As we get close to the end of the year, you may be thinking about trading in your current van or opting to purchase a new one. Given that you’re likely to spend a lot of time on the road in your new van, you’ll need to ensure that you’re safe out there. To help you with this, the AA Van Insurance team has pulled together a few top safety tips to help you ensure your new van is right for you.
1. When driving, visibility is key so before you buy ensure that you have good visibility through all cab windows and mirrors. As well as your own safety, being able to see other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians easily will help reduce your risk of being involved in an incident.
2. Double-check that all mirrors are correctly fitted and, particularly if you’re buying a second-hand van, in good condition.
3. Before you complete the purchase, check that all gauges and warning lights are operating correctly. Particularly if you’re buying second-hand we would recommend having a mechanic with a knowledge of commercial vehicles giving the van a quick once-over.
4. Before you take your new van out onto the road, take a few minutes to check that the safety belts, driving controls and seat are correctly adjusted for your needs.
5. Ensure that your windscreen wipers, washers and demisters are in working order. During the winter seasons with rain, sleet and possible even snow falling down, these will be vital to ensuring you can see while out on the road.
What to look out for on the van’s exterior
If you’re buying second-hand, there is a risk that the van may be displaying some signs of wear-and-tear. While not all of these need to be a cause of concern, there are some warning signs that you should watch out for.
1. Check the thread depth on all tyres, including the spare if one is included, as well as the condition of the wheel rims. If the tyres are in need of replacing then ensure that this is done before you buy to protect both your own safety and your wallet.
2. Ensure that the tax, insurance and CVRT discs on the vehicle are valid. If these discs are not present or you have doubts about their authenticity, then walking away from the deal may be safer.
3. Check the engine oil, water, fuel and windscreen washer levels. It may also be worth checking for leaks as well as checking the ground under where the van has been parked for pools of fluid.
4. Make sure that all external lights are correctly fitted and adjusted to the correct specifications. If you have any doubts ask a mechanic to double-check this.
Finally, before you drive off in your new van take a few minutes to check that the brakes and steering are operating properly. Once you’ve carried out all these checks, the only thing left to sort is your van insurance and on that front we have some good news. Get a quote with AA Van Insurance today and you’ll receive an automatic €75 discount.