As new safety and entertainment features are added to cargo vans each year, the price increases. Combine that with inflation, and it’ll take a fortune to buy a new cargo van.
If you own a business where you need to transport goods, then an expensive cargo van will cut into your profits real quick.
Cargo vans are so expensive because:
- They protect your cargo from damage
- Cargo vans have special features
- You pay for the brand
- They have advanced safety features
- Driving assistance technology
- They require stronger engines to transport extra load
They’re Designed to Protect Your Cargo
One of the biggest reasons why cargo vans are so expensive is because they’re designed to protect your shipment against damage.
This can be a lifesaver. If you’re transporting fragile goods and they break, it’ll cause problems.
Most cargo vans have a protective layer of material like plastic sheeting that avoids breakage. Other protection features include:
These will help secure your shipment while driving.
Buy Your Own Cargo Protection Equipment
Even if you’re looking to save a few extra dollars, don’t buy a cargo van without cargo protection equipment like racks and straps. This equipment might cost extra in the short term, but it’ll save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
To save money, buy and install protective equiptment yourself. Simply head over to your local hardware store and buy everything you’ll need depending on what you transport. This way, you can customize your cargo van to your liking for far less money.
Most Cargo Vans Have Special Features
Another big reason why cargo vans are expensive is that they have specialized features. It’s helpful to write on a piece of paper what you’re looking for and avoid cargo vans with excessive features.
A few modern options available for cargo vans include;
- Heated steering wheels
- Electric windows
- Air conditioner
- Ventilated and heated seats
- Video games
- High-end stereo
- Remote start
There are hundreds of options available on most modern cargo vans. It’s easy to see how by just adding a few of these options, the price of a van will shoot through the roof.
However, some of these options are necessary. For example, power steering and electric windows.
Nobody wants to get an arm workout every time they turn the steering wheel. Imagine trying to park your loaded cargo van without power steering. A real nightmare. Also, you don’t want to strain your elbow every time you open the window.
However, some add-ons are totally unnecessary.
Don’t Buy Cargo Vans With Features You Won’t Need
If you’re always driving long distances to deliver goods, then features like television, high-end stereos, and massaging seats can help when you’re taking a break. But for some owners, this is a waste of money since they won’t need it.
To save money when buying a cargo van, make a list of features you’ll need and ones you won’t. For example, if you use your cargo van for business but take your kids on road trips on the weekend, then you’ll need television and video games to keep them entertained.
But let’s say you’re starting a business and need to save every penny, then go for the bare essentials and leave everything else. This ensures you don’t waste money on features you won’t need.
You Pay For The Brand
When you step foot on a car lot, you’ll notice that some cargo vans are much more expensive than other brands.
This doesn’t mean that one cargo van is three times better than another. You’re paying for the brand, status, and exclusivity that comes with said van.
Modern Cargo Vans Have Advanced Safety Systems
As the speed of modern vehicles increased, so did the level of safety need to protect the driver, passengers, and cargo. A few decades ago, the only safety system vehicles had were seatbelts. Obviously, that isn’t enough, and today, other standard safety features include;
- Stability control systems
- Anti-lock brakes
- Shatter-resistant glass
- Parking assist
- Anti-collision warning systems
All these features cost thousands of dollars to develop and produce. This expense is passed on to the customer. It’s easy to see how the price of cargo vans and vehicles in general has skyrocketed over the last few years.
Don’t Buy Unnecessary Technology
If you’re trying to save money, avoid unnecessary technology. Now, some safety features like airbags are essential.
However, if you’re trying to save money, don’t buy parking assistance if you can easily park without it
They’re expensive, and although they’re helpful, you may not need them.
Driving Assistance Technology
Another reason why cargo vans are so expensive is because of advanced driving technology. This makes vehicles easier to operate.
Standard driving assistance features include;
- Blindspot information systems
- Lane departure warning
- Cruise control
- Senses and cameras
Although these are helpful when transporting goods and parking your cargo van, it’s pretty expensive and sometimes unnecessary.
Avoid Driving Assistance If You Can
If you’re a newer driver, then driving assistance can be super helpful for parallel parking and changing lanes. But if you’ve been driving for years and confident in your skills, then you may have little need for them.
Instead, opt for a cargo van without these features since it’s much cheaper.
Cargo Vans Have Bigger Engines
Due to the large amount of weight a cargo van carries, it needs a larger engine to power the van, passengers, and cargo forward.
Larger engines are often more expensive and take more time to build. This is another reason why the price of cargo vans is sky-high.
If You’re Not Transporting A Lot Of Goods, Opt For A Smaller Engine
There’s not much you can do other than opt for a cargo van with a smaller engine. This can help you save some cash if you don’t carry heavy loads.
But if you’re carrying heavy loads regularly, then this can be more expensive in the long run since the engine isn’t powerful enough to take the extra weight.
This is why it’s important to always check the maximum amount of weight a cargo van can hold before buying it. You’ll typically see this at the bottom of one of the windows or in your owner’s manual. You can also search for it on the internet if you don’t have a manual.
12 Easy Tips To Save Money On A Cargo Van
Now that we understand why cargo vans are so expensive let’s go through 12 easy tips that’ll help you save money on a new cargo van.
1. Buy Base Models
Most cargo vans you see on the car lot have several options already added. Also known as add-ons, most of them are totally unnecessary, and you won’t even notice them on your van anyways.
They also have a huge markup so prepare to pay ridiculous amounts of money for them. Common options include;
- Bold and iconic colors
- Wheels and rims
- All-wheel drive
- Booming systems
- Infotainment systems
These options may seem insignificant, but they cost anywhere from $700 to $5000.
To avoid these add-ons, always ask for a base model without any options. That can easily save you a few thousand dollars.
