vehicle.
With Fuel prices being so high it’s a good idea to search online to work out the costs of running your intended van on a weekly basis. Along with the cost of running your van you can also look at additional features that each van may posses to try and work out what would be helpful. While safety features are very desirable these days making sure the van is able to carry a high enough Gross Vehicle Weight is essential.
Before going to visit any van make sure you have checked out rival prices for vans of a similar age and mileage online so that you are sure that the price being asked is a fair one. Always arrange to see a van in good weather as both the dark and rain can make it difficult to see imperfections on the bodywork. It’s important to make sure that you meet the owner of the van at their home address and make sure that you get a land line number; so that you know the person selling the van is the owner. Ask to see the V5C registration certificate which will confirm the owners address, it will also have details of the vans year of registration, registration number, make, model, colour, chassis and engine numbers, which should all be checked. You can perform a vehicle history check online for a small fee and if you have little knowledge about vehicles then the AA offer a service where bye they will come out and check a vehicle for you which comes with a guarantee.
If you are going to check the vehicle by yourself here are some things to look out for.
1. Check the vans panels for consistency of colour and texture.
2. Check the vans service history and mileage to make sure there are no discrepancies with the clock being turned back.
3. Check the bodywork for signs of rust and blistering around the arches, doors and sills and chips in the paintwork.
4. Look for evidence of any repairs or welding that may have occurred from a past accident.
5. Take the van out for a drive and test the brakes by performing an emergency stop, it’s also a good idea to take someone else along with you to listen out for any unusual noises that may occur as its difficult to take everything in yourself.
6. Check the engine oil and antifreeze to see if it has been well maintained, the oil should also be checked to make sure that it’s not discoloured and that there are no signs of foam.
7. Always try and test drive the van when it’s cold to see if there are any start-up problems. You will be able to feel the bonnet to identify whether it has already been run to warm the engine up.
8. Check the gearbox for signs of wear and tear.
9. Check the tires for signs of bulging and make sure that they have the minimum required level of tread.
10. Check all the seatbelts and door locks to make sure that they work correctly.
11. Check for signs of hose damage and check all the rubber seals around the windows and doors.
12. Check for any signs of warning light on the dashboard and that all the controls work correctly including the windscreen wipers.
If after viewing the van you are still not happy just remember there are plenty more second hand used vans out there and its better to walk away than make a mistake and regretting it.