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Small used vans are a godsend, perfect for pretty much any job, whether you’re a builder, plumber or goods deliverer. But what types of second hand small used vans are out there? And more importantly, which should you buy? 

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Types Of Small Used Vans

The van industry provides business owners with massive choice when it comes to second hand small used vans. You can pick up vehicles for practically any purpose. 

Panel vans. Panel vans are instantly recognisable. If you use the roads for work, you probably see them every day. These small vans, sometimes called city vans, use metal panels to encase the storage area with metal cladding for additional protection. Modern varieties usually have a camera at the rear, plus two side mirrors, allowing you to see what’s going on behind you while driving and reversing. 

Microvan. Microvans are like the ultimate version of small vans. They are most popular in Asia, particularly Japan and prioritise storage over cabin space. 
 

What To Look For When Buying A Small Used Van

Are you looking for used small vans for sale? If so, here are some of the things to look out for. 

Check The Steering

Used vans should feel responsive to driver steering wheel input. There shouldn’t be much play (if any at all) when you turn the wheel left or right. If it feels loose, it could indicate a problem with the hydraulics or tyre pressure. 

Check The Brakes

When you purchase a used van, you need to know if the brakes will provide you with sufficient stopping power in an emergency. Take the van onto a safe, quiet stretch of road and then drive in a straight line, testing the brakes at different speeds.  The brakes should feel firm, consistent and bring the van to a halt quickly. 

Inspect The Bodywork

Ideally, any used van you purchase should be free from serious corrosion of the bodywork. Even low levels of rust around the bumpers, wings, sills and wheel arches could be indicative of deeper problems with the vehicle. 

All vehicles are subject to a many checks to make sure they meet a certain standards. 

 

Inspect The Suspension

When you push down on the corners of a used van, it should depress and then spring back to its former position rapidly. If it only raises back up slowly, or not at all, it could be an indication of an issue with the shock absorbers. 

Why A Small Van Might Be Right For You

Small vans are among the most versatile vehicles on the planet. Not only do they offer an enormous amount of space in the rear, but they’re also small enough to nip in and out of congested cities, parking spaces, and busy lines of traffic. 

Choosing the right van for you, however, depends considerably on your needs. 

Small vans, for instance, are ideal for tradespeople who need storage for their gear. Electricians, plumbers, plasterers, painters and decorators, renovators, maintenance professionals, double-glazers and handymen can all benefit enormously.

Used vans are also ideal for people in the delivery business. Their small size makes them suitable for the “last miles” - taking parcels from the depot to front doors.

You may also benefit from a van if your business requires you carry stock to various sites. Vending machine refill companies, for instance, need vans with space for coffee pouches, nuts, chocolate and bags of crisps. 

Small used vans, however, aren’t suitable for everyone. While they do provide ample space for tradespeople and companies that need to make small deliveries, their limited size makes them impractical for more significant operations. Before you buy a used van, therefore, you need to be clear in your mind that this is the right vehicle class size for you. You may benefit more from a medium or a large van. 

Small vans are, in general, incredibly easy to drive. Most companies base their designs on regular car models, just adapting the body panelling to provide more room for stuff. So if you’re used to driving cars, you’ll find the transition to used vans smooth. 

Representative example

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