The used vehicle market is usually the cheapest and easiest route to take when buying a new van. However, with thousands of different commercial vehicles to choose from, it’s important to make sure that you put some golden used van buying rules in place to protect yourself from dodgy deals and sellers. Before buying a used van, it’s important to figure out what you need from the vehicle. Maybe you need a huge carrying capacity and a powerful engine, or perhaps something smaller and more compact will be suitable for you. But before you part with your money and get the van that meets your needs, keep the following in mind.

Service History

Always check the service history before buying a van such as a used Vauxhall van Liverpool from John Charles Motor Group. You should always buy a van with a history that demonstrates annual servicing and responsible maintenance. Ideally, look for a van that has a full history that can be traced all the way back to the original dealer. If this isn’t the case, then at the very least, check the service history to see if the van has been regularly serviced and has had the filter and oil changed every twelve months or 12,000 miles, depending on which is sooner.

MOT Certificate

Ideally, you want to buy a van that has a history of all the previous MOTs it has had, but even if the paperwork is not available, it may still have had an MOT. You can easily search for a vehicle’s MOT history online using the website. All you need to do is enter the registration number of the van and hit search. Along with checking the MOT history you will get further details of any passes and fails, and what the reasons for any fails were.


No matter what kind of van you are looking at, it’s likely that one of the first things that you will want to know is the mileage. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the mileage is only one element of the overall condition of the van, and it shouldn’t be used as the main factor to decide whether or not it is worth purchasing. In 2018, a Department for Transport report stated that the average mileage for light commercial vehicles was around 13k, so you can allow around this much for every year of the van’s age and compare the actual milage with the figure you get.

Test Driving

Once you have found a van you like, it’s important to take it for a test drive for at least twenty minutes or more. This gives the van a chance to fully warm up. Try out all the gears including reverse, and if you get the chance, do some higher speeds on a motorway or A-road. Try out some low-speed turns on your test drive to check the steering.
Buying a used van can be the best way to get a good deal on your new vehicle, but with thousands for sale, it’s important to know what to look for.