Dan Powell, Editor of Honest John Vans, names his top five bargain used vans.
Are you looking for a cheap builders’ van? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a big budget to get a practical and efficient commercial vehicle. In fact, armed with a modest £5,000, you should be able to get a reliable used van that’s large enough to carry all of the tools and equipment you need to get the job done. Honest John Vans has picked out its top five used vans for £5,000 or less from Ford, Vauxhall, Citroen, Peugeot and Volkswagen. These compact but capable commercials are generally found in large numbers on the second-hand market, which means you can be quite picky when it comes to condition, spec and mileage. What’s more, these vans are all rated highly for ease of use, comfort and fuel economy.
Ford Transit Connect
The mk1 Ford Transit Connect is – in our opinion – the best budget used van for £5,000. Simple to work on, cheap to run and practical, the Connect is a dependable buy for builders in need of a cheap and reliable small van. What’s more, a £5,000 budget will easily secure a 2014 model with a full MoT and dealer-stamped service history.
The Citroen Berlingo is a versatile van that’s available in two lengths – L1 or L2. The standard version will carry 625kg, while heavy-duty models will haul up to 850kg A budget of £5,000 should get you a six-year-old Berlingo. Most of the deals are for the 1.6 HDi models; however, with a bit searching in the classifieds, you should also find more powerful versions with the 2.0 HDi diesel.
Like its Citroen stablemate, the Peugeot Partner is a compact van with big potential. All versions are cheap to run, easy to drive and practical. Spend £5,000 and you’ll get a five or six-year-old Partner with a full 12-month MoT and dealer service history. We’d recommend finding a van in Professional trim, as these include air-con and Bluetooth connectivity for your phone.
The Volkswagen Caddy has lots to offer used van buyers, with car-like handling and big carrying capacity. Mileages on Caddys in the £5k classifieds vary wildly but don’t be afraid of higher mileage examples. Indeed, short drop vehicles with lower mileages may well have had harder lives and it always pays to check the van’s usage and history.
The previous-gen Vauxhall Combo is a rebadged version of the Fiat Doblo Cargo which is good news, as this Fiat is a capable and quality van with proven mechanicals. A budget of £5,000 will tap into 2015 models with average mileage and one or two previous owners.
Honest John’s golden rule for buying a used van
A used van should always come with a V5C logbook. This important document will have the name and address of the person you’re buying it from (or the details of their company). Always ask the seller for ID (driver’s licence or utility bill) so you can check that their details and address matches the V5C. Take time to check the registration number and the VIN (vehicle identification number) too, so you can confirm that the V5C matches the vehicle.
For further information on Honest John Vans go to https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/