The best places to buy a used van

Is it time to upgrade your work van? If you’re on a bit of a budget, then purchasing a brand new van might be out of the question. After all, to buy a new, reliable, small/medium-sized van – like the Ford Transit Connect – you’re looking at upwards of £15,000.
 
As long as you do your research, you can buy yourself a decent used van for a fraction of the cost. But with so much choice out there, where do you begin?
 
Whichever used van you end up buying, you need to make sure it’s covered with van insurance that protects you, the vehicle and your business. Insurance Factory arranges van insurance for a competitive price, tailored to your specific needs.
 
We can provide cover for a wide range of trades, whether you’re a courier, scrap dealer, or deal with the transport of fragile and/or hazardous goods. Our policies are packed with numerous benefits as standard, but you can choose from optional extras including 14-day like-for-like van hire, key care cover and protection for gadgets inside your van.
 

After a bargain? Location matters!

If you want to get the most bang for your buck, then you’ll want to take note of this CarGurus study cited by The Sun.
 
CarGurus sought to discover where in the UK is the cheapest place to pick up a used van, with Glasgow topping the list. In the Scottish city, used van prices were around 2.4% below the national average.
 
Used van prices in Edinburgh were also cheap, at 2.2% below the national average. The research pointed out that drivers could save as much as £800 on their used van depending on where they purchase it.
 
If a trip way up north is out of the question, then you could also grab a bargain in areas like Sheffield, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent. In these cities, second-hand vans were all 1.8%-1.9% cheaper than the national average.
 

Which websites are the best?

A quick Google search will prove that there are seemingly endless websites selling second-hand vans. Some of the most trusted ones include:
 

Auto Trader UK

No doubt you’ve heard of Auto Trader. As Digital Trends explains, the Auto Trader website has an advanced search function that goes beyond the standard make, model and price filters. You can search by things like fuel economy, keyless door entry and navigation system, helping to make sure you bag the best business van for your needs.
Both dealers and private traders sell used vans on Auto Trader. As the site notes in a blog, purchasing through a dealer is typically considered the safer option as you’re protected by the Consumer Rights Act. You don’t get that same level of protection with a private seller, but the vehicle must still match the advert description, or you could have a claim under the Misrepresentation Act.
 

Gumtree

Gumtree is another site that advertises used vans from dealerships and private sellers. One of the good things about listings on Gumtree is that they come with a van history check courtesy of HPI – this lets you know things like whether the vehicle has been stolen, exported or written off, and if it has its original number plate and is in its original colour.
 
You can also pay for a more extensive HPI check for total peace of mind that the van you’re buying doesn’t have a dodgy, secret past.
 

Motors.co.uk

Motors.co.uk is home to thousands of history-checked, second-hand vans. The website is easy to navigate, with each icon displaying handy information on the van including its mileage, transmission, fuel type and engine size. You can search for part-exchange vehicles and reduced second-hand vans, too.
 
The website has a ‘simultaneous search’ function, which lets you look for multiple makes and models at the same time. This makes it super simple to compare vans and find the perfect one for your business and budget.
 

Van Monster

Van Monster sells a huge range of commercial used vans, including ex-fleet and ex-hire models. This is a great site if you’re after an almost-new van, with some of the top models from Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Renault and Mercedes-Benz.
 
When you spot a van you’re interested in, you can compare it with other vehicles on the site, book a test drive or move it to a Van Monster branch near you. The retailer has 21 dealer sites across the UK and Ireland. The good thing about Van Monster is that the vans are all from their branches, giving you more protection than if you were to go private.
 

The bottom line

As Honest John writes, buying used is the simplest and cheapest route to owning a van. It shares some top tips to protect yourself from unscrupulous sellers and dealers:
 
  • Know your rights when it comes to the 2015 Consumer Rights Act. As well as requiring dealers and traders to provide accurate information about a van before you purchase it, you also have a statutory right to reject a used van within 30 days if a fault is found.
 
  • Similarly, the Misrepresentation Act 1967 enables you to claim where an individual hasn’t been honest about what they’re selling.
 
  • Make sure you take the time to work out exactly what you need from your van – you don’t want to end up paying for features you won’t ever use.
 
  • The only way to know if something is too good to be true is to do plenty of research. You can use the Honest John pricing tool to find average values of vans.
 
  • Bear in mind that buying from a dealership will give you more legal protection in the event that something goes wrong, but you’ll pay more for the van.
 
  • Take a look at some free online buying guides to educate yourself on certain mechanical issues you should be looking out for when you go to view a van. Important checks include (but aren’t limited to): engine warning lights, functioning doors and windows, seat adjustments, and heater and air conditioning.
 
  • All vans should have a V5C document and, as mentioned above, you should consider purchasing an additional history check for added peace of mind.
 

Van insurance from the Insurance Factory

Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll end up with a quality second-hand van for your business. Now all you need to do is take out van insurance with Insurance Factory – get a quote today!