Typically, any trade that involves physical labour, such as plumbing, painting and building, requires transportation, not just for the workers but also for their tools. However, vans are now used by a vast array of businesses, including catering, delivery and retail companies, to haul produce from one place to the next. Choosing the right van for your business is no quick task, as there is an abundance of different sizes and brands on offer.
First up, ask yourself what the van is going to be used for. The key is to pick a van that’s right for your business, explains Charlie Mullins, who set up Pimlico Plumbers. It is worth spending time researching the various options available, which should involve thorough inspections of the vehicles and even taking some out for test drives. Picking a van that’s reliable is paramount, and it’s important to bear in mind how much you’re likely to use it, and what sort of driving will be involved. If you’re business is based in London or another big city, there will be a lot of stopping and starting, says Charlie, so the make you choose must be able to handle it.
There are many different van manufacturers, most of which produce reliable and robust vehicles. It’s always wise to go for a manufacturer that you know and are familiar with, because if something goes wrong, it will probably be easier to put right. Chis Gilbey, who set up handyman service Bits Bobs and Odd Jobs, advises buying from a reputable dealer, which may require a degree of research. “We eventually went with a dealer that I had been recommended and ended up buying a Volkswagen which was a make we knew and liked driving,” he recalls.
Another thing to remember when looking at vehicles is to make sure it’s the right size for your business needs. Many people make the mistake when starting their business of buying a van that’s too small, explains Angus Elphinstone, who set up removals and delivery company White Van Gentlemen, as well as van auction site ANYVAN. Having believed that it will be sufficient (when trying to keep costs at a bare minimum), people soon realise after a couple of months that it is too small and can’t fit all the equipment inside, thus preventing the business from moving forward. Having to then go and buy a larger van will end up costing more in the long run, not just in terms of money, but also time and effort, therefore it’s really worth getting the size right in the first place.