Buying your van second hand? Check its history

Ignorance just will not wash with your van insurance if your second hand van is involved in an accident and it’s discovered to be a write off before the incident occurred.

According to data, every third vehicle on the road is being driven without the driver aware of its previous history – scary! If you like the look of a second hand van – for young drivers starting out on their own, buying an older van is probably the only way you are going to get a cheap van insurance quote the way the odds are stacked against you at the minute – how do you ensure that you’re not buying a ringer, a write-off or a mule that’s been used to import no end of illegal traffic in the past?

As much as we like to think the best of everyone, being human, when it comes to parting with your cash for something as important as a commercial vehicle that has not only got to provide your livelihood but keep you safe whilst you’re on the road, you want to know that the person you’re buying the van from is being straight up with you. Regardless of whether he looks as honest as Pope John Paul II or not, the first thing you need to do when you get the van home is run the registration number through an online vehicle checker.

Some insurance companies now even insist on this practise if your taking out a van insurance policy with them for a second hand commercial. For the sake of £20 knowing that you’re not driving around in two halves of different vans is a no brainer for anyone serious about their business and respect for other road users.

Another aspect that many van drivers don’t consider when going into the market for a second hand commercial is whether or not the person selling it is just desperate for cash and still actually has an outstanding finance agreement on it that he has not disclosed to you. The last thing you need is the bailiffs turning up at your premises when you’re with clients to claim the van back, especially after you’ve parted with your cash in good faith.

However, if they do turn up to claim the van, you are not obliged to give it to them, under the ‘good title’ clause of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act.  This section protects an innocent third party who has bought the van in on the proviso that he is buying a van that is legitimately for sale and puts the onus of the seller to settle the outstanding financa, as it is his name on the contract with the finance company.  If you are showing a potential customer around your premises, you still do not want the palpability of explaining the situation.

The other obvious things that can be determined is if the van has been clocked, if it’s the colour that’s registered with the DVLA, if it’s been imported or exported, it’s emission level if you’re thinking of using it to nip in an out of the London Low Emission Zone and its VIN (chassis) number to ensure that the registered model matches the one to which you now hold the keys.

If you’re considering buying second hand instead of new and want to check out how that’s going to impact on your van insurance quote, check out our simple van insurance comparison facility to help you save money in minutes!

© 2021 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. See our copyright notice.

Share your views

To leave a comment on this story, please insert your details below.