Whether you are a new or established business owner planning to expand your fleet, buying a used refrigerated vehicle is one of the best options. Usually, brand new refrigerated vehicles are pretty expensive and not within a small business’ budget, and hence they turn towards pre-owned options. On the flip side, the risks involved in buying a pre-owned vehicle are baggage on their own.
What if we tell you it’s entirely safe to purchase a used refrigerated vehicle and will also save you a lot of money that you can invest elsewhere. Yes, it’s possible to get a good deal on a refrigerated vehicle that best fits your business requirement. You have to keep a few things in mind. Here are the top five factors to consider before buying a used refrigerated vehicle.
Plan a Budget
A crucial step in determining the vehicle you should buy is to determine the budget you are comfortable with and stick to it. Keep in mind that the more expensive a vehicle is, the higher the fuel efficiency it has and the warranty. And if a vehicle is being sold at a dirt-cheap rate, something has to be problematic.
Do note that it can take several months to find the perfect vehicle for your needs. If you need a vehicle right away, go ahead and put an offer in on the first vehicle you see. But if you’ve time, consider several options and narrow the list down to four or five vehicles to conduct in-depth research.
Inspect the Vehicle Thoroughly
Before you purchase a used refrigerated vehicle, learn more about the vehicle’s condition, like whether the inspection and maintenance records are up to date, if the engine is working well and if the vehicle has been serviced correctly. Check if the vehicle has been in a collision or been in a flooded area.
Ensure to inspect the vehicle in person during the day, so it’s easier for you to spot issues with the wear and tear of the tires and the paint. Look for signs like rust, bubbling paint, leaks, and other such problems. You’ll want to be confident that you’re getting a good deal on a vehicle in good condition. If it helps, take your trusted mechanic along to get the job done.
Next, check the total weight of your vehicle. It is mandatory to obtain a goods vehicle operator’s license in the UK if the vehicle is over 3.5 tonnes gross plated weight. Bear in mind, operating a goods vehicle without a permit could lead to prosecution and the vehicle being impounded.
Make Sure the Vehicle Suits Your Needs
If the vehicle you are considering doesn’t suit your needs, it’ll just be a dead asset to you. The two most important factors are attaining the right temperature for the goods and sufficient space to fit the goods.
Speaking of the temperature first, various industries have a set temperature range that is ideal for the relevant goods. The food and beverages industry usually requires a temperature below zero degrees, whereas the storage temperature range in the pharmaceutical industry can be anywhere from 15-degree Celsius to -40-degree Celsius.
Ensure that the refrigerated vehicle you’re considering can maintain the correct temperature range and give you precision control over the refrigeration. Secondly, calculate the load space of the refrigerated vehicle.
If you have a clear estimate of the amount of goods that needs to be carried at once, you’ll be able to quickly zero down on some options. Ensure that the loadspace is not too tight and has some wiggle room even after your entire haul has been loaded.
Check Up on the Fuel Efficiency
Check the mileage before you put your money down on a used refrigerated vehicle. Start with calculating the vehicle’s gross mileage, which is an indicator of the daily driving range of the vehicle. It is derived based on how much fuel the vehicle used in a year.
Note that the fuel efficiency of a refrigerated vehicle is lower than that of a standard vehicle because of the additional consumption by the refrigeration unit. A report shows that the refrigeration unit consumes 8 percent of the total fuel consumption of the refrigerated vehicle.
Needless to say, if the pre-owned refrigerated vehicle itself has low efficiency, running the refrigeration unit on top of it will mean a further decrease in the number, and it will end up costing you more. Therefore, you mustn’t compromise on mileage to save on the price of the vehicle. The slight premium you pay for a vehicle with good mileage will help you keep that much in fuel cost.
Inspect the Maintenance Records
As mentioned before in this article, check the vehicle’s upkeep, including the inspection and service records. These records will give you a 360-degree idea of the vehicle’s maintenance history, repairs, and part replacement, among others.
If the documents are not available, you can ask for details like VIN, license plate number, state in which the vehicle is registered. With these details, you can head to any online vehicle history report (VHR) generator to generate a report.
You will get details like ownership history, title history, additional history, and detailed history. Ensure that the title history doesn’t show the vehicle listed as a salvaged vehicle or with a lien against it.
Once you have a complete picture of the vehicle’s history, its upkeep, condition, mileage, and whether it suits your needs or not, it will be easier for you to make the purchase decision.