For anyone venturing into the used market for the first time aiming to save money, what should they be aware of, and what potential pitfalls should they look out for?
Picton suggests that the main difference is a reduced choice when moving from new to a used vehicle: “When purchasing new, you are buying specifically to your operation’s requirements. There are no mileage concerns, no compromise on specification, and you have a full manufacturer warranty to support the vehicle. When buying used, there is always a compromise to be made, whether it’s on the mileage covered, the specification or even the colour.”
Davis from Manheim adds: “New vans have the latest technology (standard and optional) and are viewed as the most fuel-efficient.”
He also makes an important point for those operating in urban areas: “I think the impending roll-out of the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) in London and then other cities will mean that used vans that are Euro6 and younger will be in fierce demand as we move through next year into 2019. Any company who runs vans in and around these cities should factor this into their procurement strategy, specifically the alternative applications of petrol and electric vans’.
Cap-HPI’s Botfield also recognises the implications surrounding emissions legislation: “With the introduction of ULEZs, anyone considering future vehicle replacements must take into account where the vehicle will operate, as any diesel vehicle other than a Euro6 will attract an additional fee for driving into London. With limited numbers of Euro6 vehicles hitting the market there will be a demand from the savvy buyer to future-proof their purchase against the ULEZs”
Clarkson adds important points around provenance: “The used van market place is extremely competitive with dealers working on far slimmer margins than most people think so there are bargains to be had. As a dealer, when buying used it’s all down to condition, mileage, paperwork, price. Insist on seeing a full service history, an HPI report... and two keys.”
So, particularly for businesses who wish to own their asset rather than lease, buying used may well be a viable option. Any compromises in specification due to lack of availability of the ‘ideal’ van need to be very carefully considered, and provenance checks should always be carried out on the history and background of the vehicle. Having said that, there appears to be no let-up in the financial incentives being offered to buyers of new vans, which will come with less risk and a full warranty.
Buying a new van with an attractive specification will help to maintain value throughout the van’s working life. Higher-spec vehicles often sell quicker, improving cash flow for the seller.”
Aircon with a bulkhead, digital radio, metallic paint and alloy wheels will attract a lot of attention from trade buyers and end-users alike.
Interior ply-lining is one of the best-value extras for any buyer. It’s expected by buyers and, importantly, it protects valuable company vehicles from ‘inside-out’ damage that is likely to occur day-to-day. The real benefit is that the van is much more likely to be in a more saleable condition after three or four years’ hard work.
Similarly, parking and reversing aids on large vans add value and also help to keep the van in good condition