2. Shop Around When Next Years Models Are Released
Just like phones, the price of last year’s cargo vans goes down when a newer version is released. This is because the older models become less popular. This causes prices to drop.
Vehicles depreciate in value fast. So you can save 10% of your allocated budget by simply waiting for a new model to be released and buying your cargo van then.
3. Never Buy From A Dealership
Although you can get excellent deals and discounts at a dealership, their prices are often inflated. They have to pay rent, their employees, royalties, and other expenses. Guess who they’re going to pass that expense onto? You, the customer.
Instead of buying from a dealership, buy from someone who’s looking to sell. Regular people don’t have to pay salaries and royalties, so the price will be far lower. Also, if the seller is desperate to sell because they’re relocating, then you can negotiate an even lower price.
4. Shop Around
Just like you shop around to find the best deal for household items, shop around when looking for a cargo van. Go to different social media platforms, join related groups, and network with people.
This may take some time, but by shopping around, you’ll easily save a few hundred dollars. Make sure you know how to check if the van is in good condition though, or know someone who can check it for you.
5. Find Superficial Damage to Negotiate the Price
Now that you’ve found a good deal on a cargo van, don’t buy it immediately.
You can still save some extra money. Look for anything wrong with the car and bring it to the seller’s attention. This will help you when negotiating a lower price.
Common issues to look for include;
- Scratches on the body of the cargo van
- Old and worn-out tires
- Torn upholstery
- Stains on the interior
- Cracked windows
- Damaged mechanical parts
Bring all these issues to the seller’s attention immediately, and it’ll help you save money.
6. Don’t Be Scared To Negotiate
Now that you’ve brought these issues to your seller’s attention, use them to negotiate a better deal.
Negotiating can be tricky but don’t be scared to negotiate. After watching a few videos on negotiation online, you’ll be able to save a few hundred dollars on your cargo van.
7. Pay With Cash
Buying a van without a loan isn’t always possible, especially if you own a business and need on-hand cash. But if you can afford it, buy your cargo van in cash. Although it can sting to give away so much money, you’ll save thousands of dollars in the long term.
There’s also something called balloon lease which is a lump sum payment attached to your loan. It’s made towards the end of your expenses and has a far higher interest rate than the loan itself. This can cause you to easily pay 2 to 3 times the amount you’d pay if you bought the van with cash.
Another reason to buy cargo vans cash is that it forces you to spend as little money as possible. But if you’re taking out a loan, it’s easy to get carried away and pay a little extra since you aren’t feeling it immediately.
8. Read The Fine Print On A Loan
If you don’t have the finances to buy a cargo van with cash, then take out a loan, but always read the fine print. This allows you to understand what you’re getting yourself into.
Before taking out a loan, know what percentage of interest you’re paying. Also, don’t accept the first financing option that comes your way. Just like you shopped around for a good deal on a cargo van, look for the best financing deals. This will save you thousands in the long run.
Don’t forget to check costs like;
- Interest rates
- Balloon payment
- Hidden costs.
Make sure you know your credit score before taking out a loan. Credit scores have a significant impact on the amount of interest you pay. This is where having a credit card and being responsible with it comes in handy. To check your credit score, simply head over to annualcreditreport.com.
Last, beware of appealing deals like a 0% deposit. This may seem like a good deal, but it’s often more expensive and has higher interest rates.
9. Use Cheaper Fuel
CNBC created an informative video detailing why most people don’t need Premium fuel for their vehicles. AAA estimates that Americans waste over $2 billion on Premium fuel that they don’t need.
In short, the only vehicles that benefit from Premium gas are high-performance sports cars.
When you go to your local gas station, you’ll notice there are 3 types of gas. Unleaded Regular, Unleaded Plus, and Unleaded Premium. The main compound that sets them apart is Octane. Octane determines how resistant fuel is to combustion.
Regular gas will have an octane rating of around 87. Plus has a rating of 89 and Premium gas around 91. The higher an Octane rating, the more resistant the fuel is to combustion. This is important since engines require gas to explode at the right time. If the octane level is too low, fuel will explode too early, causing engine knocking.
This is when the air and fuel mixture explodes before the spark plug ignites it. Engine knocking can damage a vehicle’s engine easily.
A rule of thumb to go by is that the more pressure your engine creates, the higher the level of Octane you’ll need. But most engines don’t generate enough force to warrant Premium gas. So save some money, and opt for regular gas.
10. Service Your Cargo Van On Time
Most cargo van owners see the act of servicing their vehicles as a chore. But it saves you a lot of money. Think of this as going to the doctor. If you have an illness and go to the doctor regularly, you’ll catch it early, and you won’t have to spend money on expensive treatments.
But if you wait for the problem to bubble to the surface, it’ll be more advanced, and you’ll have to pay for an expensive operation.
The same goes for your cargo vans.
If you service it on time, you’ll catch problems when they’re small, and it’ll cost far less to repair.
A simple rule to follow is, service your cargo van every 6 months or 6000 miles. Whichever comes first.
11. Only Go To Quality Mechanics
When you’re taking your cargo van for a service, remember that not all mechanics are equal.
Some mechanics are passionate about their work and care about your long-term business as a customer. Others are just looking for a quick buck. Do your research and only work with mechanics you know and trust.
Finding a trustworthy mechanic isn’t tricky. Search for mechanics in your area and read reviews on their work. Do they treat their customers well? Are they reliable? Do they explain to you what’s wrong with your vehicle? These are all factors to consider when reading online reviews.
12. Get Insurance
Just like servicing your cargo van, insurance seems like a chore. But if you’re in an accident, a good insurance policy can save you thousands of dollars.
Look for a trustworthy insurance company that cares for its customers. They must also be easy to work with because you want them to respond quickly if you’re in an accident.