Should I Buy A New Or Used Van?

November 30, 2018 at 2:09 PM


When the time comes to buy a new or replacement van for your business, you face a simple choice: purchase a brand new van from a main dealer or go for a used van.

In reality, the decision isn't a simple one. For many companies, the van is an essential asset to achieve full productivity, without which, income and profits would be seriously affected.

A brand new van will typically offer greater reliability; however, it will definitely be more expensive than a used equivilant. Statistically, only one in ten vans purchased are new which means that there is a huge amount of choice in the used market.

To help you decide what's right for your business, we've taken most people's considerations when it comes to buying a van and explained whether new or used is better.


This is a category that a used van is always going to win hands down. As long as you don't buy the van privately, you can still claim tax relief on a second hand business vehicle providing you have the documents to prove the amount you paid.

Depending on the amount of capital you have available, you might be able to buy a used van outright. If you want to do that for a new van, you need to be prepared for a major financial outlay which you need to be certain your business can withstand.

Alternatively, you can choose to finance your purchase. Because a used van costs less, the monthly repayments will be less; however, if you spread the cost of the van, you might be able to get a newer version.

Some main dealers will provide incentives to encourage you to take out a finance package including deposit contributions or service plans.


A new van will lose a chunk of its value as soon as you drive it off the forecourt as well as a considerable percentage (up to 45%) in the first 12 months. Consequently, it will be worth much less when you come to sell it a couple of years down the line.

However, if you plan to keep the van for a considerable time, it can be viewed as a long term investment where depreciation will become less of a deciding factor.

Buying a used van removes the risk of massive depreciation because the owner from new has already taken that hit.

Used vans have considerably higher residual values than their new counterparts, so if you're planning to consistently update your vehicle, you're better off going used.


You can never guarantee the reliability of a vehicle, even if you buy it from new. The biggest advantage that you get from going to a main dealer is that the van will be sold with a new manufacturer's warranty which will last for at least three years.

Some manufacturers - Nissan, for example - sell their commercial vehicles with a five year warranty as standard.

Having said that, you can take advantage of this in the used market. By purchasing a used van that is only one or two years old, you will benefit from the remainder of the new vehicle warranty.

Just because a van is used, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be less reliable. You should always enquire about a vehicle's service history to see how it's been treated in its lifetime. Buying from a reputable seller is key when you decide on a second hand van.


For the latest technological developments in safety, entertainment and fuel efficiency you will have to buy new.

From the 1st September 2016 all new light commercial vehicles (LCVs) had to be compliant with Euro 6 standards making them cleaner and more fuel efficient.

This legislation was passed over two years ago so there are a range of Euro 6 vans available in the used market. In addition, if you're looking to update your van every couple of years, you will still benefit from any advances in vehicular technology.


This is only really applicable to buying a used van because a new van has never been on the road before.

The way a second hand van has been used can have a big impact on its performance in the future. Before you commit to buying, you should ask what the van has previously been used for and what service history is available.

If it seems as though it's already been abused by previous owners, walk away and find another van - don't take the risk of being off the road.


If image is really important for your business, you might want to opt for a new van. Showing up in the latest model gives the impression that business is good.

There is a secret third option to consider: nearly new. These vans are normally purchased in bulk from a main dealer and registered by another dealer. That dealer becomes the first owner and essentially takes the depreciation hit.

Nearly new vans are often much cheaper than buying brand new, but they still benefit from the manufacturer's warranty and typically come with delivery mileage only.

If you decide that a used or nearly new van is right for your business, we have a fantastic range of vans to choose from.

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Tags: Vans Used New
Category: Buying Guide

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