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Buying a new van checklist

  • Get the van you need 
It might sound obvious, but make sure you buy a new van to suit your needs. Ignore the advertising fluff and drill down to the detail on running costs, fuel consumption, load capacity and standard equipment.
  • Be aware of the costs
Make sure you find out the service and insurance costs before signing on the dotted line.
  • Shop around
Visiting dealers is important when buying a new van, but look on the internet as well in the quest for best deal on your van. On-line brokers have access to bulk buy deals and can pass the savings on – see our van finance specialists page
  • Trade in, trade up
If you’re trading in your old van when buying a new one, make sure you do a bit of arithmetic and subtract what you’ve been offered and the cost of the new van to work out its true cost.
  • Watch out for added extras
When buying a new van, things like free insurance are often thrown in. This is clever as nothing is ever free – it will have been factored into the price! You may also be offered gap insurance by the dealer, which comes into play if your new van is written off. Commission added by the dealer can bump up the premium, so it’s worth checking out independent companies to find the actual cost.
  • Are you getting the best finance deal?
Check any finance deal offered carefully against what’s been offered in the broader loans market. You might be able to reduce the cost price by paying cash up front!

Buying a new van is easy, right?

YOU just get yourself to the nearest dealer, slap a few quid on the table and drive off with your new vans.

If you aren’t sure what new van to buy, then just get newer versions of whatever you had before.

Well if that’s your strategy, you are probably one of the thousands of users who are driving around in the wrong van – and that means you are wasting an awful lot of money.
And don’t forget that after you buy the wrong vans you’ll be stuck with them for years – as long as your fleet lifecycle lasts in fact. In that time, thousands of pounds could be flushed down the drain unnecessarily.

Experts reckon that 30% of fleet’s waste cash by buying unsuitable new vans, so if you think you might be one of these, read on as we have some sound advice for you which could see you and your bank manager beaming.

Would buying a smaller van do the same job?

There’s an old adage among fleet managers that goes: “No-one ever got sacked for buying Ford Transits.” And that is true, which is probably why the Transit has been the best selling new van in Britain since its launch in 1965.

But hang on – just stop and think awhile. Do your Transits ever get filled to the brim with cargo? Probably not.

And if so, couldn’t the slightly smaller Transit Connect do just as well?

By buying Connect rather than Transit (or indeed smaller versions of any of the big panel vans available today – we just picked Ford as an example), you save a couple of grand on front-end costs, while fuel will go further in the smaller van and you may even get a better percentage residual value price when you come to sell it.

The good news is that most of the big manufacturers including Ford with its Transit Centres, Fiat (Domenico Gostoli interview) and Mercedes, nowadays have specialist van centres, staffed by experts who know a lot more than just selling vehicles.

If you came into a Mercedes-Benz showroom, say, and ask to buy a few Sprinters, the salesman will first sit you down and ask exactly what you want them for. See our Steve Bridge Vito interview as he talks about how Mercedes Vans are sold.
By getting a handle on the type of fleet you run, he may suggest smaller Vitos as a more cost-effective choice.

Or of course he may on the other hand try and flog you some bigger Varios if he thinks you’ll be overloading your vans and breaking the law.

It’s all pretty simple really but you’d be amazed how many people get it wrong.

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