Havana   Cuba   1990

One of the most effective ways of ensuring vehicle performance is, thankfully, very simple: you’ve got to ensure you get the right one for the job! Vehicles can be modified, of course, but there remains no substitute for carefully planning and picking the perfect car or van to carry out the necessary tasks. This guide should help make that decision easier:

What is it going to be used for?

This remains probably the most important factor to consider in terms of picking the right vehicle. What will it be used for on a day-to-day basis? For instance, a luxury cab driver would be wise to invest in a high-quality saloon car or van, complete with as many mod-cons as they can afford to impress clients. On the other hand, a plumber will need to invest in a vehicle with plenty of storage space (usually a van, available from companies such as Jennings Motor Group), so that all the parts can be carried around without the need to constantly move back and forth. Both might require driving long distances, so will need to go with a manufacturer who has a reputation for cars that last. Write down a list of what you need, and ensure the vehicle you get ticks all the boxes.

What are the funding options?

There’s no point denying it: modern vehicles just aren’t cheap. It’s therefore important to ensure that the right pricing options are taken into account. Many people (and businesses) choose to lease their vehicle rather than paying for it outright. In some cases, this is sensible: if you’re unsure how much it will actually get used, then choosing to rent for a couple of weeks and finding out is far better than getting a nasty shock. Those that know they’ll definitely be using the vehicle could buy on a credit payment, which will enable them to access a vehicle that would otherwise be out of their price range. Going second-hand can also be a money saver, as long as the vehicle is checked thoroughly to make sure it’s in good condition.

Resale value

It’s more or less accepted that motorists will have to sell their car for less than they bought it. However, there are some car manufacturers whose vehicles won’t depreciate with quite the same rapidity as some of the others. Ford, for instance, has always had a reputation for quality builds, and as a result owners won’t always make a big loss when selling them on. For a business that runs ten cars or so, depreciation needs to be taken into account, as depreciation can quickly rack up into thousands of pounds over a couple of years.

Durability

It’s vital to ensure that a vehicle will be able to last the necessary distances for the planned duties. A courier, for instance, will need to invest in a car or van that is proven in its ability to rack up the miles. It’s for this reason that something like the Transit van is so common – it’s earned a reputation for sheer reliability and trust-worthiness. The last thing any company or sole trader needs is to continually be paying for their vehicles to be repaired.

Is it flexible?

Finally, it’s essential to ensure that the vehicle can cope with any extras that need to be fitted. Is it likely that a trailer will need to be used if boot space isn’t sufficient? Can the seats be put down? How much storage space is there in the back, and can more be installed (or taken away) if needed? The vehicle might well do what the owners need it to do today, but will it still be able to do so ten months down the line? Flexibility is invaluable in any big investment, and a vehicle is no different.

 

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on March 6, 2014 in You Don't Say.

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