Before purchasing a used van, remember that the vehicle has seen better days and is way past its prime. It may have gone through multiple family road trips while weathering numerous cyclones and snowstorms, so you can’t expect your ‘new’ used van to have no underlying issues.
Furthermore, its usage and service history is often unknown, and there is always the possibility that the van you choose is not as pretty as it appears on the outside. In fact, multiple people have a story of finding hidden flaws and broken parts upon purchasing their used van. To help you avoid this, we will discuss the seven most important things to look for when purchasing a used van in this article.
- Ask a professional to give you a second opinion
Contacting a professional to assist you instead of going in blind will help you save so much of your time, money and effort. Since experts have no ulterior motives, they have no need to conceal bad news. Therefore, it isn’t really their concern if you don’t end up buying a vehicle since they are trained and paid to tell you the van’s condition and features.
- Research about the van’s history
Before organising a test drive, you should familiarise yourself with the car since how a van has been used says a lot about its condition. An automobile with a high mileage that has been driven regularly and is only used to transport limited items may be better than one with a low mileage forced to handle huge and very heavy loads.
Additionally, it would be best to verify the accuracy of all other information on it. Therefore, you should confirm the maker and type of the van and the licence plate and vehicle identification number (VIN). Also, don’t forget to search or ask about the documents that will outline the ownership history of the van and its multiple previous owners. If a car is regularly sold, this may suggest that it is in poor condition, which is what you should avoid at all costs.
- Examine the bodywork
The most critical aspect of a van’s bodywork is to inspect it for rust or any other corrosive damage. The state of a van’s bodywork indicates its overall condition. It would be best to ensure that the doors fit together tightly and that the paintwork is in good shape for how old the car is. Examine the vehicle for rust, uneven panels, or other indications of a repair job.
If you come across rust, lightly press on it. If you hear cracking sounds, corrosion may exist below; the problem may be deeper if tiny cracking sounds occur. Furthermore, a colour mismatch is also a dead giveaway. This could mean that the van has been written off and repaired.
- Make sure the suspension is still usable
A general suspension test can be performed by squeezing one corner firmly and seeing how soon it bounces back. If the shock absorbers are in good shape, they will return to their previous position promptly and smoothly with no dithering. You should also listen for squeaks, creaks, and cracks – all of these are bad symptoms and are costly to repair. Furthermore, the tyres are the correct size for the van, and the tread wear is consistent between the front and rear treads, which is another telltale symptom of a poor suspension or alignment.
- Be sure that the tyres aren’t burnt out
In Australia, the legal minimum tread depth is 1.5mm. New tyres have a tread depth of 6-8mm and gradually wear down to 3mm. It is strongly advised that you replace your tyres. As a result, it is critical to inspect the treads and sidewalls of each tyre, including the spare. The only point of contact between a van and the road is the tyres. Overall, a high-quality tyre is usually a sign that the van has been well-maintained.
- Inspect the van’s Engine
The van’s engine should always be examined first, and make sure to check it cold, as warmed engines might conceal possible faults. If the bonnet is warm, the engine is also warm, which could indicate a problem. When inspecting a van, contact the owner ahead of time and request that the engine is cold when you arrive. You should also check for excessive smoke and strange noises when starting the engine. This could be another indicator of potential issues or fixes.
- Test drive the van
You should be insured if you decide to arrange a test drive, especially if the vehicle is sold privately. Is the steering precise, or does it allow for a great deal of play? Is there a strange noise made when you accelerate or brake? Do any lights on the dashboard flicker, suggesting critical warning signs? Don’t forget to consider these questions when test driving your potential new van. You should also consider if you enjoy the way it drives as well.
If the owner’s insurance does not cover you, you may need to take out short-term cover. Consult your insurance carrier to determine the potential cost. Additionally, we recommended that you research van insurance quotes before purchasing the van to determine how much it would cost to insure. If the price is exceptionally high, this may be a deal-breaker, and it’s best you move one and find another van to test out.
Contact Used Van Finance Deals Ltd
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle for your business or household and haven’t had any financial difficulties in the last six years, we can offer you the best discounts available. Our plans start at £99 with a 6.59 per cent deposit and a median annual percentage rate of roughly 14.81 per cent. Whether it’s a Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, or the small Peugeot Partner, finding a van is simple with Used Van Finance Deals.