by Gauk
Mon, Aug 29, 2016 5:17 AM

What should I know about buying a van. Frequently asked questions

  • I don’t know much about vans! Which one should I choose?

You need to think about your needs and search the market thoroughly – preferably by using an online directory such as Think about how you plan to use the van. For example, are you looking for a family vehicle? Or are you looking to transport goods for your business? Do you need to buy one van or a fleet of vans? Build a profile of yourself and your needs – and find a van that matches your expectations.

  • What are the different body types available?

There are many different body types available in the UK. These include microvans, which originated in Japan and are comparatively economical and easy to park; while chassis cabs have a cabin and then a large frame on which you can build. Among the other popular models are 4x4s, which are regularly used for family transportation, examples of which include the Renault Espace; a minibus which is used to transport a small group of people; and a panel van, which takes the look of a family car moulded into a van.

  • Should I buy a van that is fitted out or should I buy ply lining separately?

Buying a van that is already fitted with the equipment you need – whether it is ply lining, refrigeration, etc – is usually a cheaper method than buying a van and then kitting it out yourself. However, many ply lining and refrigeration companies will offer good deals and are more likely to produce goods that are tailor-made for your needs.

  • I only need a van for a short period of time… what should I do?

You don’t have to buy a van unless it’s necessary – you can consider a van rental instead. There are a number of van rental companies across the UK that will allow you to hire vehicles for varying periods of time, whether it is for a single trip, a week, or even six months. Van rentals are well-suited to businesses that have temporary members of staff on-board or that have a higher than usual workload.

  • Is it cheaper to buy or lease a van?

That really depends on what your expectations are. Buying a new van has many advantages as you own the car and aren’t restricted by a mileage limit. However, leasing a new van will allow you to change your vehicle every few years – which is often a preferred method for businesses that don’t want to pay out for maintenance costs when vans depreciate.

  • How can I save money on a new van?

Simple! Shop around online! Buying or leasing new vans is much generally much cheaper online than it is if you walk into a dealership. The reason for this is that the van dealer saves on overheads by marketing online – it doesn’t have to pay salesmen for example! One of the leading online directories is

  • Can I buy a used van online?

Yes! There are many online directories for used vans, just as there are for new vans – includes buying and leasing deals for both.

  • But is it a good idea to buy a van ‘sight unseen’?

Of course it’s always best to take the van for a test drive – so why not see if the online dealership has its own showroom? If you’re buying a new van, then shopping online shouldn’t cause a problem as brand new models should all be more or less the same as long as they have not been driven. If you are still reluctant, then why not use websites to your advantage by taking the prices you quote online into dealerships and asking them to beat that price?

  • I have impaired credit. How can I get a good deal on a new van?

Try and build your credit rating before you buy. This can be done in a number of ways – such as by taking out a credit card that you pay the balance on each month, or simply by paying your bills on time and proving you are reliable. Shop around for loan deals and don’t make applications for rates that you know you simply can’t qualify for – this will only cause further harm to your credit score. If you don’t know what your credit score is, use a credit reference agency such as Experian or Equifax.

  • Is it a good idea to trade in my current vehicle?

It can be – but make sure you get a good price. Just as you research the price of the van you wish to buy, you should see what prices similar models to your current vehicle are fetching online. Then, as long as you are honest about the condition of the vehicle, you should have an idea about a fair price. Selling privately could prove more profitable.

  • When is the best time of year to buy a van?

If you want to secure a cheap deal, shop around during the Christmas period or in the months preceding the introduction of new registrations when dealers may be looking for quick sales to remove excessive stock.

Hopefully you now feel confident to begin your search for a van that’s ideal for you or your business. Remember not to compromise on what you want just for a cheap offer – make a thorough search online and you can find the right van at the right price.

published by Gauk