What you should consider when buying a used van

Key considerations to take note of when buying second-hand van

When it comes to buying any secondhand vehicle, it pays to ask questions and shop around. After all, the risks associated with a poor automotive investment are significant not only to your bank balance, but also the operations of your business and the safety of the driver. So, what should you look for when buying a used van and what considerations should take priority? We take a look at the key areas you should focus on below.

Know what you need

Above all else, it’s essential that you’re aware of exactly what type of van you are looking for. Take into consideration what the vehicle will be used to transport, how many passengers will need to be able to fit in the vehicle, and whether you require any specific modifications. You should also have in mind a budget you’re willing to spend, and be aware of any specific requirements you have regarding security, warranties, and servicing.


Nobody is prepared to spend their money on a used vehicle that doesn’t look the part. While used commercial vehicles can be expected to have suffered some minor scratches here and there, it’s still necessary for a van to have a quality appearance. Take the time to closely inspect the bodywork of the vans that catch your eye; tell-tale signs of rust or corrosion should warn you off purchasing, while any significant damage such as dents and replacement panels will be noticeable.


The bare minimum expectation of any commercial vehicle is to be able to transport those goods that are too bulky for regular passenger vehicles. As such, the suspension of a used van should be given thorough inspection to ensure that it can cope with the strain expected of it when carrying out your commercial tasks.

Brakes and safety

It almost goes without saying that the quality and integrity of a used van’s braking and safety systems are of vital importance. After all, the safety of you, your passengers and other road users is key. Test the brakes thoroughly during a test drive and conduct an inspection of any other safety measures to ensure you’re paying for a vehicle that offers complete protection when out on the roads.


Checking the details of a given used van against the DVLA database is a great way to determine its past history in terms of ownership. You should also inspect all servicing documentation and past MOT certificates to identify where any significant or recurring issues have arisen.

Above all else, always ensure that you take the time to inspect the vehicle inside and out, as well as head out on a full test drive. Often it takes getting behind the wheel to truly ascertain the performance that will be delivered.

Buy used vans at Vanwise

At Vanwise in Harlow, we take great pride in providing our customers with used vans of the utmost quality. Of course, you needn’t just take our word for it. When you pay us a visit at any of our dealerships, you have the opportunity to take a closer look at each and every vehicle, and question our staff regarding vehicle history and finance options. Contact us today for more details.