How do I go about buying a used cargo van without burning my money?
April 28, 2010 7:05 PM Subscribe
What should I look out for while buying a used cargo van for my business? Or is there an alternative?
posted by christopherbdnk to travel & transportation (6 answers total)
My business is expanding a bit and we've outgrown our personal vehicles for picking up and dropping off goods. Basically, we have inventory that we need to shuttle around a few times a week, and having a cargo van instead of a hatchback will save us hours of time and gallons of gas every week. We've tried renting a cargo van as needed, but it winds up costing us close to $100 for the day and if we were to rent as frequently as we'd want to, we'd be spending around $700 a month in rental charges.
I know nothing about cargo vans, or even used cars, and the only car I've purchased was a new one. I plan on finding a local mechanic I can trust to bring in any potential purchase for him to look over to make sure I'm not buying a rustwagon, but beyond that I don't know where to start my search. It's very possible we'd be upgrading in a few months to a box truck or larger, or outsourcing to a short-haul company, so the idea is to buy something pretty well used that doesn't need to last for another ten years.
The typical van I'm looking at right now is from 1999-2002, has anywhere between 74,000 miles to 140,000 miles, and costs around $1300-$3000. I'm assuming that if I can keep this running for even three months with minimal (~$400) repairs, it'll pay for itself and be worth something for every day after that, plus its potential resale value.
So, is there a specific year I should look for? Should I watch out for Dodges, or specifically look for a Ford? I really know nothing about this, but figure that it's quite possible others do! Thanks!