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New or Used? What Sort of Vehicle Do I Require?


Buying a van for your business, whatever the size is not a decision that can be made lightly or overnight.

It needs careful thought and planning. It is a big commitment – not only in terms of the size of the vehicle, but also in terms of money too. There are many things to take into consideration when planning something like this.

It can be handy to have a well thought out checklist in place to look at reasons for buying a second hand van.


Of course, this is the primary consideration for anyone looking to invest. Planning your budget is the element that can make or break what you opt for in terms of size and newness. Buying new of course ensures that you’re getting something that has never been run before, it will have a full warranty which can give you peace of mind. Buying used means that you’ll save a great deal more money but might not know how well it has been treated previous to coming into your ownership. However, the deal breaker here can be the overall running costs long term. Think about all the other extraneous costs you may have:

  • Fuel
  • Road tax
  • Insurance

This may ultimately sway you towards a quality second hand vehicle.

Fuel efficiency

Most vans have diesel engines as standard. However, the smaller the van doesn’t mean the better the fuel economy. You need to think about the sort of journeys you’ll be undertaking, the roads you’ll be travelling on and how many miles you’ll do. As an example, if you’re a driver who needs to cover a lot of motorway miles, it might be a false economy to have a van with a small diesel engine. Over time it will have to work harder at higher speeds. Buying a larger engine means the opposite, resulting in better fuel economy and less wear and tear on parts in the long run.


Obviously this is a hot topic in the news at the present moment, but it should also be a consideration for you when buying a van. It will have an impact on the future costs of running the vehicle – especially as it ages. The fewer emissions a van emits, the cheaper it will be to run.


Do you want to drive a van that has a manual gearbox or one that has an automatic? The cheapest to run is a manual gearbox – especially if you are doing a lot of motorway driving or long journeys. If you’re someone who will be using a van for city driving or urban journeys, you might find this is harder on the gearbox and to reduce wear and tear it may be better to opt for an automatic.

Size matters!

Many buyers chronically underestimate how much space they’ll need in their van and so buy smaller, then find they just don’t have enough storage room. It is better to slightly overestimate and have room spare, than have a van that is constantly stuffed to the gunnels, with no breathing space – that risks being a danger due to overloading.


If you’re considering a used van, think about security. Most modern vans will offer separate locking for the doors and loading area, but older ones may not, so before you buy – make sure this is what you’ll get. You need to be able to lock the loading bay of the van whilst you’re driving, as opportunist thieves can sometimes climb into vans while they’re stationary in traffic, or at traffic lights.

Final points to think about

Of course, the points above are all important, but some others you may also want to consider when buying a second hand van:

  • Make and model of vehicle, this can be important according to the needs of your business, even down to the image you want to portray to your customers
  • Colour of the van. Think about how many white vans you see on the road. This is important, most people seem to want either white or metallic vehicles. Buying a brightly painted van might fit in with your business ethic, but could ultimately prove problematic if you ever want to sell it on afterwards!
  • Comfort and trim level – you’ll be test driving (hopefully) anything you purchase. Therefore it makes sense to be completely comfortable as you drive, to know the seats are durable and supportive. Think about the driving position and how easy it will be to maneuver.

Take your time when considering your next van purchase. It’s a big commitment for you and your business. For all your van needs, VanServices can help you. Call or email us today.