Top tips for buying a used van

A van is your workhorse when you drive for a living. It ferries you to and from your job and it also ferries you around as you carry out your specific daily tasks. When you’re on the road a lot for work, it’s essential to have a van that’s fit for purpose. You want to ensure your van is economical, resilient, dependable and most of all long lasting.

Sometimes, we’re not in a position to buy a brand-new van so we need to look at the second-hand market. Well worry not because the second-hand market is bursting with fantastic potential vehicles. However, with every second hand purchase you must be vigilant and carry out inspections to ensure that you are receiving exactly what was advertised!

Here are 5 key steps to follow when purchasing a second-hand van from

1.Decide on exactly what van you need.


Vans are purchased for a myriad of reasons. When buying your vehicle, you need to take into account what line of work you are in. Different sectors will require different attributes from their vans. Some drivers may need the capacity to sleep over night in their vans while other people may need more storage for packages or various products.

If you only need to transport smaller or lighter amounts, it’s not worth paying a huge sum for a 3.5 tonne van for example. Sit down, assess what your needs are and then you can move forward on your customer journey.

2.Do your research.


Research is key when it comes to purchasing a second-hand vehicle. You want to ensure that you get the best quality you can for your money and sometimes this can take time. Talk to other people in your industry, pick up the phone to a fellow van owner or have an extensive look online.

When you have identified the type of van you would like to purchase, do some study and research independent buyers and garages. By spending the appropriate time researching the market surrounding the type of van you would like, you will be more informed on the price you should pay for it.

Research is your friend when it comes to purchasing anything second hand, so get out the laptop!

3.Narrow your search.


There isn’t a shortage of second-hand vans for sale. You’ll find thousands on various forums, donedeal and even Ebay. Garages all over the country are sure to sell second-hand vans too. Finding a range of vans shouldn’t be a problem but limiting your search might be.

Remember the price point that you are hoping to pay and remember the attributes that you require. It can be easy to fall victim to additional features and vans that are out of your budget.

By sitting down and effectively limiting your search, you’re sure to keep within your own budget and criteria.

4. Scrutinise the vehicle history.


The history of a van is the key to predicting its longevity. How a van has been previously used will tell you a lot about it’s existing condition. Check the mileage on the van and do your sums to see if this is an accurate mileage for its age.

Consider purchasing a van with a lower mileage that hasn’t been exerted for massively heavy loads and long distances, as this type of van is likely to give you additional years of service.

Run a background check on the vehicle also. For this, you can use a site like

This will help to provide peace of mind about a vehicle before you make a purchase on it. It’s essential to know that you’re not purchasing a stolen van or a van that was previously written off. By conducting a registration check you’ll be able to rule all of this out before making a purchase.

5.Do a visual inspection.


While you might have had access to pictures or videos of the exterior and interior of the van, nothing beats having at look at it in real life. While the majority of second-hand van sellers are selling vans of the utmost quality, you can’t be too careful.

When you’re not buying the van brand new, there will always be some signs of wear and tear. It’s important however to look at the wheel arches and the door frame to ensure there’s no sign of serious pre-existing damage. You really shouldn’t see any visual signs of an accident and if you do, it might be best to steer clear.

Once you’ve given it a proper once over with your own two eyes, you’re likely to feel much better.

6.Take it for a test drive.


Provided you’re happy with what you see, it’s a good idea to ask the seller if you can take the van for a test drive. While the vehicle might appear perfect at a standstill, the reality could be different once you get behind the driver’s seat.

Check that all the gears are working effectively, check that the brakes work smoothly and don’t screech under pressure and have a good look around the dashboard to make sure all controls are working properly.

A test drive will give you an accurate idea of what you’re spending your hard-earned cash on!

7.Contact your insurance broker.


Before you start making the most out of your van, you’ll have to get adequate insurance. Contact your broker and provide all the details of your van, then they’ll be able to shop around and get you the best cover for the best price!

Bonus tip: Be meticulous with the paperwork. CFM BLOG IMAGES USE THIS ONE (5)

One of the most important steps in purchasing your van will be the paperwork. While it might be the last thing on your mind when you want to drive your new purchase home, it’s very important. Make sure that you get a receipt and there is a sufficient and tangible record of purchase in place. Finally, don’t forget to register your new vehicle.

At, we want to ensure that all van drivers are safe on Irish roads. If you’re on the hunt for the right cover at the right price, why not reach out to us today?