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The buy or not to buy? That is the question. But it’s an issue for van buyers that gets trickier and trickier the more you think about it. When purchasing a van, there are so many considerations, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of everything.

Not to worry. We’ve put together the ultimate van-buying guide so that you can get what you want and what you need. So let’s get started.

Budget

Whether you’re in the market for a new Sprinter van or an old banger, you’ll need to consider your budget. If you’re in the market for a van, you’re probably also a business owner or a sole trader. So calculating what type of van you can afford can be a little tricky. For instance, you might not know with any certainty just how much money your business will take over the next couple of years. And so you don’t know how much you can afford in monthly repayments.

In these situations, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Choose a conservative revenue figure and then base your van purchase on that. Remember, if your revenue goes up, you can always trade in your existing van for a newer, better quality model.

Needs

Each business is different. And therefore, each business will have slightly different van requirements. If you know for a fact that you’ll be transporting long items, like sofas or planks of wood, all day, then consider getting a van with a long wheelbase. These tend to be more expensive, but also more practical.

If on the other hand, you are transporting food in boxes, then it’s unlikely you’ll need the extra length. You can save money by buying a cheaper van with a shorter wheelbase.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (NCV3 MY14) 313 CDI van (2015-08-29).JPG

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Wants

When we’re buying something new, we often want it to be the best. We want all the modern features to make our daily lives a little easier and a bit more luxurious. But these additional features can end up costing us a lot of money. Optional extras for vans can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. And as a result, we can end up spending money needlessly on a bunch of extras that aren’t going to pay in the long term.

That’s why sometimes it’s best to compromise. Make a list of features that you’d like your new van to have, from the most important to the least. If you live in a very warm area, perhaps air-conditioning is a top priority. If you live in a cold place, perhaps heated mirrors windscreen should be the priority. Whatever you choose, make sure that you do it in a cost-effective way and don’t just get stuff that looks good, unless you can afford it.

Final Thoughts

There are of course a host of other considerations you’ll likely want to take into account. How much will the van depreciate? How far will you travel? What are the environmental costs of running a van and so on? These are all questions that only you can answer by looking at your business and working out what it is that you really need.