Questions to ask before buying a used van


    When considering the purchase of something as costly as a van, the easiest and most economical option is the second-hand market. There is a wide selection range out there but the hard task is in determining which seller is trustworthy and transparent enough to work with. Even before you set out looking for a car dealer, you must first analyze your need for a van. Do you prefer a van that carries a lot of people and has a powerful engine or do you prefer a compact vehicle that gets you wherever you wish to go?

    Is the van VAT paid or non-VAT?

    The common rate of VAT paid on goods and services is 20% – you will often see this on the purchase receipt if the van has been bought from a new car dealership. Whether VAT is applied at the POS, what is the applied rate and whether it can be reclaimed all depends on who the seller of the vehicle is. For answers to these questions, consider the following scenarios;

    1. The business or dealership is not VAT registered: The price will not include VAT and therefore the buyer is not eligible for any VAT refunds.
    2. The business or dealership is VAT registered and charges 20%VAT: the price of the van bought here includes 20% VAT. If this is clearly captured in the documentation, the buyer is entitled to a VAT refund if they are VAT registered.
    3. The business or dealership is VAT registered and charges tax on a margin scheme: if for instance a dealer who is VAT registered buys a van from a non-registered owner, they can only charge VAT on margins made. In such a case, the VAT is not indicated on the paperwork and there is no VAT claim entitlement.

    Regardless of the van’s source, the buyer must compare prices factoring the inclusion to arrive at the best value.

    where to buy a used van?

    With the internet it is easy to locate the van that you want in terms of make, price range and mileage. Regardless of the fact that a vehicle has been posted online, it falls under the following main categories;

    • Approved dealer – this seller is affiliated with a particular brand and deals with no other car brands. This dealer will only be able to offer used vans by the manufacturer they are associated with.
    • Independent dealer – this seller is not tied to a particular manufacturer and they will offer you vans from a large range of manufacturers. While they may have various car brands available for sale, they have the freedom to stock and sell whichever they like.

    What is it like buying from a home trader?

    A home trader exists by virtue of the fact that they offer deals that are way cheaper than either approved dealers or independent dealers. The home traders operate from their homes so it is important to establish that the location they are selling from actually belongs to them.

    It is hard to trust a person who you have just met and that is why all businesses are governed by certain laws. To be on the safe side, never consider a car purchase from a dealer who parks his vehicles on the side of the road or worse still conducts business from a mobile phone number. If a trader insists that the vehicle they are selling is their own, kindly request for the necessary paperwork to establish its authenticity.

    Should you consider buying a converted van?

    This depends on the task for which you are purchasing the van. Even though the modifications made on a van may be what you are looking for, a little caution is advised.

    A professionally converted van gives buyers the assurance that the changes made on the vehicle were made by someone who understands cars. It is important to get as much information as is available on what materials were added/removed. The dealer might have some idea on what was done to the van but do not be afraid to ask questions to clarify.

    Buying a self-converted van on the other hand means spending less money on the total cost. While it is a bit hard to establish the quality of a DIY conversion project, the greater challenge is to match the changes to your individual circumstances.

    Whatever the specifications you are looking for in a second-hand van, you are likely to find it on Tradus. This is an online market place for both buyers and sellers trading in used commercial equipment and vehicles. If you have something to sell, having it listed just requires contacting support. Buyers can find and compare what has been listed by conducting searches based on the name of the vehicle they are looking for, its year of manufacturer and many other parameters. The Tradus platform connects people from the entire globe so buyers are assured they are getting the best. Sellers too are guaranteed that their customer base is wide and this means better chances of quick conversion.


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