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Our top tips for buying a van with high mileage

These days, cars and vans are built to last, with mileages of well over 100,000 commonplace. Transit vans in particular are famous for their resilience and endurance, with regular stories of transit vans reaching 200,000 and beyond.

There’s no denying that high mileage vans are considerably cheaper to buy, and to insure, but is it a gamble worth taking? There are certainly lots of things you can do to sway the odds in your favour but at the end of the day, it could still be a risk.

So what should you consider when buying a high mileage van?

Buying the best high mileage van

Buying a high mileage van will be significantly cheaper than newer, lower mileage models, and they could serve your purposes just as well. But before you buy, you need to consider a few questions about your van usage first:

  • How many more miles are you going to add to the van and how quickly? If your van is for low mileage local use, then you should be alright but if you are going to pile on the miles, you could soon be in for trouble.

  • How much do you depend on your van for your business? If you stand to lose money and valuable customers if your van breaks down then perhaps it’s worth investing more in a low mileage van.

  • Is your van part of your company image? If so, then a battered older van may not be right. If not, then it doesn’t matter so much.
  • Questions to ask about high mileage vans

    If a high mileage van seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are a few questions to ask to help you cut down your shortlist and avoid buying trouble for yourself:

  • Has the van been regularly serviced? If so, by whom? If you are buying a used van from the RAC or by the Post Office, it will have probably been looked after better than it would be by a local firm who are pushed for cash.

  • Is the van from a hire fleet? Fleet vans, and particularly hire vans, tend to be in much worse shape due to the number of different drivers and heavy usage they go through.

  • What has been replaced? Main items, such as the timing belt and alternator, will wear out even on the most robust vans, so try and find one that has had these replaced.

  • Why is the van for sale? If it is as reliable and robust as the seller is claiming, why are they selling it? Are they just getting out before the problems start?
  • Buying a used van? Make sure you get it at the right price

    If you decide to go ahead with a high mileage van, then make sure you get the maximum benefit from your choice. You should always check the price in a reliable guide, such as Glass’s, to make sure that the high mileage is reflected accurately in the asking price. Don’t forget to get the right insurance for your van and not just the cheapest.

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