If you're shopping for a van on a very tight budget, it can be hard to be sure you're going to get a reliable vehicle. Well, put those worries away. Here are four tips for making sure you drive away in a van you can depend on for years to come, no matter what your budget…

Shop around – at reliable dealers. Above all, you first need to make sure the sellers you are considering are trustworthy. Visit several reputable dealers to see what they have in stock – and if they don't have anything in your price range, or what they have isn't quite what you want, tell them. Stock changes often anyway, and if they know what you're looking for, they may be able to source it specifically for you – it's certainly something we often do at Vanwise.

Expect quality. Whatever your budget, any van you buy should be in good condition and should have been properly checked by the dealer. An HPI check to ensure there’s no outstanding finance is also a must. Even at the lowest end of the price range, you are still parting with thousands of pounds. Do not accept poor quality, and walk away from any dealer who tries to make you feel like you need to do so.

Think about what you can compromise on – and what you can't. Reliability, safety, quality – these things are musts both for business and your wellbeing, and that of your passengers. Practicality is also vital – the entire point of buying a van is to fit all your gear in. Security is crucial – a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK. But high-tech gadgets, trendy looks and a sporty drive are things you can do without. You'll also want to think about fuel economy and running costs. If you're buying a diesel van, choose one which is Euro 6 compliant if possible, so you aren't affected by the clean air charges some local authorities are bringing in.

Strike a deal. Yes, that's right, reward that lovely reputable dealer who has painstakingly checked your van from top to toe by telling them you think it's too expensive. Seriously though, it's not only fine to do this, dealers expect it. We want happy customers, and if knocking a bit off the price means you can go home with the van you want then, if we can, we will. Within reason. Ask about van financeand van lease deals too – these often make things more manageable if you don't have a big chunk of money available upfront.

At commercial vehicle dealers Vanwise Group, it doesn't matter whether you're buying our most expensive model or our cheapest option, every single one of our vans has been thoroughly inspected by our in-house technicians before it goes on sale, to make sure all the parts, mechanics and electronics are working as they should be. We also do a full vehicle history check and an HPI check as standard.

If you'd like to test drive one of the vans for sale at our Essex you can see them all on our website – just call us on 01622 233151 or 01279 216163.