As the owner of a start-up courier business, your most important decision will be the van you buy.

That’s because your choice of van will strongly influence your income and costs—you’ll want to maximise the former and minimise the latter.

For example, the bigger your van, the more deliveries you will be able to do in a day, and the more you’ll earn. And the more fuel-efficient it is, the less it will cost to run.

Features

A recent comparison of top-selling vans by caradvice.com.au suggests you should consider the following features when looking to buy a van:

  • Reliability—if your vehicle breaks down, you’ll lose income and, potentially, customers. You therefore want a vehicle that’s dependable and inexpensive to service. Look for a vehicle with a long, unlimited-kilometres warranty and capped-price servicing.
  • Fuel economy—given that you’ll be driving all day, every day, you’ll want the most fuel-efficient vehicle possible. To reduce your costs even further, consider installing an LPG unit, provided it does not take up too much valuable cargo space.
  • Load-carrying capacity—the more you can carry, the more money you can make. If you will be transporting big loads, make sure there is sufficient floor space to fit two pallets head to toe—and that your vehicle has forklift-friendly barn doors. If you intend carting tall loads, roof height will obviously be critical. Sliding side doors—including glazed ones that improve visibility while driving—give you more loading and unloading options.
  • Handling—your van must be easy to manoeuvre, especially as you’ll need to get in and out of confined areas like loading bays, alleyways and parking spaces. Make sure steering is responsive and the turning circle is tight.
  • Safety—you’ll quickly lose count of how many times you back up and park in a day. Look for front and rear parking sensors and reverse-view cameras—standard in some vans, optional in others. Airbags and electronic stability control or traction control will make your van safer. The vehicle’s Euro NCAP or ANCAP crash-test safety rating will tell how it’s likely to fare in an accident. Also, look for Bluetooth phone connectivity, which enables you to make hands-free calls.

We hope this quick helped your choice of vehicle that little bit easier. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

Want to find out more? Check out our Courier eBook here!