Want to buy a new van? Make sure you get the right one
When you buy a van, there are a number of things you should do before going ahead and committing to a lengthy agreement. As a van is a dedicated-purpose vehicle, it's important to make sure that your requirements are fulfilled when you buy a van.
There are many things to consider before you buy a van. What will it be used for? How many passengers will you carry? Where do you do most of your driving? These are just top-level questions but will determine the van type and engine you choose when you buy a van.
Do your research before you buy a van
Before you buy a new van, think about the following things. What will the van be used for? It could be for transporting goods, carrying a working team or as a mobile toolshop. In each case, the van you choose would be different. A simple panel van will allow you to transport items, while a crew cab (or double cab-in-van) can accommodate larger working teams. If you want to buy a new van to carry all your equipment and tools then a small van may suit, depending on the nature of the equipment you need to carry.
In terms of cargo, it's vital that you know the weight of the loads you'll carrying. When the time comes to buy a van, what you should do is over-estimate your required capacity to avoid the risk of overloading. Don't forget about your 'human cargo'. Everything in the van counts towards its capacity, so forgetting about your passengers can put them, you and other road users at risk.
Budgeting to buy a van
Budget is important - there's no point looking at vans which are outside of your budget. This doesn't just apply to your approach when you buy a van, it also applied to the running costs. Again, there's no point in getting a van that costs the earth to tax, fill up and insure.
A van's emissions have a greater impact on running costs than you'd think. Less emissions mean lower running costs. The less CO2 a vehicle emits, the lower its tax band. Similarly, if you have to drive in London, don't forget that the Low Emissions Zone is only free to vans that meet Euro 5 standards.
Factor these things into your budget if necessary. Including things like insurance group, fuel economy and emissions in the process will help you eliminate unsuitable vans and stop you overspending.
Specify your requirements when you buy a van
When speaking with a van provider, make sure you specify your exact requirements before you buy a van. Specific uses can require modifications such as a tail-lift, floor-rollers or roof racking so make sure that your new van has the features you need.
It's also worth checking the door configurations. How wide do the rear doors open? Do they lock in place? Does the van have sliding side doors? If so, how big is the aperture? Typically, the more access points a van has, the easier it is to use.
Another useful feature is the ability to lock the cabin while working in the load area. This gives you peace of mind while loading and unloading the van.