by Gauk
Mon, Aug 29, 2016 5:15 AM

Van Buyers Glossary De-mystifying the Jargon of the Van Buying Process

There are many difficult terms in motoring, and particularly in the van buying process. Dealers may look to capitalise on confusion so it is important to familiarise yourself with the jargon before you buy. The glossary below should put you on the right track.

4×4
Referring to an off-road vehicle that has a similar interior and level of comfort to a car. These are known as sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in America.
APR
Meaning the ‘annual percentage rate’ – the higher the APR, the more you will have to repay in interest on your new van loan.
Cabin
The area in which the driver and a passenger are seated within a van.
Chassis cab
A type of van with a car-like interior and front body and an adaptable frame at the back on which you can build to suit your needs. The Ford Transit Chassis Cab was voted International Van of the Year in 2007.
Contract hire
An alternative to buying a van outright – contract hire allows you to lease the vehicle over a set period before returning it to the lease company.
Conversions
Vans can be altered to suit your needs. For example, if you run a business from a van, you may need shelving in the body of the vehicle. There are many linings available for all kinds of needs – from storage vehicles, to ice-cream vans and mobile fish n chip shops.
Depreciation
How much the van’s value drops over a period of time – if you take out a van leasing agreement, the leasing company will estimate how much the van’s value will depreciate over the leasing term in order to establish your monthly payments.
Down-payment
In order to reduce your monthly payments, you can pay money upfront when you buy a van – this is called a down-payment.
DVLA
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is one of the leading motoring bodies in the UK and all changes in vehicle ownership must be recorded here.
Frails
These are fitted on the side of vehicles as an additional rack.
Hybrids
A relatively new technology that combines an electric motor with regular fuel to produce a more economical and environmentally friendly way of driving. Buying a hybrid van will help you save on road tax and congestion charges.
Lease
A method of financing a van instead of buying it outright. You make monthly payments over a set period. These are calculated by subtracting the depreciation cost (i.e. the cost at the end of the term) from the retail price. At the end of the term you simply return the van to the leasing company, allowing you to secure a new van every few years.
Microvan
A small van with a box like body, and usually a large board at the back. Seating can vary from two to nine and they are seen as a good alternative for small businesses as they have tax and insurance benefits.
Minibus
A name give to large passenger vans, often used to transport small groups of people – such as for school day trips.
MoT
This stands for the Ministry of Transport but is most widely used to refer to the testing method in the UK – each van or car over three years old must pass an annual test to prove it is roadworthy. The price of the MoT varies based on the size of the van. Light vans are in the same category as cars, but minibuses and light good vehicles are charged marginally higher fees.
MPG
If you are to consider all costs of the van you buy you must closely examine the MPG – miles per gallon. This will indicate how far the van can travel for every gallon of petrol in the tank. Bear in mind that you will never achieve the MPG figures quoted by dealers as tests are carried out in idyllic conditions which are nearly impossible to replicate. However, these will act as a good indication of how economical the van is.
MPV
Standing for multi-purpose vehicle, this is usually a minivan with room for around six-15 people.
Panel van
A type of van that is based on the chassis of a family car. These were particularly popular in the 1970s but have drifted out of fashion in more recent times.
PCP
Referring to personal contract purchase, this is broadly the same as van leasing but you have the option to buy at the end of the term.
People carrier
A passenger minivan that generally holds from six-15 people.
Pickup truck
A light commercial vehicle with a separate cabin and rear load area.
Ply lining
Referring to a van having built-in plywood installations such as shelving. There are many ply lining companies in the UK that also deal with roof racks, conversions and more.
Refrigerated van
A van that is used to carry cold goods.
Residual value
The value of a car at the end of a leasing term after depreciation – those with higher residual values are the easiest to sell on.
Roof racks
Offer additional storage space by effectively adding a shelf to the roof of the vehicle.
Tailgate
The board at the back of the van – this is an American term. In British English, a tailgate will generally refer to a door on the back of a vehicle.
V5
This is the logbook used for all British cars and vans for registration purposes –do not buy a used van that does not carry a logbook as it may be stolen.
VIN
This is an abbreviation of vehicle identification number – a code used to find information about a vehicle’s history such as when and where it was built. Ensure that the VIN on the van matches the VIN in the logbook before you buy a van.
published by Gauk