A minibus is a major investment, and whether you’re looking to purchase one for a growing family, community purposes, or for work, it’s worth putting in your due diligence while viewing vehicles. The dangers of purchasing a car without scrutiny or investigation are real and could cost you more than its value in repairs. Here are five key things for you to bear in mind when purchasing a used minibus.
When you’re on the hunt for any kind of vehicle, longevity should always be near the top of your list. With this in mind, it’s crucial to review the mileage of any minibus for sale; low mileage indicates a lower likelihood of anything falling in the short term, while high mileage indicates high wear on moving parts and a higher likelihood of an expensive repair in your stars. Minibuses with higher mileage come at a lower price on second-hand markets though, so your budget is also a consideration here.
Following on from checking the mileage, you may also want to review the service history of the vehicle. Important clues to the health of the minibus for sale can be found here, including if there are any perennial problems you might have to make peace with down the line. If a vehicle’s service history is particularly long, this is a red flag for even more costly repairs – sunk cost fallacy is a very real thing, and with a minibus that constantly requires work, you could find yourself paying double for a van that only works half the time.
It’s easy to get lost in service history records and spot-checks for rust, but the needs of the passengers are also an important factor to consider in viewing any minibus for sale. Aside from scrutinizing the upholstery and the state of the central console, take a step back and ask yourself: “do these interior features suit the needs of my passengers?” These needs may be ample seating for multiple children on a school run, legroom and grab rails for a disabled passenger, or even ramp access.
Check for any evidence of rust on the bodywork. Common problem areas are the inside corners of doorframes, wheel arches, and under the bumpers – but be sure to check the hinges of the bonnet as well. Any signs of aggressive rust could indicate expensive panel replacements in the future – and an abundance of rust could indicate water damage, spelling danger for your chassis and engine.
Lastly, see about taking the minibus for a test drive. You’re looking out for several things during this test: any give or free play in the steering; any unusual rubbing or juddering sounds from the engine; and if the brakes feel solid and responsive. vague steering could indicate problems with the power steering, while certain engine noises could indicate the need for a cambelt replacement and unresponsive brakes may be as simple as replacing pads but could point to an issue with the brake fluid hydraulic system.
Featured image: Pixabay (Davide Dalese).