Buying A Used Van?

VW Transporter Van Engine

Any time you choose to buy a used vehicle, there’s a higher risk of problems than with a new vehicle. When it comes to vans, many of these vehicles are used much more often than a private vehicle. Also, you have no idea how the van was used or how well it was taken care of.

Commercial vans are usually operated by more than one person and their driving habits can vary greatly. All used vehicles will go through wear and tear but commercial vehicles probably have a higher rate. If you are in the market for a used van, be very careful. You might think you are getting a great deal but due to poor maintenance and hidden problems, it could turn into a real headache.

Here are a few things you should definitely check out to ensure you are getting a vehicle that’s worth the price.

Perform A Thorough Examination Of The Exterior

The exterior of a vehicle can give you a lot of information including how well it was maintained and operated. Outside of dents, look for scratches or damaged paint, and rusted areas. Pay very close attention to areas that are not easily visible. You should look around the van, under the door frames, under the bumpers, the wheel wells, corners, and under the entire van. Many used vans will have some rusting but you need to check it out carefully to ensure it’s only surface damage and not a deeper issue

The Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers will speak volumes about the condition of a used van. To check them, push down on each corner of the van. The vehicle should spring back to its normal position immediately. If it bounces up and down or makes a lot of creaking sounds, the shock absorbers and suspension are probably in bad shape. You can confirm your suspicions by taking it for a test drive.

Look For Electrical Issues

You do not have to start the engine. Simply switch on the headlights and check the various indicators. If the lights are not functioning properly or flickering, it’s either your battery or you have electrical issues.

Check Your Tyres Closely

Always check the tyres as well as the spare tyre. Check the tread depth to see if they are wearing out equally or it’s only one tyre. If the wear is not equal you could have a wheel alignment problem. If the tyres are old or in bad shape, you will have to replace all of them, if you choose to purchase the van.

Check The Interiors

Get into the van and start checking the interior. Look for cracked plastic parts and/or broken controls. Are the seats in a good or bad condition? Are the seatbelts and door locks working properly? Switch on the engine and find out if it starts easily on the first attempt or not? Are the windows operating properly? Lastly, check out the dashboard for any warning lights.

Check Out The Heating & Cooling System

You need to find out if the heating and cooling system is working properly The fans should work correctly and the air coming from the vents should be clean minus any odours. If the system cools very slowly there could be issues. Also, if the air smells musty and damp, the system needs serious cleaning.

Take A Test Drive

Find an unpopulated road to test drive the van. Go slowly so you can check the steering and brakes. By checking the steering, brakes, clutch, and gear shifts you will find out if they are working properly. Listen for various noises such as squeaks, rattles, or other strange sounds. If the vehicle pulls to one side, you might have an alignment problem. Is the ride too bumpy? Are you experiencing noises or vibrations when you apply the brakes?

Before completing your test drive and turning off the engine, look at the instrument panel and see if any warning lights have come on. Also, the engine should be within the normal operating temperature. If the temperature is above normal you might have overheating issues.

Check The Van’s Service History

You will be able to see if the van was serviced at the recommended intervals and/or mileage. Check if there have been any accident repairs or other issues. Make sure to verify the service history with the dealer or at an authorized garage.

Get The Van Inspected By A Reputable Authorized Garage

After you have finished your basic check you should be able to assess the condition of the van. Before buying it, have it checked by a reputable authorized garage. Getting it inspected at a specialist garage has several advantages. You will have an expert looking over the van and they will be able to detect issues that you may have missed.

Once the specialist gives you a list of defects and repairs estimates, you will have a clearer idea of what the van will cost you. If there are serious issues, you can either renegotiate the cost for the van or decide to look elsewhere for another van. The ball is in your court!

Getting a professional inspection performed makes a lot of sense before purchasing a used commercial van. When you decide to buy, you will have confidence and not worry about the cost.

For van inspections in Manchester and North Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Bolton, Rochdale, Tameside etc, contact us or call us on 0161 628 5270 at the Van Centre Manchester, our specialists can run through a thorough professioanal inspection of your potential van purchase, help you to make an informed decision and potentially save you money.

