When looking to buy a van for business purposes, priorities tend to diverge from those when buying a private vehicle. While your private car ought to express personality, ooze comfort and most importantly, get you from A to B safely, your commercial van should be powerful, easy to drive, low-maintenance and fuel efficient. Oh, and offer a sense of branding. A big ask, then.

So, whether your van is for running errands, delivering parcels, transporting staff or passengers, or any other responsibility which comes to mind, some sage advice is always welcome. Well, we’re here to help, with these; our 5 IDEAL tips on buying a van for your business.


Driving a commercial van feels nothing like a getting behind the wheel of a private car, and assuming the skill set required is the same could be dangerous and costly. A van, quite simply, is designed and driven differently. Therefore it’s advisable to get some pointers from the experts, such as via driving lessons in Solihull or wherever you are based, before buying your commercial van. Confidence behind the wheel is a must if you’re to get the most from your new purchase.


Not all commercial vans are created equal, with each one designed to fulfill a different purpose. So whether it’s transporting passengers or running errands, the shape and feel of the van will be different. It’s important when buying a commercial van to look into your requirements and decide on the model and make which best suits your budget and transportation needs. Thorough research is required at this stage if you’re going to get the van most appropriate for you.


Every business is unique, and so are its requirements and operations, which means the decision of buying a commercial van will be heavily influenced by the nature of your business combined with road conditions in your service area. If you operate in hilly terrain, you need a van with high bhp and torque, whereas, in plains, your focus should be on high fuel efficiency unless you are partial to high-performance vehicles. For running errands in plain areas, electric vans are also a good option; economical in the long run and better for the environment.


If you’re looking at buying a pre-owned commercial van, you can never tell its condition just by looking at it. A test drive is the easiest way to start your inspection. How smooth the clutch and gearbox feel provide a good indication of the condition of the vehicle.

You’lll also need to look under the hood to make sure the engine is in good condition. Are there major oil leaks? Do you notice any rattling noise? If yes, then steer clear (not in the vehicle of course, or you’ll crash). If you’re not sure about the engine’s condition, consider hiring a licensed mechanic to run a detailed inspection, although this could get costly. Alternatively, trust your instincts.


As we’re talking commercial vans, your branding of the vehicle is important. After all, it’s a moving advert of your company; maximum exposure at minimum effort. If the van you’re buying is vinyl wrapped, you’ll have to strip it off first and rebrand it in your own colours. Consider logo, slogan, font even, to really catch the attention of those you drive past. Oh, and remember to drive safely, or you’ll inadvertently bring negative publicity to your company.


Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.