If you’ve been considering investing in a refrigerated vehicle, either for yourself as a freelance driver, or for your business to add to your fleet, one of the biggest questions to consider is whether to go for a new or used vehicle. There are several things to consider before committing to one or another, as well as ensuring you fully understand the function of a refrigerated vehicle. Our team at BHRV have worked hard to put together this guide to help you decide whether a new or used refrigerated van is right for you.
What Does A Refrigerated Van Do?
Refrigerated vans are used in the transport of chilled and frozen goods. This can include pharmaceutical supplies, like vaccines and some medications that must be kept at a cool temperature, and food, which includes raw meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, or frozen food. All of these products follow a cold chain that guarantees that from point of origin to distribution, the goods are kept in good condition and stay fresh throughout the journey.
A refrigerated van operates in a similar way to your home fridge or freezer, where an insulated, airtight compartment is used to dissolve heat from the outside to ensure the cargo inside stays cool. Refrigerated vans range from 8C to -18C or lower, depending on the type of goods required for transport.
The Pros and Cons of Buying Used
There are many reasons why older refrigerated vans are preferred to newer ones. Some of the pros and cons of choosing to invest in a used refrigerated van includes:
Cheaper Alternative: It’s hard to deny the appeal of a lower price tag, after all, why pay for a more expensive solution when you can buy cheaper? The age-old objection to this is ‘you get what you pay for’ and while this is typically the case, refrigerated vehicles are designed to last for years and retain their quality to make sure that goods are transported safely, meaning even buying used you’re getting high quality.
Performance History: When buying used, you have the option to inquire about the history of your vehicle’s performance – how often it required maintenance, any faults it experienced, how reliable it was. While it’s easy to assume newer vehicles automatically come with these assurances, it isn’t always guaranteed, whereas a used vehicle has a history that can be traced.
No Warranties: By the time you purchase your used refrigerated van, chances are the warranty that came from the manufacturer has expired. This can be problematic if a breakdown or fault occurs as it could be costly to repair and have no coverage from a warranty, meaning a replacement refrigerated vehicle may be required. However, if you purchase from a certified second-hand vehicle provider they may offer a warranty that covers certain issues.
Aged Technology: One of the biggest risks that come with purchasing any second hand vehicles is the fact that technology could be outdated and not up to current regulated standards. This could mean that the refrigeration unit, the interior racking and shelving, and any insulation features will need to be replaced before use.
The Pros and Cons of Buying New
An alternative to buying used, new refrigerated vehicles are a popular choice for businesses looking to update their fleet, but the pros and cons to consider about buying new includes:
Covered Under Warranty: New refrigerated vans are much more likely to hold a manufacturers warranty, which means your van will be repaired or replaced under warranty should it develop a fault. With refrigerated vehicles, this applies to the same faults regular vehicles can develop, but also covers any technical issues that may arise with the refrigeration unit to make sure your van stays running reliably.
Modern Technology: When you’re purchasing a new refrigerated vehicle, you know all of the bobs and whistles will be up to date with current standards and be well equipped for use year round, managing the sweltering heat of summer and the freezing winter temperatures. Newer vans are also much easier to modify, with spaces available to extend racking or shelves and install plastic flaps to help with insulation during loading and unloading. Even cooling temperatures can be modified to allow for different goods.
Bigger Price Tag: When buying any new vehicle, buying new over used always comes with a greater price tag. However, with refrigerated vans, you’re also paying for a high quality refrigeration unit that has been unused until you transport your first load of goods, meaning there shouldn’t be any hidden faults and any that do develop will be covered under manufacturers warranty.
Still unsure? BHRV can help!
Still can’t decide whether a new or used refrigerated van is for you? Don’t worry, here at BHRV, we’re industry experts committed to providing you with advice and guidance to help you make the right choice. We’re just a phone call away so please feel free to get in touch with our friendly and experienced team today!