Thinking of buying a van? Here’s four things to keep in mind


With almost 100,000 vans registered in the first three months of 2015, van ownership continues to rise as a result of the online shopping boom. If you’re looking to tap into this growing market and considering buying a van, along with the usual tips to bear in mind when buying any used vehicle, there are a few things to take into account.

Some key points to consider:

Price. With a brand new van, there’s not much room for negotiation – but take advantage of the special offers and deals that are offered by the majority of vehicle dealerships. For example, you might be offered a year’s insurance or a number of van services within the first three years. Always ask the salesman to include these things in the sale if you’re not offered them.

For a used van, of course, always negotiate on the price – 64% of people who haggled were successful! If you’re buying privately, the seller is often in a hurry and more open to negotiation, especially if they’ve been advertising the van for a few weeks. Take into account the overall condition of the car, research the price of other used vans for sale, and be firm on how much you’re willing to pay.

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Vehicle history. This is one of the most important things to cover off if you’re buying a used van. The seller might be open about the history of the van, but you can’t always take this at face value. You’ll need to check the details with the DVLA, check the MOT and service history, and you might also want to pay for a private background check. This guide from Citizens Advice has more information on what you need to check out.

The interior. Van drivers are fairly diverse, so one type of van certainly won’t fit all. If you’re using the van for your work, you’re going to need enough space for your materials and tools – are you using it to carry a few ladders or are you going to be moving furniture. Look at the interior of the van and see if it has been modified, and if that suits your requirements. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough space for larger items. If you’re using it for leisure and hobbies, you’ll want it to be comfortable with space for other passengers for potential road trips!

Making the decision. Ultimately, you’ll know better than any guide! Before you make your purchase though, you might want to consider having the van looked over by a garage to cover off any obvious mechanical faults that you otherwise might not have noticed. Always test drive the van before committing too – after all, if you’re going to be spending half of your day driving, you want to make sure it’s comfortable and fit for purpose.