First-Time Van Owners: Here’s What to Know & How to Save Money


Buying and then owning a van isnít like the ownership process for any other car. This applies to you whether youíre buying a van for commercial or personal reasons. Anyone can go out and purchase a van these days. But getting the right one is key and so is maintaining it.

It can save you a lot of money, as youíll need to when running a small-time business or being self-employed. But it can also save you a lot of time and headaches when it comes to maintenance. But how does one buy the right van? And what if youíre getting a used van?

The following is a brief guide for first-time van owners; what they should know and how they can save money:

4 Things to Consider Before Buying Your First Van

The Configuration

Like any standard vehicle, there are many types of vans. However, not all of them can be useful for you. So, you need to know exactly what you want. If youíve got a moving business to run, cargo becomes the most important priority. This is when you need to decide the cargo size and wheelbase of the van.

There are small, medium and large sized vans. If the large one doesnít cut it, then you can get the box van. It can handle the most amount of cargo, but it may not be as refined as the smaller vans. Also, the vanís size is inversely proportional to its driveability. But what if you need to transport people?  

This is where a crew van or an MPV comes in. It is spacious enough to move people and/or luggage. If youíre not carrying passengers and need to take cargo instead; the seats fold out for more space. It gives you a reasonable compromise between the two aspects. 

For recreational usage, youíre better off with a camper-style van. This isnít really offered anymore, so you cannot buy one brand new. These are vans that have the space for you to create a moving home inside them. You can convert a brand new one or get an already converted one from the used market.

Regardless, you need to do extensive research regarding your requirements. Then, you must look up the types of vans available, along with the brands that offer them. Buying the wrong one can cause you a lot of frustration and a financial battering.

The Numbers

Commercial van driving is all about achieving the right numbers. One needs to manage their expenses in such a way, that they make a profit every month. This is true for self-employed and company-employed van drivers; both. But, how do make sure to do that from the very start?

Well, a vanís capacity for cargo is important, and it has been discussed above. Then, thereís the payload capacity. This is the vanís ability to carry heavy loads. The higher the payload capacity, the more load can be carried by the van.

Then comes the fuel economy. You need a van that wonít turn all of your hard-earned money into massive fuel bills. It is better to buy a diesel or an electric van for this sort of thing. However, acceleration is also a factor, for which a petrol-powered van is the best.

If youíre going for a petrol-powered version, then do pick the right engine. Sure, youíll get enticed by the values of horsepower and torque. But always put fuel savings ahead of these desires. Pick the basic or the fully-loaded engine if you must. Just make sure it fulfils your requirements. 

The Budget

This is where many new van drivers get squeezed out of their savings. As mentioned above, buying a van with a large engine isnít recommended. This is because of the yearly fuel costs. Another factor that many donít consider it the options list.

There are many options that you can find while looking for your new van on the automakerís website. Some can be quite useful for you, for someone else, or nobody at all. Only pick out the ones that are relevant to you. If youíre buying a fleet of vans, make sure you consult with an expert first.

The Insurance

Van driving can be a rough job because youíre often racing against the clock. This is why accidents tend to happen. Driving a van for commercial use is basically using the vehicle for your bread and butter. This is why you should have coverage if something were to happen to it.

We all know that auto insurance greatly influences a personís vehicle purchase. The same goes for van drivers and they should definitely look up the best insurance for vans. The van should not only have the most reasonable premiums. But it should also be cheap as far as parts are concerned.

Maintaining Your New Van The Right Way

So, letís say youíve bought a van. What happens next? Do you just go about your daily routine, doing one job after the other? Yes, just make sure you take care of preventive and scheduled maintenance. This means that you regularly maintain service the van at the automakerís recommended intervals.

The preventive part of it means that you should be able to predict and forecast upcoming problems and prevent them. This is a must if your vehicle is driven a lot, and the least you can do is use synthetic oils. But what exactly are the areas that need to be maintained?

Most of them; including the engine fluids, filters, tire rotations, and checking for fluid leakage. The vehicle should be cleaned whenever it needs to be. This should prevent it from corroding away and prevent it from becoming heavier.

If your van is old and it keeps breaking down, do get rid of it. Itís not a good business practise to keep it running as it will cost you your money and time. Look for the best buying options according to the marketís patterns. Thanks for reading this useful article. Please subscribe to our newsletter for free!