What determines the price of a used van in the UK?

    van on motorway

    Looking to buy or sell a second-hand van? Then there are a number of things you have to consider. 

    Finding the right price is determined by various factors that influence your van’s value. Some of these factors, like the current market, are out of your control. But here we’ll share our tips for steps you can take to get the best price. 

    What determines your van’s value?

    navy van parked up
    There are several different factors that influence your van’s price including age, condition and service history to name a few.

    A van’s value is down to a number of elements that determine its market worth:

    🛣 Age and mileage: Older vans with higher mileage have lower value because of wear and tear accrued over those miles. Low mileage vans tend to go for more as they have much more road ahead of them.

    🚚 Condition: The overall condition, including interior, exterior, and mechanical components, significantly impacts value.

    📋 Service history: Regular maintenance documented in a service history can increase the van’s value.

    💷 Market demand: Popular models, or those in high demand with dealers, fetch higher prices. On the flipside, if there’s wide availability of your model, your price could suffer.

    🛰 Optional extras: Additional features like upgraded interiors or the latest technology can add value (see below).

    📈 Economic factors: Market conditions, such as company vehicle tax policies, fuel prices, and economic stability, can seriously influence van prices.

    How to accurately value your van

    There are several steps you can take to find the right price for your van.

    The first is to check out the free Motorway valuation tool! Get an instant, accurate valuation that’s based on live market data.

    It’s also worth researching similar other models to your van that have the same sort of mileage and condition to gauge market prices. Employing a professional assessment is also particularly useful – especially for rare or high-value vans.

    And look into how age and mileage affects your particular model of van so that you can adjust your expectations accordingly. Depreciation is a factor that seriously affects your van’s price.

    How depreciation affects used van prices

    Depreciation is a massive factor in getting the price you want for your van.

    Depreciation significantly influences the pricing of used vans in the UK. New vans start depreciating the moment they’re driven off the lot, with the steepest drop occurring in the first few years.

    This initial depreciation can result in substantial price differences between new and nearly-new vans. As vans age and accumulate mileage, depreciation continues to affect their value, albeit at a slower rate.

    So it’s important to take great care of your van if you want to get the price you’re looking for!

    What to consider when buying a van

    a man driving a white van
    Make sure you don’t get caught out with an overpriced van that you then struggle to afford.

    Choosing between a new or used van

    When deciding between new and second-hand vans, whether they’re commercial vehicles, large vans, small vans, panel vans, or others, there are a number of things to think about:

    New vansUsed vans
    CostHigher price tag due to their good condition.More affordable due to their depreciation.
    DepreciationInstantly depreciate and will lose value rapidly in the first few years.Depreciate slower over time and will hold their comparable worth.
    ConditionOffer pristine condition and the latest features.Vary in condition based on mileage and upkeep.
    Warranty and maintenanceOften come with warranties and lower maintenance costs. 
    Electric vans may also be cheaper to maintain than diesel ones, as there are fewer parts to repair.
    Require more frequent repairs, particularly when diesel or petrol models.
    Electric vans may be cheaper and easier to maintain, even when used
    CustomisationCan be customised to your specifications.May already have modifications or limitations.

    Tips for negotiating the best price

    Whether you’re buying a brand new or second-hand van, negotiating effectively can help you secure a great price:

    🧑‍💻 Research market prices: Understand typical price ranges for the van model you’re interested in, so you can negotiate from an informed position.

    🕵️ Inspect the van: Give the van a thorough examination to identify any issues that could affect its value.

    💡 Highlight your research: Show the seller or dealer that you’ve done your homework on pricing and market trends.

    🚶 Be willing to walk away: Don’t settle for a price that doesn’t align with your research. Be prepared to walk away if negotiations aren’t fruitful.

    💸 Consider additional costs: Don’t forget to factor in additional costs like taxes, registration fees, and insurance when evaluating the total price and running costs.

    📆 Timing: Buying towards the end of the month, or year-end, can sometimes result in better deals as dealers aim to meet their sales targets.

    📊 Negotiate financing options: Explore financing terms and interest rates to ensure they fit within your budget.

    The financial aspects of owning a van

    There are plenty of financial implications to consider with being a van owner such as insurance, fuel and depreciation.

    Owning a van involves several financial considerations beyond the initial purchase price. Depreciation, fuel costs, insurance, and maintenance all impact the overall cost of ownership.

    Insurance Costs and Recommendations

    Van insurance is based on factors including:

    🟢 Driver age

    🟢 Van type

    🟢 Usage

    Comprehensive coverage is advisable to protect against theft, accidents, and damage. Comparing quotes from different insurers can help you find the best rate for your specific need.

    Maintenance and Running Costs

    Regular maintenance is essential for keeping vans running smoothly and preventing costly repairs. Factors influencing running costs include:

    🔧  Fuel efficiency

    🔧  Tyre wear

    🔧  Servicing intervals

    Budgeting for routine maintenance is crucial for the UK’s diverse driving conditions to ensure vans remain reliable and cost-effective over their lifespan.

    Tips for saving money as a van owner

    🚚 Choose the right van: Picking a van that suits your practical needs, without unnecessary features, can lessen upfront costs and ongoing expenses.

    ⛽️ Fuel efficiency: Go for a van with a good fuel economy rating to save on spending money at the petrol pump. This is especially true if you put the miles in! Electric vans are widely available and operate at much cheaper running costs – especially if you can install an at-home wallbox.

    🤝 Get the best insurance deal: Compare quotes and consider higher deductibles or bundling policies to lower premiums without sacrificing coverage.

    🔧 Regular maintenance: Stick to a maintenance routine to prevent costly repairs and extend the van’s lifespan. This will also bolster its resale value.

    🛞 Driving habits: Fuel-efficient driving techniques, such as smooth acceleration and less idling, can save on fuel costs.

    📒 Consider the van’s resale value: Maintaining the van’s condition and keeping service records both maximise its resale value when it’s time to sell.

    📊 Long-term financing: Look at the total cost of owning your van, including interest rates and loan terms, to choose a financing option that suits you

    What are the best-selling vans on Motorway in 2024

    The vans are ranked in order of percentage sold on the Motorway platform over the last 12 months.

    RankingsVan model% sold Average price soldAverage mileageAverage age (years)
    1stFord Ranger31%£20,10051,4005
    2ndFord Transit21%£7,20085,9008
    3rdCitroen Berlingo16%£6,30074,5008
    4thVolkswagen Transporter13%£19,90059,1006
    5thVauxhall Vivaro10%£7,60089,0008

    *The average prices can change depending on mileage, age, and other factors.


    Are vans dropping in price?

    Yes and no! Vans in the UK have shown different pricing trends that are influenced by economic conditions, market demand and other factors. While some models may experience price drops due to depreciation or market fluctuations, others may maintain or increase in value based on popularity and condition.

    Is there a shortage of vans in the UK?

    Yes. The UK is currently experiencing a shortage of vans. Factors such as supply chain disruptions and global market dynamics have led to sporadic shortages of certain van models, which has impacted pricing.

    Ready to sell?

    Want to read more about owning, valuing, and selling your van? Check out more of our guides here, covering everything from depreciation to maintaining your van’s value. Understand your van’s worth in the wider market.