THE van market is soaring. As a result there are plenty of used vans out there for sale too, and some of them look like a bargain.
But buying a used van does come with a health warning – there are plenty of traps to catch out the unwary and turn an apparent bargain into a very expensive heap of trouble, particularly if you are taken in by some of the common myths that have grown up around the used van market.
Independent vehicle information provider HPI has now produced a ‘myth-buster’ – aiming to separate fact from fiction and keep the used van buyer from getting stung. According to HPI Senior Consumer Services Manager of HPI Shane Teskey the basic advice is simple – don’t believe all you are told.
“No matter how many years go by, we still see many used van buyers falling for the same tricks or believing the same van-buying myths, which can see them losing money on vehicles that looked like a bargain,” he says.
Tesky adds that by using the HPI myth busters consumers can avoid being duped by used van fraudsters and minimise the risk of throwing their money away on a bad set of wheels.
Myth 1 –You’ve paid for it so you own it.
When you’ve paid the money and have the van and keys in your possession, you are the registered keeper, which makes you the legal owner of the van.
Not necessarily. The registered keeper is NOT the same as the legal owner.
If the van is stolen or still on finance, it technically belongs to someone else (the original keeper, or the finance house). You might be the registered keeper, but you are NOT the legal owner and you could still lose the van and the money you paid for it.
Myth 2 – It’s such a bargain; you’ll need to move fast!
A van is advertised at £12,000, but you know it should be worth around £15,000 – that’s a real bargain and you need to snap it up.
Be suspicious. If you were the seller, would you knock the car down to a bargain price and make less than you could?
There’s probably something fishy going on. It is very likely that the van is either mechanically suspect or could even be stolen/cloned. Ask lots of questions, and if you’re still unsure, walk away.