Many small traders and businesses use vans. Sometimes vans are leased but often they are bought new or used and then run until they are no longer economically viable to repair. If you need a van for your business or are looking to replace an existing vehicle, here is a list of things to watch out for when you shop for a used van.
Check the Bodywork
Vans suffer a lot more wear and tear compared to family cars. The older the van, the more likely it is to have rust patches, dents, crumpled areas, and signs of wear and tear. Dents and other similar damage can be fixed or ignored but be vigilant for rust.
Small rust spots from stone chips are not an issue, but large areas of rust over wheel arches, along the sills and around doors are more serious. Pay close attention and see how badly the panels are affected. Substantial corrosion along critical areas like the sills could make the vehicle unsafe and it will probably fail its next MOT.
A diesel engine should be fine for several hundred thousand miles if it is regularly serviced and maintained. Listen to the engine ticking over before you take it for a test drive. Are there any unusual noises? Are the exhaust fumes black, which indicates burning oil? If in doubt, have the van checked over by a qualified mechanic, so you don’t end up with a lemon.
The suspension has to work very hard in a van. Many vans are used to transport heavy equipment and materials, such as bags of sand, paving stones, or concrete mixers. This puts a lot of strain on the suspension, so it is a good idea to check how well the van responds to weight. Again, this is where a mechanic check will pay dividends.
Most vans are not looked after in the same way as a family car. Look for signs of wear and tear on the seats. General dirt can be fixed but torn or damaged seats can’t be mended as easily. Make sure all the electrical systems work as expected. If the van has air-conditioning or a refrigeration unit, is this functioning correctly?
Examine the van’s tyres to see how much tread is left. Are the tyres of decent quality? Replacing all four tyres is going to be expensive, so negotiate on the price if the van’s tyres are low on tread.
Take the Van for a Test Drive
Test drive any van you are considering buying to make sure it handles well, and you feel comfortable driving it. If you are looking for used vans for sales Merseyside from the John Charles Motor Group, you can buy online and have a van delivered, but it’s always sensible to test drive a vehicle first where possible.
Finally, check the paperwork that comes with the van. Has it been regularly serviced? Are there any advisories on the last MOT? If you buy from a reputable dealer, the van should come with a warranty for peace of mind.