What Questions Should I Ask When Buying a Cargo Van?

19th Apr 2022

A work van is an important component of running an organization or business in many industries. You’ll want to ensure that your work van has durability, a solid fuel economy, affordable replacement part costs, convenient availability of qualified mechanics and the ability to maximize its uses.

Let’s take a look at a few questions you can ask when you’re ready to make a van purchase to ensure you’re equipped with a vehicle that’s the right fit for your organization. The van buying checklist below can help you get on the right track to buying the best possible vehicle for your business.

How Much Should I Pay for a Work Van?

The first thing you’ll want to consider when examining a work van purchase is how much you can expect to pay for a vehicle. This will vary depending on your decision to buy a new or used model. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to buying a used or new vehicle — it’s highly dependent on your organization’s budget, functional needs and room for downtime to conduct repairs and maintenance.

To help you decide which is best for you, consider how buying a new van would differ from buying a used van:

  • New vans: New vans generally offer very little mileage and use, and include all original components. But they also generally come with a much higher price tag and may need to be financed.
  • Used vans: In contrast, used vans offer cost savings in the way of a lower upfront price and can often be purchased in full. However, they may end up costing you a fair amount in the long run, depending on how they were maintained by their previous owner.

How Do I Know If the Listing Price for a Cargo Van Is a Good Deal?

When beginning your price range research, be sure to visit the  Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. Both are great resources for new and used automobile values. On these websites, you can obtain quotes by inputting van brand, model and condition to make a more informed purchase when shopping around. Make sure you research the specific model and year for the vehicle you want.

You can have your work van upfitted with accessories

What Interior Features Does the Vehicle Come With?

Look for the potential of a vehicle's interior when buying a work van. After you review the van's specs and decide on a size and cargo capacity that fits your needs, look at the interior. Even an older used cargo van will probably be fully equipped with basic features that you would find in any other vehicle, like an AC system, a standard radio, manual windows and locks. Some vans offer more luxurious options, and newer models typically have more high-tech features like a touch screen and dual climate control.

If you want more than the basics, you can  have your work van upfitted with accessories to help keep your equipment organized and promote productivity.

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Do You Have a Vehicle History Report?

Some of the best tips for buying a cargo van relate to what you can find when you look through the vehicle history report. If you’ve made the decision to purchase a used vehicle, a great barometer for its condition is a vehicle history report. Several online agencies, including Carfax, can generate this report from a vehicle identification number (VIN).

Ask for a report from the dealer or owner before buying a van. If one is not available, this could be a red flag, but try to get the van’s VIN to research its history. A vehicle history report can give you a detailed overview of the van, including basic information and details that are less easily available. It addresses the van's:

  • Previous owners: The report should list how many owners the vehicle has had and how it was used in the past. If you are planning to buy a van for commercial purposes, it can be helpful to find one that has already served in a work role.
  • Title history: The report will show which state the vehicle has received a title in. This is how you can tell if the vehicle was registered in more than one state.
  • Liens held: If the previous owner had liens, you will be aware of them.
  • Accident history: If the vehicle has been in an accident, it should have a lower value. Discovering that a vehicle was involved in an accident could lead to a lower purchase price if you can find an affordable van with minor or negligible damages.
  • Service history: You can check the van's records for previous service incidents to make sure it was maintained well.
  • Recall notices: Having a detailed record of recalls shows you that everything is up to date and safe.
  • Odometer readings: The report can prove the authenticity of the current odometer reading and show how much use the vehicle received until it was listed for sale.

Are Any Warranties Available?

This could be the most important tip in our cargo van buying guide. If you’re purchasing a used vehicle from a dealership, make sure you get details about any warranties the vehicle may be equipped with. Having ample protection against component failure can help reduce the likelihood of incurring excessive repair charges.

Contact Advantage Outfitters About Upfitting Equipment for Your New Vehicle

Advantage Outfitters is a retailer of quality work van equipment and accessories. We can increase the convenience factor, resale value and safety of your cargo van fleet. We offer roof racks, ladder racks, equipment storage and van flooring — all products that are intended to upgrade your van operators’ experience. Our online store offers easy, convenient ordering and fast shipping directly to your facility for self-installation.

Contact us today to learn more about the excellent equipment we have available.

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