How to Choose a Ford Van Dealer

If you have your heart set on a Ford van for business or personal use, then you are often going to end up either buying or renting one. There are plenty of models to choose from and hundreds of thousands of dealers to check, but like all businesses, it is important to choose one that can actually provide the service and features that you are needing. What should you keep in mind when deciding which local van dealer to use, and how important is doing your research ahead of time?

The Van

There isn’t a single baseline van that all others are built around, and every customer has different priorities. When looking at a local transit dealer or registered Ford van dealer, it can be hard to decide what your starting point should be. 

Remember that not everybody values vans in the same way, either. One dealer might make them the center of their business, while another might be more focused on coaches or transport vehicles.

Alterations

Buying pre-owned vehicles often means that they have been modified in some way, even if it is something as small as a minor change to the seat. However, in some cases, a van might have seen major modifications to serve a certain purpose: replacing back seats with storage space (or the other way around) is one of the most common changes.

Depending on what you need the van for, some of these changes can be a great time-saver since you won’t have to install them yourself. The price might also be reduced depending on the quality of these changes and what kind of work would be needed to remove them. This might save you some time and money while also cutting down the price by a small amount.

Keep in mind that some changes are much more impactful on the entire vehicle. If you buy a pre-owned van that has a different engine installed, then the performance will be extremely different. The same can be said for wheels, something that might matter a lot more in bad weather or off-road terrain than on dry, flat roads.

Van Condition

When you buy a van from a local transit dealer, you might be buying something pre-owned or used. This isn’t a problem for many people, and there is often an expectation that older vans or cars are going to be used ones. However, most van dealers also have new vans that they need to take care of before they are sold.

In many cases, the dealership needs to maintain and protect the vehicles that they are trying to sell since they don’t want them to get damaged by the wind or rain. If you have a chance to see it in person, try to get approval for pre-purchase inspection: if you are denied for no reason, there is always a chance that the vehicle has suffered damage they don’t want you to know about.

On the other hand, some companies deny in-person inspections because they are worried about it compromising the vehicle as well. There is also a chance that the damage to the van is completely superficial and can be cleaned off or repaired easily.

Documents

It is important to remember that a vehicle purchase also comes with various documents, mostly detailing things like the service history and safety of the vehicle. Depending on what you are buying and which country you are in at the time, these documents can be completely different, but they all have the same basic function: proving that the vehicle is working as intended. Keep in mind that you will need to renew any vital documents that expire or are no longer valid with the van’s current state.

When buying the vehicle, you will usually have some leeway time to go and get it re-registered and to update important documents. However, you won’t generally be able to drive it until the legal work is complete and verified, so you won’t always be able to buy a van and use it immediately. Be sure to check with your Ford van dealer or local transit dealer to make sure that you know exactly what needs to be done after the purchase.

The Dealer

To get the van you want, you have to go through the Ford van dealer (or whatever other local transit dealer you are using). Checking out the dealer can be just as important as checking out the vehicle you want to buy, especially if you are looking to buy something highly specific for a work-related purpose. 

Price

The most obvious thing to judge a local transit dealer by is their prices: while some people might not mind paying slightly more to get a better vehicle from a good dealer, a lot of customers will be aiming to reduce their costs however they can. Like all products, there can be many factors in how price increases and decreases, and not all of them will be immediately visible if you are inspecting a van for the first time.

Businesses often have to look into prices ahead of time, especially if they need multiple vans. The cost of leasing or buying a single van might not be that much of a problem for a company that is able to absorb the costs. If they are buying ten of them, though, the difference between the cheapest and second-cheapest van dealer’s prices can quickly add up. The more you are paying for a van, the less money you might have left in the budget for improvements or modifications you might need to make, too.

For individual customers who are just buying the van for themselves, it really depends on how much the price matters when compared to the van itself. Some people who are really big fans of a specific model will happily pay extra to get it. Other people might simply want a functional van that they can rely on, which gives them more options to aim for something cheaper.

Remember that a low price isn’t always a good thing. While it can often just be because they no longer want to keep a van that nobody will buy for full price, there might also be serious problems with the vehicle. Be sure to ask why the price has fallen so far. A test drive might be something worth considering if you are worried about performance faults, too.

Location

It makes sense to assume that a local transit dealer would be somewhere close to you, but that can still really factor into how each of your purchase comes about. Remember that you aren’t always going to buy the van and immediately drive it home. 

In fact, depending on your purchase, it might not even be legal to drive the van away as soon as the purchase is complete. In other instances, you might be told that you have to drive it away within a set period so that the local transit dealer can free up space for another van. You will also have to make sure that it is registered and that you can legally drive it.

All of this can be much easier when working with a local transit dealer near your home or workplace, especially if you do not have somebody else that can drop you off or don’t have access to reliable public transport. Even a simple search for “local transit dealer near me” can give you plenty of details about nearby businesses to try.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.