The idea of going on a long road trip with your friends or family using a van always seems irresistible. For many people, this type of grand adventure — camping out, having coffee in the morning while wrapped in a blanket, and staring as the sun rises — is always part of their bucket list.
The challenging part in planning this type of adventure, especially if you don’t have a van yet, is deciding what to use and how to acquire one. This is a daunting task, as many get scammed and purchase a problematic unit. To make matters worse, they pay significantly higher than what the vehicle is worth.
This article will give you some tips on spotting a reliable provider, such as Used Van Finance Deals. We’ll also dole out some helpful advice for inspecting your prospective new purchase.
How Much Does A Used Van Cost?
As with any other vehicle, the cost of a used van depends on its age, condition, and type. For starters, you may want to look for a cargo van base. This way, you have the leeway to customize your van using high-quality materials. Since you are most likely to add fixtures inside, consider the length and wheelbase support.
For under $10,000, you can already have a reliable and older model. For units that are almost new, the price is in the range of $25,000.
Regardless if you want to acquire an older or a newer model, the price you pay must be proportionate to what you are getting. Look for a reliable source when computing the amount needed to buy a used van and get a fair price. There are websites available to determine the fair value of a vehicle depending on its age, make, model, features, and specifications.
What To Check In A Used Van?
If you are not into mechanical inspections, add a mechanic fee to your budget. With the help of a professional inspector, you get additional insurance that you are not buying a broken vehicle. The fee usually falls between $100 to $200, an affordable payment considering the burden you will endure if you get a faulty van.
Even if you have a mechanic with you, make it a point to inspect the vehicle yourself. Check for dings and dents, rust, wheel tread, leaks, lights, AC, heat, sounds, windows and seats, engine, fluids, battery, and wirings.
Keep clear of vans with severe rusting in the undercarriage and disabled dash lights. Most importantly, do not forget to do a test drive to check for alignment, brakes, and unusual sounds.
Aside from the mechanic’s fee, bear in mind the other costs, including sales tax, registration fees, shipping fees, insurance, and repair and maintenance costs for the first year. If you plan to convert your new van into an RV, make a conversion budget to include safety supplies, kitchen, beddings, and so on.
Research the depreciation cost (the change in the value of your vehicle over its lifespan) and include this information in your decision-making process. This is important if you want to keep a high resale value for your van.
For your safety, check the Vehicle Identification Number of the van. Online databases are available for this job, and it contains whether the vehicle is stolen or flagged by the authorities. While you’re at it, also check for any possible recall issued for the vehicle you plan to buy.
If you are keen on modifying your van to suit your needs, take note of some practical tips. Balance the cost of your modifications to the purchase value of the van. If you acquired an older model vehicle, it’s impractical to put high-end modifications to it.
Make do with removable alterations that you can resell once you retire your van base. Ideally, the conversion cost must not exceed twice the purchase value of the newer model (less than 5 years old) and not more than 1 ½ for older units (10 years or older).
For the former, a $60000 modification for a $30000 van is more than enough to provide a comfortable and elegant RV that will last a decade or longer. Likewise, conversion costs under $5000 are enough to give you a picturesque unit purchased at $10,000.
Closing The Deal
After your thorough examination, you will likely arrive at the best reasonable price for the unit you desire. As a general rule, cheaper is not always better. The best price is the amount you are willing to dish out without feeling cheated.
If you are tight on your budget and cannot get your loan approved due to poor credit performance, there are still ways to get your dream van. Some companies have a system to finance people with poor credit, such as a rent-to-buy scheme. Under this system, the purchaser only pays a small amount regularly without releasing a huge sum of money upfront.
During this time of the pandemic, you want to limit your physical interaction with some people. Fortunately, some institutions do business online, including used van financing. You only need to fill up online forms so they can evaluate your credit score and suggest a financing deal. Once approved, the vehicle of your choice is ready for delivery or pick up.
It also helps if you are dealing with a direct lender. In this case, you eliminate the cost of having a middleman, and the process is expedited. This system is a win-win scenario for both the buyer and the seller.