Common Mistakes to Watch Out for When Buying a Second-Hand Van

Buying a used van can be a great way to get a quality vehicle at a lower price. However, purchasing second-hand does come with some risks. Be sure to avoid these common mistakes when shopping for a van.

Not Checking the Service History

A van’s service history can provide valuable insights into how well it was maintained. Ask to see maintenance records, MOT certificates, and any receipts for major repairs or part replacements. Gaps in the service history or lack of paperwork may be a sign that necessary maintenance was skipped.

Ideally, the van should have a complete record of manufacturer servicing at the specified intervals. Regular maintenance reduces the likelihood of serious mechanical issues arising later on.

Ignoring High Mileage

The mileage on a used van will give you an idea of how much wear and tear it has been subjected to. Very high mileage (over 150,000 miles) increases the chances of costly repairs and breakdowns. The older a vehicle is, the greater impact high miles will have.

That said, well-maintained vans can still be reliable up to 200,000 miles or more. So, consider the condition and service history in addition to mileage when making your decision.

Not Thinking About Your Needs

It’s important to consider what you will use the van for before purchasing one second-hand. Do you plan to use the van for family outings and errands? Look for features like comfortable seating configurations, easy access for passengers, and potentially even entertainment for longer trips. Or perhaps you’re a tradesperson who needs to transport lots of tools and equipment, you might consider shopping for a used Ford Transit custom for sale, a van that offers excellent cargo space, ensuring you can haul even the heaviest toolboxes and building materials.

Take time to test drive vans that meet your requirements to find one that suits your needs. Don’t just assume a van will work for your purposes without assessing it first.

Not Looking at Operating Costs

A used van’s purchase price is just one part of what it will cost you. Insurance, tax, MOT, fuel, maintenance, and repairs will all add up over the years you own the vehicle. Research what typical operating costs are for the make and model you’re considering. Make sure it fits comfortably within your budget.

Opting for the Cheapest Option

A very cheap used van may seem tempting. However an extremely low price could be a sign that the seller is just trying to offload a faulty or unreliable vehicle.

Don’t assume that paying more means getting a perfect van either though. Set a realistic budget and search for a reasonably priced van in good overall condition. Paying a little more upfront or purchasing from a registered dealer can give you peace of mind and potentially save on repairs.

Rushing the Process

Buying a used van shouldn’t be a rushed decision. Give yourself time to thoroughly inspect any vans you’re interested in and weigh your options. Don’t feel pressured to make an on-the-spot decision or ignore issues just because you’re eager to buy.

Patience in your search will help you avoid regrets down the road. Test-driving multiple vans and having them inspected before committing to one is worth it.

Buying a second-hand van has risks, but being armed with the right knowledge and using a respected seller helps minimise the chances of purchasing a lemon. Avoiding these key mistakes will set you on the path to finding a quality used van that will serve you well for years to come. Take it slow and be diligent during your search.

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