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Buying a commercial van

Buying a commercial van

Finding Your Next Commercial Van

When your business uses a van to transport passengers, carry out services and/or deliver products, you need a vehicle you can rely on. A commercial van also needs to be fit for purpose and economical - ready to take on anything you need from it and cost-effective on fuel and running costs.


Used vans can offer fantastic value for businesses that need an efficient and dependable form of transport and, though we say so ourselves, we think our selection of used vans is one of the best around. Not only that, our friendly team are specialists in the commercial van buying process and will be on hand to make sure you drive away with a used van that will become a real asset to your company.

So, what are the most important things to know when buying a used commercial van? Whether the used vans you're looking at have been used for commercial purposes before or not, there are several key considerations you'll need to weigh up when sourcing a used van for your business. There are also numerous finance options when it comes to funding your commercial van, as well as financial exemptions that could save your company money. We've taken a closer look.


What should you look for in a commercial van?

Many car manufacturers produce a range of vans designed for commercial use, with an emphasis on durability and reliability. Popular built-for-purpose vans include the trusty Ford Transit Connect, the versatile Volkswagen Transporter and the mighty Renault Master.


Quality of the drive

Commercial vans are often used to transport heavy loads which, when unevenly loaded, can affect the tracking over time. Make sure any used van you consider drives evenly and doesn't veer either way.


Greater loads can also take a toll on commercial van axles. Keep an ear out for any knocking or squeaking sounds from the axles which could indicate damage.


Ensure that there's no rattling sound or black smoke coming from the van exhaust.

HPI check

An HPI check is an independent assessment of the history of a vehicle, drawing on data held by finance and insurance companies, the police, the DVLA and other industry bodies. A verified HPI check signifies that a used van has not been stolen, written off, or is subject to outstanding finance. At Vanbase, all our used vans come with a complete vehicle inspection, including an HPI check and RAC BuySure.

HPI Van checklist completed


Van sizes guide

Struggling to fit cargo into a van that's too small wastes time and effort, and can feel like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle without the box. Meanwhile, loading cargo into a van that's too big risks it sliding or rolling around and getting damaged, not to mention costing you unnecessary running costs. Of course, the type of goods that find their way into the back of a commercial van vary even more than the vans themselves but, to simplify things, we've included some of the most common types of van cargo in our handy comparison table below.

Van sizes infographic


What about finance for a commercial van?

At Vanbase, we offer flexible, affordable Hire Purchase (HP) finance for commercial vans. HP finance is essentially a loan against the full value of your used commercial van, which means that your business owns it outright once all the repayments and the option to purchase fee are paid. Your HP finance plan will be subject to a fixed interest rate, and we offer loan durations of one to five years.

You can reduce the amount you're borrowing by paying a deposit on your HP finance agreement, but you may choose not to if you go for our VAT Assist finance option - more on this below.


HPI Van checklist completed


VAT Assist - reclaim the VAT on your commercial van

If your business is VAT registered and you're going to use your used van solely for business purposes, and never for private or personal use, you may be able to apply for VAT refund on your commercial van - a great result for company's bottom line.

Of course, reclaiming VAT on a commercial vehicle still means paying it in the first place; yet another cost a business can do without. That's why we aim to help our business customers maximise cash flow through our VAT Assist finance plan.

Similar to a standard HP finance agreement, VAT Assist enables you to defer the amount of VAT you owe to a later payment in your repayment schedule. There's no need to pay a deposit on a VAT Assist HP finance deal - although you can if you choose to - instead you can spread the cost of VAT until after you have received your VAT refund, meaning you avoid the initial outlay.

If your business is ready for its next set of wheels, Vanbase can help. Our collection of used vans includes small vans, panel vans, double cab vans, flatbeds, pickups and box vans, so there's sure to be one that's perfect for your business. 


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