In recent years, the demand for refrigerated vans has steadily increased. There´s no doubt that many business owners are trying to buy this kind of vehicle. But before purchasing a used refrigerated van, you should know what things to consider. There are several factors that you need to keep in mind when buying a refrigerated van for sale to make sure you receive value for your money.

A refrigerated van transports goods that need to be kept at specific temperatures. It can be compared to a mobile refrigerator and is usually fitted with a mechanical cooling system powered by an external source. Refrigerated vans take away heat from the storage area, keeping it cooler and maintaining a controlled environment.

You may ask yourself, “Do I need a refrigerated van?”

Well, refrigerated vans are a necessity for many businesses. Currently, there are millions of refrigerated vehicles in operation, ranging from small hire vans to large lorries. Across many sectors, refrigerated vehicles play a vital role in the transportation of various goods. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, butcher, fishmonger, florist or event caterer, you can benefit from having a refrigerated van.

6 Things to Consider When Buying a Refrigerated Van for Sale

If you own a frozen food business, then you’re aware of the benefits of driving a refrigerated van. By transporting your goods in bulk over long distances, a refrigerated van can help preserve the freshness of your products.

But before you purchase a used van for sale, you should be aware of several factors. To simplify the buying process and make sure the money you spend will be worthwhile, consider the following:

1. Condition of the vehicle

When browsing refrigerated vans, it’s best to conduct a general quality check first. Engine and transmission oil levels should be inspected. You should also check the tyres for consistent wear patterns and examine the engine bay for leaks or loose connections.

Additionally, remember to take a close look at the van’s body. Look for cracks or other damage that could negatively affect insulation, and make sure the steel sections are not rusted. Surface rust or other structural damage to the door frames suggest that the vehicle hasn't been properly maintained. Damage of this kind can be very costly when it comes to repairs. To avoid missing anything, you should view the van outside and in daylight.

Meanwhile, clean cargo areas are indicative of a well-maintained refrigerated van. A thoroughly clean cargo area is essential when transporting perishable goods.

2. Refrigeration system and temperature requirements

Different types of vans can maintain different temperatures. So be sure that the refrigeration components of your chosen van can maintain a reliable temperature for your particular goods. It is useless to purchase a refrigerated van if its temperature range is inadequate for preserving your goods.

Note that some items will degrade over a specific temperature range, which is why it’s essential to determine your products’ temperature requirements. Suppose you run a pharmacy. It’s thus vital that you have the right vehicle to keep medications chilled and avoid them from losing efficacy.

Once you’ve determined the temperature range your products need to remain in good condition, find refrigerated vehicles that can meet that requirement. And when examining a van’s refrigeration components, check that all temperature indications are accurate and uniform; any unusual variations may indicate a malfunction.

3. Right size and load capacity

You should also consider the van’s size and how much cargo you plan to transport before making your purchase. You don't want to overcrowd your van and risk damaging your goods by packing too much inside. If you operate a small business such as a flower shop or pharmacy, a hatchback-sized refrigerated van should suffice. In the case of larger-scale operations such as delivering raw fish or meat across cities, a refrigerated vehicle with a large payload capacity would be more appropriate to carry your goods efficiently and safely.

4. Distance and drop frequency

Another essential consideration is how far you usually move goods. Generally, if your main aim is to move products within your city, a refrigerated van is your best option. In tight spaces, vans are more manoeuvrable and can be loaded and unloaded with less hassle. However, if you're planning to make longer drives, a refrigerated truck is more suitable for keeping your products cool for longer periods.

When you plan to make lots of deliveries and your doors will be left open for quite some time, it’s wise to choose a van that offers temperatures cooler than what you need since every time the doors are opened, heat will enter the van.

5. Fuel efficiency

If a used refrigerator vehicle does not have good fuel economy, it will cost more to operate. That’s why it is important to consider fuel efficiency when purchasing a used refrigerated van.

Fuel is commonly used to power refrigerated vehicles’ engines and refrigeration components. As a result, a refrigerated van uses more fuel than a non-refrigerated vehicle of its size. Fuel-efficient technologies tend to be found in the latest models.

6. Maintenance records

Obtain all maintenance records for the vehicle. This will ensure you don't end up spending money on a faulty van. Maintenance records can give you a comprehensive look at the vehicle's service history, including oil changes, part replacements and recent repairs. If the van has a long history of recent repairs or you see a gap in the recommended service schedule, then it may be a good idea to look at another vehicle.

7. Budget

It's important to determine a price range before you go shopping. Go for reputable sellers who offer a range of price options you can rely on. And note that it may not always be best to choose the cheapest option. Consider the cost-benefit ratio; an unreliable van that often needs to be repaired won't add value to your business. Finally, if buying a vehicle isn't feasible at the moment, consider looking for refrigerated van hire deals.

In the Market for Second-Hand Refrigerated Vans?

A used refrigerated vehicle is a major investment. If you’re looking for reliable refrigerated vans, Big Van World offers high-quality second-hand options.

Get expert advice from our team and find the right van for you. Browse our extensive inventory of used vehicles today.