Used Van Checklist: 10 Things to Consider Before Purchase

Buying a used van is a smart decision. Not only will it allow you to save on money, it will also allow you to help the environment. If you’re set to buy a used van and you’re about to proceed on the purchase, it’s best that you read this post first. We want you to buy the best possible used van so we collected ten of the most important things that you should check first before proceeding with a secondhand van purchase. Read on and do strictly take note of the following: 

1. History 

The main risk in buying a used van is the fact that you have no idea whatsoever when it comes to stuff that it has gone through. This dilemma is easily solvable if you’d do your own research and dedicate time to talk to the van's previous owner. Note that you need to know if the van has already been in an accident. If it has been, then you need to know the gravity of the case. 

If the previous owner can’t provide enough information, then you should consider running the vehicle’s identification number to see if it has encountered any form of accident. In your research, you should also check if there has been an order of recalls on the model.

2. Mileage 

Take note that a van racks up about 20,000 km of mileage every year. When buying a used van, you should be able to determine if it has high or low mileage. To do this, you simply need to know two details:

  • the van's age
  • the number on the odometer

Once you have the needed details, you simply need to divide the value on the odometer by the van's age. If it appears that a van has high mileage, then you should expect that it already has significant wear and tear.  

3. Paint 

Do a physical inspection to check for paint chips and rusty spots. Small chips and rust patches are fine but you should reconsider your purchase if you’d encounter totally rusted areas. 

4. Hood 

A van is nothing without its engine. Rightly so, the engine is the most important part that you should check before purchasing a used van. Visually inspect everything under the hood. Check for the following: 

  • Corrosion
  • Fluid leaks
  • Cracked belts
  • Cracked hoses 
  • Oil discoloration – ideal color is light brown 
  • Transmission discoloration – ideal colors are pink or red

5. Frame

You should also closely observe the vehicle’s frame. Check if it’s sitting level on the ground. Is there stuff that hangs from the undercarriage? Check the bumpers and see if it is still intact and in perfect position. Check the hood and the trunk for warping or new bolts. The presence of new bolts or warping is a telltale sign that the vehicle has already been through an accident. 

6. Tires 

Check if all four tires match. All tires should be worn evenly. There is poor alignment if some tires have uneven tread or extra wear. If there is poor alignment, you could expect issues on the frame, suspension, or steering. You should check this intently because you wouldn’t want to buy a poorly aligned van. When a van is poorly aligned, it will pull to the left or right while driving. You wouldn’t want that.

7. Electronics 

This is particularly important if you enjoy sound tripping while driving. This factor is often overlooked so you should seriously take note to check this out. Most owners of used vans often forget to check on interior electronics. Make it a point to check the following: 

  • van stereo
  • cockpit buttons
  • cockpit controls
  • heat
  • air conditioning  

Ensure that all buttons are duly working. Feel free to inquire if there are particular issues that you need to be aware of.  

8. Upholstery

You should not overlook this factor as you wouldn’t want to spend so much on having everything repaired. Check the upholstery of the seats. Check the interior fabric and look for possible issues. Take note if there are stains or tears. See if there are cracked leathers. You should duly check all front and back seats. It’s best to do a full check prior to purchase because customized upholstery repair can be pretty expensive.  

9. Performance

If you will forget to do something in this list before your purchase, let it not be this item. This is the most important thing that you should check before purchase. To do this, it’s important that you do a test drive. You should be smart with your route. Have a route that will allow you to check the following:

  • acceleration
  • suspension
  • braking
  • maneuverability
  • Make it a point to test the vehicle on the highway. Parallel park to check for blind spots.  

10. Expert inspection 

If you’ve checked out and inspected everything on this list and you find that you’ve found the van of your dreams, then it’s time to contact a trusted mechanic. A trusted mechanic will help you in truly assessing if the van is a good fit for your needs. A van mechanic knows technicalities that you’re not aware of so it’s best to contact one before your actual purchase. A van mechanic will check for underlying issues and concerns that can cause trouble in the future. You will need to pay for this service but it’s nothing compared to the peace of mind that you will have afterward. Experts from Used Van Finance Deals can also help you with this.

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