Our Latest Google, Facebook & Trustpilot Reviews

  • Gary Mc Avatar
    Gary Mc
    01/06/2021 - Google

    Great service, explained everything. Even washed the van. Recommended *****

    Tim Harrison Avatar
    Tim Harrison
    22/04/2021 - Google

    Great to see the VW experts to work on my Winnebago Rialta which is half VW half Winnebago. First visit source a cambelt from overseas as it was very rare. Today they carried out a full service, MOT, and fitted the broken seat belt. ( Which was a bit of a job). And to top it all cleaned up months of lockdown storage moss. Thank you to the great team.

    Frank Griffin Avatar
    Frank Griffin
    17/03/2021 - Google

    Great service. They advised they could book me in on a Thursday after my Audi Q7 had a suspension failure. I dropped the car off on a Tuesday because it was virtually un driveable and by Wednesday they had given me a price and repaired the car.

    I'll be dropping the car off for a full service in the future. Natalie and Nathan were great!

  • John Nichol Avatar
    John Nichol
    17/03/2021 - Google

    Top service, very knowledgeable staff. Definitely go back next time the van needs a service.

    stephen cooper Avatar
    stephen cooper
    05/03/2021 - Google

    I would highly recommend Volksmaster , very knowledgeable and fairly priced, I like the fact that time is taken to explain what any faults are and keep the defective parts to sow you,and that no unnecessary work is carried out without talking to the customer firs.
    Great bunch of lads
    Thanks Volksmaster.

    Mohammed Imran Avatar
    Mohammed Imran
    03/03/2021 - Google

    Excellent service from the team especially Nathan who kept me up to date with my GTI and also car mini valleted in the lockdown period.

  • U J Avatar
    U J
    02/03/2021 - Google

    Got my CAM and crank correlation faults repaired. Supplied and fitted inlet manifold gasket, valves, magnets, housing and gaskets. Great service and done the job really quick. I had the car back in half a day. Highly recommended top technition Dave & Nathan.

    Urban Haus Avatar
    Urban Haus
    24/02/2021 - Google

    Fantastic service by Nathan and the team. Solved the problems other garages couldn't. Great communication, prompt, conscientious, and pleasant. Don't go anywhere else, whatever make and model your vehicle is.

    Marcus m Avatar
    Marcus m
    22/02/2021 - Google

    Nathan’s expertise and customer service is second to none! The team are fast and don’t mess about with getting your car safely back on the road.

  • Andy Carson Avatar
    Andy Carson
    05/10/2020 - Google

    I can not recommend Nathan @ Volksmaster van centre Oldham enough, bloody excellent service.

    Excellent customer service, amazing knowledge, shares what he knows to help me understandable make an informed decision.
    He understands that if my truck is off the road I am not earning so he fits my sporadic availability in to suit me not him.. this is so helpful.

    If there were more stars they would get them..

    I would advise anyone to completely dismiss VW Manchester van centre and go for Volksmaster, they are just better all round and totally honest with you unlike VW Manchester.

    Tom Ford Avatar
    Tom Ford
    27/08/2020 - Google

    Great service everytime, very helpful and friendly, well recommended 👍

    A Google User Avatar
    A Google User
    27/08/2020 - Google

    Great service everytime, very helpful and friendly, well recommended 👍

  • Rula Safi Avatar
    Rula Safi
    03/07/2020 - Google

    It was not easy to find a garage I could trust. To know what they are doing and be honest about what needs to be done. I know a fair amount about car mechanics, so Im not easily fooled and can identify a con-merchant. If the garage takes the time to fully explain what is wrong with your car and how they will fix it, and does not mind you asking questions, then its a fair sign that they can be trusted. I have been taking both my VW van and Golf there for almost 2 years. I am very happy with their work.

    A Google User Avatar
    A Google User
    03/07/2020 - Google

    It was not easy to find a garage I could trust. To know what they are doing and be honest about what needs to be done. I know a fair amount about car mechanics, so Im not easily fooled and can identify a con-merchant. If the garage takes the time to fully explain what is wrong with your car and how they will fix it, and does not mind you asking questions, then its a fair sign that they can be trusted. I have been taking both my VW van and Golf there for almost 2 years. I am very happy with their work.

