Selling your vehicle? Read this first

Selling your vehicle? Read this first

Dan Powell of Honest John Vans explains how you can get the best deal when selling your vehicle.

Whether you are upgrading to a van that’s larger and more practical, or downsizing to something that’s less polluting and cheaper to run, sooner or later the time will come when you have to sell your van. But where do you start? And how do you get the best price?

Meeting potential buyers

Always ask a potential buyer for their name and contact number. Never agree to meet anywhere other than your home or business address (which should also match the address on the vehicle’s logbook).

Let the buyer look over the van for as long as they want, but keep possession of the keys and never leave them alone with the van. Always take a note of the buyer’s vehicle details, including the registration number. It’s also a good idea to have a friend or family member present for support, even if they don’t know anything about vans.

The test drive

As the vehicle owner, it’s your legal responsibility to check that the potential buyer is insured to drive your van. Before the test drive, ask to see the buyer’s driving licence and insurance certificate. Sometimes your own policy will allow another driver to use your vehicle with your permission, but always check before letting anyone loose in your van.

Prepare a short test drive route that gives the buyer a good idea of the van’s handling characteristics at urban and (if possible) dual carriageway speeds. Perform the driver swap at a public place (that preferably has CCTV) like a fuel forecourt or supermarket car park. Always keep hold of the keys until you are in the passenger seat with the belt on.


Used van buyers will usually attempt some form of negotiation on the price. Don’t be offended if someone tries to haggle, but never lose sight of the fact that you are under no obligation to sell for anything below your asking price.

When do you come to an agreement, write the agreed price on the receipt and insist that you both sign it. It’s normal to take a non-refundable deposit of around £100 at this point, if the buyer is not paying in full there and then.

Dealing with road tax (VED)

Remember, you can’t sell a van with road tax. This means you have to cancel it. You can do this online or over the phone by calling the DVLA on 0300 123 4321. The DVLA will send a refund cheque for any full months left on the van’s tax or cancel the Direct Debit if you pay monthly. The new owner will then need to tax the vehicle in their own name online, over the phone or at a Post Office branch that deals with road tax.


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