As a commercial vehicle bodybuilder company, we know how important it is to invest in a van that suits your particular needs, you will be spending a lot of time in it after all. Buying a van for your business can be a key decision to make at any stage in the business life. Whether you are just starting out, wanting to expand or offer a new service, a van can be a crucial component. Here are some tips to consider when buying a van for your business.
Tare and cube
Or if you don’t speak van, weight and dimensions. The size of the interior of the vehicle is a big thing because there are limits on how much you can put in a van based on its size and a survey by VW in 2015 showed that almost half of commercial vehicle drivers were overloading their vans – and this can lead to a fixed penalty with points on your license and a fine. So understand what you need and how much space this will require before you buy a van.
Converting the van
The majority of vans come as a big open space, awaiting you to customise as you require. You can find a commercial vehicle bodybuilder who will specialise in such conversions and they can sit down with you to see exactly what you need and what it will cost. This will also help with avoiding those overloading problems mentioned above.
Don’t forget running costs when figuring out if you need a van. This is about more than just fuel and miles to the gallon as well – it is servicing, repairs, replacement of things like tyres and even the resale price of the van. You can always chat with other van owners to get some ideas about the cost of running a specific van to help you choose the right make and model. At Osborne Motor Bodies, we offer after sale support for your vehicle for things such as maintenance, spare parts, refurbishment and body work repairs, so we can help you lessen some of the costs.
While chatting with those other van owners, talk about reliability. The VOSA released figures showing that around half of all light commercial vehicles fail their first MOT and a third of these are for simple things such as worn tyres or faulty light bulbs. Another 25% were caused by problems that a regular service would have picked up and fixed. So to ensure your van is reliable, what work do you need to schedule in to keep it that way?
Where the vehicle is used
We mentioned running costs and the cost of fuel, but it is an important enough issue to consider in its own right. Say you are based somewhere a little remote and need to regularly travel with a full vehicle several hundred miles before you start a job. You need to have an understanding of what it is going to cost to get your van there before you can start accurately pricing your job. So the miles per gallon when full and empty are important things to understand.
Like the vehicle?
Okay, so a work van isn’t a Ferrari and you don’t need to love the look of it, but you can spend a lot of time in it so is it comfortable? Can you drive long distance in it without getting out and hardly being able to walk? Such things might seem secondary to other considerations but are worth thinking about when you are looking at a van. Like a car for business users, being comfortable and liking the vehicle, the way it drives and how you feel in it are important. It may not have the ‘cool’ factor of a Ferrari but it is a bit like your business best friend!