Five things to check before buying a used van

We all know the ambivalent nature of second-hand buying, with cheaper pricing and potential damages both being on the table in a purchase. To help you make your decision, we’ve assembled this article highlighting everything you should be aware of when buying a van second-hand.


Likely the first thing you thought of, and the first thing you can easily check, tyres are the only way you’ll be getting your van home, so it’s essential that you assess their quality first.

Check the treads and sidewalls and ensure they are legal for the road, as anything under 1.6mm is illegal. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre for this as well – or check that there even is one! Other aspects to look for include visible damage or wear, suspension and steering.

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Speaking of steering, this problem needs its own specifications. An unresponsive and uncontrolled steering wheel can indicate issues that can’t be fixed with a spare tyre, and will cause a lot more hassle – and danger – in the long run.


None of the other entries on this list matter if the paperwork isn’t in order. All paperwork must be checked against DVLA standards, with records of service history provided. If the seller won’t show them, don’t buy from them.

People seeking used vans for sale Oxford can seek out professional guidance through this process from online sources such as

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Though you likely can’t properly assess the quality of an engine by yourself, you can check for a few warning signs. For example, a warm bonnet before the engine has even started nearly always indicates an issue.

Smoke and unusual sounds are other portents of faulty engines. Taking a short test drive may clear up any doubts, but if the problems keep piling up, it’s probably best to pass.


A damaged interior can be a telltale sign of further complications to the van, with torn-up seats, missing parts or faulty seat belts being big indicators of other problems. You should also check the car’s electronics. And don’t overlook the door locks.

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