When buying a van it can sometimes make sense to investigate whether buying a second-hand vehicle represents a better investment than buying a new one.
There are a couple of advantages to the used van option; the initial outlay will be cheaper and, in all likelihood, your van insurance quote will be more cost-friendly as well.
And while a used van might not have as pristine an interior and exterior as a new one, if you shop around wisely, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to find something that is in close-to-perfect nick, while still keeping your chances of receiving a cheap van insurance quote.
Statistics show that the used van route is a very popular one with UK van insurance customers right now.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority reports that nearly 25% of UK van drivers buy a used vehicle each year, compared to the mere 10% of motorists who buy a new one. The majority of used van drivers will tell you that, as well as a cheaper purchase price, the major reason for them taking this option is the cheaper motor insurance quotes available to the drivers of used vehicles. So no surprises there, then.
With this in mind, we decided to ask iVan, our expert white van man, to offer his advice to anyone considering buying a second-hand van. This is what he told us:
"Make an effort to know the used van market as well as you know your local territory: like the back of your hand. What is the standard asking price for that make and model? Is there any damage or defect which might reduce its valuation? I always check Glass's Guide when buying a used van - it's like the bible to second-hand vehicle buyers. Turning the pages of Autotrader can also give you a good idea of the current market.
"As well as getting that vital mechanical check from someone with a bit of official nous, such as the RAC or AA, it is essential to ensure the seller is legally entitled to be selling you the van. The last thing you want to do is fork out all that cash then discover that some crook has sold you a vehicle that has been written off, not been fully paid for or, even worse, nicked.
"Make sure the mileage on the odometer seems like an accurate reflection of the general condition of the van. Excessive wear and tear can hint that there might have been some crafty clocking of the numbers. Any good mechanical check should spot these signs, but there is no substitute for being aware yourself.
"Always be careful when buying a used van privately. There are some dodgy sellers out there who like to make a quick buck. There isn't much point in buying a used van just to receive a cheap van insurance quote if you're going to be hit with bills for hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds, on maintenance and repairs. Any good dealership should offer breakdown insurance or extra warranty, so going with one can be a real advantage to buying privately.
"Get yourself insured to test drive prospective vans. And when you do, try and spend half an hour on the road. Most importantly, listen to the engine, check the brakes, watch the exhaust, (it's amazing how many people forget to do this) check the electrics and look out for leaks. Also, don't be embarrassed to use a magnet to inspect the bodywork for any sneakily applied filler.
"Lastly, if you've gone to all that effort to save money, don't just accept the first van insurance quote that comes your way. Shop around - though we're sure that after doing so you'll come back to us, as we are the UK's van-only insurance specialist and offer extremely competitive and comprehensive cheap van insurance."
To let iVan's van insurance quote do the talking, click below.