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If you are in the market for a good used vehicle then you have likely come across many minivans in your search. One thing that constantly surprises people about used minivans is how incredibly cheap they can be purchased for.
If you are wondering why used minivans are so cheap in comparison with other vehicles then you are in the right spot.
Used minivans are normally cheaper because they don’t have the new features, families don’t want to use a high mileage vehicle, and minivans aren’t as popular as other types.
The less popular a vehicle is the less you can charge for it when it’s used as it’s all about supply and demand. Since many people will sell a minivan once they deem it “unreliable” (whether it is or not) or that it has “too high” of miles then there is a lot of supply of those vehicles.
The demand is also low because the people who would traditionally buy more used vehicles (younger people) wouldn’t be caught dead driving a minivan.
This excess supply and lower demand is what causes used minivans to be able to be purchased far cheaper than other vehicles with comparable years and mileage.
Lack of features is also something that many used vehicles struggle with when compared to brand new models. For example, if you were to purchase a minivan from 5-10 years ago it might not have seats that fold into the floor, might not have a backup camera, etc.
Although all used vehicles will be lacking features of a new model for obvious reasons these newer features are especially helpful on minivans which in turn means less people are willing to buy a minivan without these options available.
Things to look for when buying a used minivan
Buying a used minivan can be a great idea but only if you do all the right things before you buy it! If you end up buying a minivan that has been torn apart by the previous owners and you didn’t know it then your minivan purchase could end up being nothing but frustration for you and your family.
There are a few specific things that you should look for abd make sure that you do before you sign on the dotted line.
Before you decide on which used minivan you are going to buy you should make sure to get it properly inspected by a reliable mechanic. Yes, this will likely cost you a little bit of money but it’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars on an inspection than to spend thousands of dollars down the road fixing problems with the minivan!
When I was 19 I purchased my first vehicle from an individual. I was not a mechanic but knew enough that I thought everything looked fine. A couple of years down the line I started having all kinds of problems with the vehicle and eventually I just gave it away to a friend as with all the problems it was only worth a couple hundred dollars.
This is the exact situation that you want to avoid!
Once you find a minivan that has everything you want and that the price is also fair then take it to a mechanic and get it checked out first before you buy it!
Apart from the vehicle itself, you should also get all the important documents thoroughly inspected too.
These documents include the insurance reports, pollution certificate (if needed in your area) as well as look at the title and make sure it hasn’t been altered. If these documents are not valid, you could fork out some money for a vehicle that you can’t even drive (or worse has been stolen)!
Check out the seller
Once you have inspected the vehicle and the paperwork if everything comes out alright then the next thing to do is check out the seller of the minivan.
If they are an individual seller then you likely won’t find anything on them (bad or good) but if they are a company or someone who fixes cars and resells them, you will likely be able to find tons of information online by simply looking up the person or business’ name along with your city and state.
You should also use your common sense. If you are buying from an individual and the person refuses to have you come to their house to look at it that is a red flag for me. Some people are more secretive or care more about their privacy than others but when you are dropping thousands of dollars on their vehicle I want to know that they are a real person who really lives in the area and not someone who stole the vehicle or is hiding something!
Type of title
The last thing that I will mention that you should make sure to look at when buying a used minivan is what type of title it has. If the title is marked as prior salvaged or rebuilt then it’s important that you understand what that means (it’s been in an accident and fixed).
Some people have no issue buying vehicles with these types of titles as you can save significant money doing so. Other people avoid them like the plague.
You need to make sure to do your research before buying the minivan if the title is anything but a clean one.
It’s also important that you know that some insurance companies won’t insure those types of vehicles at all while others just won’t give you full coverage on them. Find out how your insurance company handles those types of titles before buying a minivan so you don’t end up stuck with a vehicle that you can’t insure or can’t insure properly.
Best places to buy a used minivan
If you are looking for a used minivan, there are quite a few places that you can look to try and find the best deals near you.
Some of the best places to look for a used minivan are:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Enterprise car sales
- Hertz car sales
- Driving around
- Local papers/magazines
Each of these places have their own pros and cons to them.
The online places are certainly much more convenient but you will be far less likely to find a deal there simply due to the larger audience that they reach. That convenience will easily allow you to compare different prices as well as make sure you aren’t getting gouged by your local dealership.
The offline places such as driving around or local newspapers or magazines are much less ideal in regards to trying to find a specific model but you can typically find better deals that way.
No matter where you are buying a minivan from, you need to make sure to keep certain points in your mind and never buy without checking out the vehicle thoroughly. Also, you should try to avoid buying a vehicle with improper documents as the unknowns can cause serious issues down the road.
I hope that this article has been helpful to you in answering any questions that you might have had about buying used minivans. Buying a used minivan is often a great choice since they really are quite cheap when compared to other models or types of vehicles.
If you are someone who wants to buy a vehicle, but are on a pretty tight budget, then buying a used minivan will serve all your purposes and will provide you an exceptional experience as well.
You of course need to be very cautious while buying a used minivan (as mentioned above) since there are some fraudulent sellers on the market who might end up taking your money and leaving you with a vehicle that has tons of problems.