How does buying a van differ from purchasing a usual daily runner vehicle, such as an inner-city hatchback? Well, a van implies utility. It might be purchased for long-haul travel, storage, work purpose, or perhaps to carry many passengers. It is rarely purchased only for small and recreational trips. In other words - a van, like horses before the industrial revolution, are expected to work.
For this reason, purchasing a used vehicle often carries the import not often found when browsing recreationally through the listed pages of an auto magazine.
To aid you in this effort, we have decided to bring together 5 of the most important things to look for when purchasing a used van. This can help you make shrewd decisions and ultimately come away with something that satisfies you.
Of course, it’s hard to inspect the internal wiring to make sure that everything is okay, nor can you test drive a vehicle for days to see what the battery life is like before making your purchases. There are certain identifiers that can aid you, however, such as the lights. If they’re dimmering, flickering, or seem to be unreliable, this can be a pretty good indicator that something is wrong with the electrical circuit or battery at large. These lights include the headlights, fog lights, dash lights, indicators and brake lights, of course.
Check The Brakes
Even if the vehicle is the picture of engineering health, and in pristine condition, yet suffers from unreliable, squealing or grinding brakes, you should never drive it. We would recommend taking your test drive and ensuring you have chance to test the brakes in a long, uninterrupted stretch of road. Consider how responsive they are, and how easily they help you stop. This can help you ensure your future safety.
The candour of the owner you interact with can be an indicator of the van’s quality. Is the van at too low of a price? Has it been listed multiple times at varying price points? Are there a range of recent repairs that border on the suspicious? When was the last time the vehicle had an MOT, and does the mileage seem off considering the condition of the van itself? Keep these metrics in mind when making your choice to go ahead with the purchase.
It’s not just the exterior that you need to check. There are many indications of a van’s quality within the interior, and it’s not just in seeing how the mats have held up over time. What’s the condition of the furnishing? How well-maintained has it been? Are the seatbelts functional and do they click and stop momentum properly? Do the dash lights all work? Is the steering wheel in good condition, and does it handle responsively when on the road? Ask these questions, and you’ll perform your due diligence.
Appropriate Paperwork & Records
This one is a no-brainer. No matter how good the second hand vans have been during your search, you need to ensure the vehicle’s details are a match with the DVLA’s online database, that you used a reputable trader or marketplace, and that you have a solid MOT and ownership history. This is a legal necessity to possess, not a choice.
With this advice, we hope you can look for the important metrics of identifying if a van purchase is worthwhile or not.
For more advice, and to view our range of Used Vans, contact us at Bridgend Group today.