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If you are a tradesman or small business and you are looking to upgrade your tired old van for a new one it can be difficult to make a decision on which one to buy. There are many websites selling commercial vehicles, both nationwide and local, you have car and commercial vehicle yards, personal sellers and even vehicle auctions to choose from. Choosing which van to buy can be a minefield, deciding whether to make a cash purchase, buy the van on credit or even lease options can cause big headaches. This guide will give you some advice on some of the thing you might want to look for, make sure of and things to avoid.
What do you need the Van to Carry?
The first thing to consider is functionality, what do you need the van to do? You may have a large set of tools which need transporting from home to work and from job to job. Your new van needs to have to room to accommodate everything you will need to carry including all of your tools and any potential materials you need to get on site such as sand and cement, plaster board or other bulky items. As such you need to look for a van which has enough capacity but also one which carry the weight load too, you may want to consider a long van with a long wheel base or one with a roof rack for extra space.
What is the Total Cost?
As with all large purchases we make, the price has to be right. Make sure you do your homework by checking average prices online, you should eventually get a feel for what is available in your price range though of course they will vary slightly. Some vans will have done less miles than others but may be an older model, some may be older but be in better condition, once you have had a look around you will get a picture in your mind of what is most important to you and what style and model of vans you like. Most private seller and even trade sellers will be negotiable on price so don`t offer the asking price straight away. If you don1 have the money to make a cash purchase then you may wish to consider a credit agreement or even a lease arrangement, for me this is a less preferable option as your total repayments will far exceed the actual value if the van and you will be unlikely to get much of your money back when you come to sell the van in the future. If you do go down the road of credit or lease then be sure to read the contract very carefully so you understand what the total cost of the van will be and what your obligations are with regards payments, some companies will offer better rates of lending and you should shop around before making a commitment.
Condition is Important
Though the price is important, if the price seems too good to be true then it probably is, you need your van to be reliable and in a decent condition so that when you turn up to work you look professional and give a good impression to the customer, turning up in an old bangor with the bumpers hanging off doesn`t always install confidence in a customer. Always test drive the vehicle and if possible have it looked over by a mechanic or a knowledgeable family member to identify any potential issues with the vehicle and a full service history is always a good indicator that the van has been properly looked after.
Ask For Warranty
If you are buying from a trade seller then it is clearly preferable to have some kind of warranty on the vehicle in case anything goes wrong soon after you have purchased the vehicle. If the previous MOT certificates have a record of mileage then this can also be beneficial as you can be more confident that the mileage is genuine. Trade sellers will often offer a full mot and if there is tax still on the van this will save you a few pounds too.
‘Buying a new van for your business is a big decision’, says Richard Harvey of ApprovedTrader.co.uk ‘ you must be sure to shop around for the best deal as being too impulsive could cost you big in the long run’
You may have more specific requirements such as make and model, colour, low mileage or that the back of the van be boarded or racked out so you can easily fit your tools into the space available. Whatever van you choose to buy, you need something that looks professional, is reliable enough to get you from A to B without any break downs, performs the functions you need it to and is within your budget.