If you've been toying with the idea of buying a new van, there are some pretty compelling reasons for buying sooner rather than later.
You need to give careful thought as to how you're going to fund your purchase. If you're in the fortunate position of having sufficient savings put by, you may be able to buy your new van outright.
If not, you need to take the time to research the different types of finance deals available.
Check out the dealer finance
As a van buyer, it's certainly worth checking out the deals and discounts being offered by manufacturers. Some firms often run promotions through dealers, such as 0% finance, or substantial savings on selected models.
Nonetheless, it's worth bearing in mind that to qualify for an interest-free deal on a new van, you'll need a good credit record, a hefty deposit, and the ability to make large monthly repayments.
Consider the alternatives
Aside from interest-free deals, there are plenty more dealer finance options:
Hire purchase: With hire purchase, you will usually need to put down a small deposit, and then make payments in monthly instalments over a set period of years. After the final payment, you then own the van outright.
Contract purchase: With contract purchase, you agree to pay a fixed sum each month for a set time. When the payments end, you must hand back the van - or a lump sum to own it outright.
Finance leasing: Alternatively, with finance leasing the lender retains ownership, and you rent the van on a long-term basis for an agreed period.
Word of warning
While it may be tempting to look no further than the finance options offered by the dealer, you need to proceed carefully to ensure you're getting a good deal before signing up to forecourt finance. The key is to check the total amount payable, and compare this with a personal loan to see which offers better value.
Look at the top loan deals
Spend some time checking out the best personal loan rates currently available, as rates can vary widely.
While it's crucial to shop around, you do need to be wary of making multiple applications, as this could have a negative impact on your credit rating - and could reduce your chance of being accepted.
It's also worth bearing in mind that lenders are operating “risk-based pricing” which means they are only offering loans to the most creditworthy applicants - and even then, often at a premium.
At the same time, while the lender may advertise its “typical” rate, the actual rate you end up paying could be higher than the rate shown.
Finally, don't be afraid of haggling. You may be surprised at how much further you can reduce the price of the van simply by asking; and even if you can't get the price down, you may be able to negotiate some free extras.