The humble van. When you break it down, it’s a box on wheel. A large box – big enough to carry large amounts of everything from furniture to foodstuffs.
Despite this unflattering summary, van ownership does carry a certain mystique – the allure of the “white van man”, tootling through life in his spacious transit, waxing lyrical on every subject possible. Is it any wonder we’ve all thought about buying a van?
But is it really, in the final analysis, worth it?
Before you hand over your cash and pick up the keys, give this article a thorough read through, because there might be a cheaper alternative to buying your own van.
The Case For
The A-Team had a van. And what a van. With just a quick welding montage, that vehicle could be turned from humble conveyance into whatever BA and Hannibal needed it to be.
We grew up wanting to drive that A-Team van (mohawk and gold chains optional), but it’s not just nostalgia that has us all scrambling to buy our own vans. There are a few good reasons to splash out on a vehicle of your own.
Firstly there’s storage. When you’ve got a van, you’ve got the capacity to move pretty much anything pretty much anywhere. At the drop of a hat.
Moving house, picking up bulk purchases or moving bulky work equipment becomes easy as pie. So there you have it.
If you like the A-Team and need to move lots of items regularly, buy a van.
The Case Against
Well, that’s not too convincing. Liking Mr T. is no reason to choose a vehicle – and a weekly shop for two doesn’t need a huge carrying capacity.
And that’s just the tip of the “don’t buy a van” iceberg. Vans are expensive. For the price of a van, you can buy something better looking, faster, and easier to drive. Something that would have Jeremy Clarkson nodding his approval.
You also won’t have friends calling you every time they need to move a couch, trampoline, flat pack shed or other bulky item. Because that’s something they never tell you in your van’s manual:
“You will now be a taxi driver for every family member, friend or acquaintance who won’t pay a couple of quid for man and van hire.”
And that’s the real crux of it. Why would you buy a van when you can hire one? That comes with a driver?
The Prosecution Rests
It’s simple. Unless you desperately need a van for your job, or you’re a fool-pitying soldier of fortune operating out of the Los Angeles underground, buying a van isn’t worth the money you’ll pay.
It makes far more sense to pick up the phone and get in touch with a local man and van hire company – who’ll do all the hard work, leaving you free to buy a vehicle that’s a little more fun.