What to Consider when Buying a Van for your Trade Business
Whether you've been trading for years or only just setting up, buying a van for your business is a significant investment. There are many considerations involved to arrive at the best decision. We've compiled a few thoughts and recommendations to help make the process a bit easier.
One of the common alternatives to buying a van would be to lease one instead. The main advantage of leasing a vehicle is reducing the initial outlay compared to purchasing the equivalent van outright. Affordability plays a significant factor, not just in personal preference but the representation of your business too - turning up to a quote a job in an old banger doesn't give your customers a great deal of confidence!
Sometimes, other costs are included in the lease too. Servicing, maintenance and other financial concerns could be accounted for in the monthly fee. When the lease ends, you have the choice to upgrade your vehicle, which means you'll always be driving an up-to-date, professional-looking van.
As with any vehicle, whether for personal or business use, you'll need to think about running costs such as fuel. The make, model and variant of the van can make a big difference in fuel consumption. If you're going to be transporting heavy items, such as equipment, machinery or trade waste, then the size of the van is essential and how this affects your fuel costs.
Insurance is going to be essential for your new van. As with fuel, the make, model and variant are going to affect your insurance premium. Other considerations here will include the uses for the vehicle, where it's stored and whether you plan to leave tools and equipment in it overnight.
We've recently partnered with Vaninsurance.co.uk to offer an online platform where our customers can access preferential rates for van insurance. On average, we're able to save customers around £114 on their premium, so definitely check it out.
Tax is another important consideration when deciding whether to purchase a van for your business. The tax benefits associated can offset other costs, making the outcome much more attractive. There are different tax-efficient options depending on your circumstances and whether you purchase the van or choose a lease deal. We recommend researching the tax implications very carefully and speaking to an accountant.
Buying a used vehicle can save you a lot of money on your initial investment. Typically, used vehicles will be showing signs of wear and tear and possibly have thousands of miles on the clock. You may think you've found yourself a bargain but make sure you check the suspension, steering and for any signs of rust in the bodywork. Work vehicles get knocked about quite a bit, so if someone is selling it on, there could be a flaw that's difficult to spot at first glance. You'll also want to see a full service history with receipts for any work carried out.
Buying a van for your business has a lot of advantages. The initial cost might be high depending on the route you go down, but the convenience, freedom and prestige that come with it are certainly worth it.
If you'd like to learn more about our specialised insurance products for tradespeople, please contact our team on 0116 243 7904.