    Jordan Clancy Avatar
    Jordan Clancy
    30/06/2020 - Google

    Always a pleasure booking the car in highly recommend nathan and the lads do an amazing job the receptionist is lovely always willing to go the extra mile for there customers. I really wouldn't go anywhere else thanks again. Always on time very professional

  • A Google User Avatar
    A Google User
    30/06/2020 - Google

    Always a pleasure booking the car in highly recommend nathan and the lads do an amazing job the receptionist is lovely always willing to go the extra mile for there customers. I really wouldn't go anywhere else thanks again. Always on time very professional

    Fraser Bardsley Avatar
    Fraser Bardsley
    09/06/2020 - Google

    Hi this garage was the best find I have ever had,I own a 2005 VW td5 Caravelle which I use daily as I have mobility problems so this van is my legs and has to be in good order. Nathan at Volksmaster helped me greatly with a problem the van had with loss of coolant that wasn't leaking to the outside of the car .They found water in the oil and diagnosed a water pump problem and after several oil and filter changes the replacement water pump had worked a treat.After a test drive wheel bearings and drop links also replaced and a noise that I had thought had been rattling side bars was sorted. Nathan & Callum helped me with there knowledge and advice and it was a pleasure to do business with them I have now decided after this top drawer service to keep my Caravelle at Volksmaster.Thank you Volksmaster

    Tom Ford Avatar
    Tom Ford
    positive review 
    04/03/2020 - Facebook

    great friendly service, will recommend to all 👍

  • Anthony Boggiano Avatar
    Anthony Boggiano
    03/03/2020 - Google

    Volksmaster have looked after my Touareg for the past three years and have done a great job servicing and MOT'ing it - their work is always to a high standard and at a great price. Recommend them to anyone.

    Eric van der Steen Avatar
    Eric van der Steen
    positive review 
    02/03/2020 - Facebook

    Always got me out of the sh#t when my T4s been sick x

    Marc Ellis Avatar
    Marc Ellis
    08/02/2020 - Google

    Took my Audi in for airbag ECU coding . Quick sound lads had a good chat couldnt recomend them enough will be back. Cheers lads

  • Andy Entwistle Avatar
    Andy Entwistle
    06/02/2020 - Google

    Having had a long recurring issue with my VW California i was recommend to Volksmaster Van Centre Oldham.
    Fantastic, professional service from start to finish.
    From booking in and being kept up to date by Stacy, to the explanation of the issue and how they resolved it by Nathan.
    Would highly recommend all the team at Volksmaster.

    Steven Drew Avatar
    Steven Drew
    14/01/2020 - Google

    I had quite a bad central locking fault on my Caddy, which was a real pain for me. Volksmaster did a cracking job to find and fix the fault and went above and beyond in all their service. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff also. Cracking job and service from Volksmaster, would highly recommend.

    Clare Hirst Avatar
    Clare Hirst
    23/11/2019 - Google

    Friendly and quick service. They did my cam belt change no problem. Have used this place before and they are 100% reliable. Car was also cleaned inside and out.Thanks very much guys!

  • Mark Stockton Avatar
    Mark Stockton
    20/11/2019 - Google

    All good, efficient and professional as usual

    Phil Popland Avatar
    Phil Popland
    13/04/2019 - Google

    Great job and good guys. Excellent.

    David Eckersall Avatar
    David Eckersall
    05/04/2019 - Google

    Really impressed with the service, fixed my window and were really good at keeping me in the loop with all work done. Van came back cleaned inside and out. Mega! Thanks guys.

  • David Eckersall Avatar
    David Eckersall
    05/04/2019 - Google

    Really impressed with the service, fixed my window and were really good at keeping me in the loop with all work done. Van came back cleaned inside and out. Mega! Thanks guys.

    Sum Nxt Man Avatar
    Sum Nxt Man
    18/03/2019 - Google

    Great garage good lads know what they're doing when it comes to volkswagen's

    Sum Nxt Manc Avatar
    Sum Nxt Manc
    18/03/2019 - Google

    Great garage good lads know what they're doing when it comes to volkswagen's

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