I'm just starting my own company and would like some advice on what kind of van I should buy. I was looking at the new Dodge sprinter van. looking to get some feedback on your past experience with vans. Thanks
In the most general terms, I would want a work truck (or van) to have the following: -Be small and maneuverable enough to park in a normal space; -Have remot-controlled mirrors; -Have some means to transport long stuff (like pipe and ladders); -Have some bulk transport capacity (like thet big wire cut you need to get); -Have a 3/4 ton load rating; -Have an engine large enough to easily merge on the freeway, even when fully loaded; -Have real 10-ply truck tires (cheap tires or passenger tires won't stand up); and, -be set up for towing (up to 1 ton tow).
If your just starting you might want to think about a used truck until you have a steady income. That will help keep your overhead down. If you do still want new it would be better to buy before you take a leap so you qualify for a loan. Banks like to hear that you worked at the same job for the same pay. They wont want to hear you quit your job and want a new truck.
I was just talking to a retail owner last night. When asked about micro business comming and going he said the biggest cause of start-up failure is tring to pay off the start-up loan. I agree.
For what it's worth I like the step vans (like UPS). Can't beat the working space and easier in/out then a box truck.
We've had a Sprinter for about a year and it's been pretty good. It does cost a lot more more than standard cargo van, but itit has advantages also like 2-2.5 times the fuel ecconomy(17-20mpg actual results vs 8-9 for GMC 2500HD) and the 6 ft standing room in the van. You need to weigh the plus's and minus's and decide for yourself. It probably comes down to how tight your finances are, you'll be looking at about $200 per month more for the payment and about $100 less in fuel cost. We look at the ~$100 extra as justifiable, the only downside is the height for ladders. Whatever you do don't buy the electric ladder rack unless you only need extention ladders, it doesn't work with A-frames.
You take your chances with used. It can be hard to find a clean low mile one for a fair amount.
Just saying I would rather put down a small chunk for a truck on a start-up and take my chances with repairs. Sometimes you can put off repairs more then the monthly payments. Plus you would not have to get full coverage. Starting out you may have more free time then you think. Maybe some repairs you can do yourself.
A 20K loan at 8% for 60 months is $405 per month with $4,331 paid total in intrest.
Guess it also depends how much work you have lined up. You never said were your at or the type of work your looking to do.
you don't even want to buy anything. get a new truck on a term lease with a $1 buyout. This lets you write of the entire lease amount every month for the term of the lease and no money down. The truck pays for itself from day one.
the only time you want to actually purchase is if they are running a 0% interest deal. Otherwise looking into the lease option.