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How to buy the right van for your business

Buying a van for your business can be a big investment. We take a look at some of the steps you can take to buy and pay for your van.
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Choosing the right van for your business is important; it will most likely be one of your biggest investments and become a crucial part of your daily work. However, with so many different vehicles on the market, making sure you buy the van that suits you can be tricky.

As van insurance specialists, we want to help you get the right van for your business. So before you start your search there’s a few things that you should keep in mind.

What type of van should I buy?

The types of van available are as wide ranging as their uses, so no matter what you need your van for, there will be one out there to suit your needs.

 

City vans

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 If you don’t need your van to carry lots of bulky items, then a city van could be ideal for you. Because of their smaller size they are perfect for travelling in urban areas. They are more commonly used by trade and delivery firms or businesses such as dog-groomers.

 

Panel vans

Ford Transit panel van

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These types of van are the most popular on UK roads, and are used by a variety of trades. They come in a wide range of body types (high, medium or low roof) and long, medium and short wheelbases. Usually this type of van doesn’t have any windows on the sides or load areas.

 

Box and Luton vans

Mercedes box van

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Box and Luton vans are ideal for carrying bulkier items, and are popular with removal businesses and couriers. These types of van tend to incorporate a large enclosed body with a separate cab. A Luton van has an area that extends above the cabin offering more room. Both box and Luton vans benefit from being generally wider than a panel van and aren’t hampered by wheel arches intruding into the loading bay, although this does raise the loading height of the van.

 

crew cab vans

Volkswagen crew cab van

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If you need more than just the two or three seats that a panel van offers then a crew or double cab model could be perfect. Although admittedly the load area in these vans is reduced, you will be able to fit your workmates and their kit in without any problems.

 

Buying your van

Once you’ve got an idea of the type of van that you require you need to decide how you’re going to pay for it.

The simplest way of doing this is to pay the whole amount in full and upfront. This means you can drive away safe in the knowledge that you own the van and have full control over what you can do with it. A disadvantage of this is that you will have to manage the sale of the vehicle when the time comes for a replacement.

Finance is another option when purchasing a van and is a common alternative to buying a vehicle outright. This type of payment usually includes personal contract purchase (PCP), hire purchase (HP) and personal contract hire (PCH).

With all these, you will pay a monthly sum for an agreed amount of time. PCP means you’ll pay back fixed monthly payments over a choice of lending terms, with contracts usually lasting between 12 and 36 months. You can keep the van and pay a balloon payment, return the van to the supplier or trade it in against a replacement; alternatively, with a hire purchase you’ll pay a lump sum at the end of the agreement and take full ownership of the vehicle. Personal contract hire or personal leasing basically means you’re renting the van for an agreed period of time and mileage limit. There is no option to buy the vehicle, you just hand the keys back to the financers.

 

Getting the right insurance

Having the right van insurance for your business needs is vital. It’s important to think about which type of insurance you’ll require; this could be a comprehensive or third party fire and theft policy.

You must also make sure that all your business needs are being covered. It might be the case that further insurance is bolted-on such as goods in transit or own tools cover.

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