To go along with the recent thefts of complete exhaust systems and increased numbers of tool theft from unsecured vans that has been sweeping the country recently, causing havoc with van owners’ van insurance quotes when it comes to renewal, having had to have made sizeable claims to cover their replacement costs, there is now a new warning being posted for van drivers up and down the country.
As organisations look to cut back on costs, the market for used vans has seen massive growth, with auction houses BCA and Manheim reporting record figures going through their books and predicted shortfalls in units for certain sectors of the used van market inevitable later in the year. The savvy crook has already picked up on this fact and the new warning is being issued by van insurance firms to be on the lookout for those in the market who may be approached by people claiming to be the van’s rightful owner but are instead fronts for organised gangs stealing vans lock, stock and barrel.
There are guidelines for buying second hand commercial vehicles and van owners are being urged to follow them. It is only when van drivers get the vehicles home and come to register them or search for cheap van insurance that they’re realising they’ve purchased a stolen vehicle.
Following a statement by a spokesperson for one such van insurance company, which urges tradesmen to “take the necessary steps to protect themselves”, here are a few recommendations before you part with your cash:
• Wherever possible, buy your vehicle from a recognised used van outfit. There are legal requirements for the roadworthiness of a van so that it can meet MoT and van insurance prerequisites before they’re allowed to hand over the keys that they must follow
• If buying privately, ascertain the make, model, year, chassis number and registration details of the van from the private owner and check the van out on the web before travelling to make the purchase
• Once satisfied that the van is legal, have the van properly looked over by a mechanic (again, from a recognised franchise if possible); they will give an unbiased view of any tweaks needed to comply with the updated regulations for the MoT test
• There are times when owners sell the van due to financial issues and they may have outstanding debts on any hire/purchase agreement; you will not become liable for those debts, but outstanding finance records against a vehicle may impact your van insurance quotes when you come to compare van insurance online
• Check with the DVLA that the car has not been registered as a write off or been involved in any major road traffic accident that the private owner may have neglected to tell you about.
By following these guidelines, you should ensure that your van has no hidden past and that there will be no nasty shocks awaiting you when you thought that by buying second hand, it would avail you of cheap van insurance. But get in quick – it’s a sellers market and with businesses hanging on to their vehicles eleven months longer in these austere times, quality used vans are not on the market for long.