What To Consider When Buying a Van?

The perfect van depends entirely on what you wish to use it for.

Maybe you’re a musician in a band needing to transport large instruments. Perhaps you’re a tradesperson carrying tools and equipment or you may be using your van as a mini bus to transport large numbers of people.

Whatever you’re using your van for, before you part with your cash it’s a good idea to consider which model may best suit your needs.

How will your van be used

The first question to ask yourself is, what will your van be carrying? If your trade requires that you carry a larger load then models which offer a bigger wheel base or higher roof, such as the Citroen Dispatch, would be ideal for you.

If you’ll be carrying a very heavy load then a van offering double wheels at the back may be a better option. This will help support weighted items such as audio visual equipment.

Access all areas

Work Mans Van - Green VW Van


The next thing you will need to consider is loading and unloading the van. If you’re using the van on a daily basis to unload large items then a sliding side door would be of benefit to you. Chances are you’ll become tired of clambering over all your other equipment to find the one thing you actually need (which is always right at the back of the van, of course).

Ease of access is important, so think carefully about what you will be transporting. Delivery services tend to use vans which offer side and rear access to items, as this makes it faster for drivers to unload a package and move on to the next drop-off.

If you’re using your van as transportation for a large number of people then a model with sliding side doors on both sides of the vehicle would be best to allow passengers to exit easily.

Money, money, money

Mercedes White Long Wheel Base Van


We’ve put it off as long as we could but it’s time to talk cold, hard cash. Your budget is important, not just in terms of how much you wish to pay for your van but also when calculating costs over the years.

Fuel – Some may consider getting a van which is larger than they really need. While that definitely gives you more options when transporting goods, you could be losing out financially.

Many delivery companies with a fleet of vehicles are now downsizing to smaller vans for economic reasons – fleet van insurance tends to be cheaper for smaller vehicles, for example. Perhaps this is a sign of the times but it does make financial sense. Why pay the extra it costs to run a larger vehicle when you don’t need the space?

Estimate the average length of your daily or weekly journeys. If you’re regularly driving short distances then a smaller engine will suffice but if you’re travelling up and down the country every month then a larger engine is essential, especially in relation to fuel consumption.

Comfort – If you are a tradesperson working within your local area then it’s unlikely you’ll be required to make many long journeys and so comfort may not be high on your list of concerns. For those that do take on long journeys, it’s important to think about comfort features, such as seating, air con or digital radio to keep you company on long trips.

Extras – A major question to ask yourself is whether to buy second-hand or purchase a brand new van on finance. A major advantage to buying on finance is that many of the maintenance costs, such as vehicle servicing and maintenance, will be covered under your warranty. That being said, a second-hand van in good condition could be a great investment. Just be sure to ask for a thorough history of the vehicle first.

Insurance – The insurance group of your van will also contribute toward running costs. It is essential to check which band your desired van falls in and make comparisons as to the cost of van insurance.

If you’re working within a small business then you’ll need to consider the extra cost of any driver van insurance. Due to the number of people on the policy (most insurance companies will allow several named drivers) your premiums are likely to be higher than if you were insuring one named driver; however, this tends to be the more popular option for van owners as it offers a business larger flexibility among employees.

To find out more about vans and van usage over the globe, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van.

For more information on the various types of van insurance available to drivers, you can visit http://www.ivaninsurance.co.uk/.

Image Source 1, 2 & 3

The following two tabs change content below.
Sam

Sam

Sam drives a van; he knows what's what when it comes to getting it covered.
Sam

Latest posts by Sam (see all)