How many miles is too many for a used van?

In today’s article, we will discuss: How many miles is too many for a used van? We will guide you in choosing the best second-hand van and deliberate whether it is worth buying a new or an older van. 

How many miles is too many for a used van?

A used van that has over 250,000 miles may not last any longer before important parts need repair or replacement.  One of the most important decisions when buying a used van is knowing if it has had a good deal throughout its life.

The simplest thing is to investigate the van:

  • find out through insurance pages if it has been in accidents;
  • if it has suffered major repairs;
  • or if it has had manufacturing defects.

Testing the vehicle and feeling it for a few miles is also a good measure, always advised by a trusted mechanic, who could perform a thorough check However, there is a number that is much easier to know and that will give us an idea of ​​whether the van has been used as indicated by its owner or has had more destinations. We constantly see ads in which it is said that the van has been used little, that only what is necessary, but that is when we must take out the calculator.

An average number of miles per year on a commonly used vehicle ranges from 12,000 to 14,000 miles per year.

For this reason, it is said that a normal range is that in total a van has between 60 thousand and 80 thousand miles of use, depending on its age.

Obviously, the fewer miles a van has, the better, although the maintenance it has been given may be more important.

Is buying a second-hand van worth it?

Here are some things to consider when deciding between buying a used or new van:

  1. Value: One of the best advantages of a used van is the price, regardless of the make or model. A new van depreciates the moment you drive it out of the dealership, and it may be worth nearly a third less by the end of the first year. A new vehicle can lose up to 50% of its value within three years.

For the price of a new model of a base van, you can buy a used version of the same make of van, but of a higher category. You will also pay less for insurance and maybe even registration, depending on where you live. Conclusion? You get more value for your money if you buy a used vehicle.

  1. Reliability: Before, new vans were more reliable; it was hard to tell if that fancy second-hand vehicle at the dealership was actually in trouble. But today there are services on the internet – like Carfax and AutoCheck – where you can enter the vehicle identification number (VIN) and, for a fee, get its detailed history, including:
  •  routine service; 
  • if the van has been damaged in an accident, 
  • flood or fire; 
  • who were the previous owners; 
  • and if the vehicle was ever stolen and recovered. 

A report costs about $ 40, but some dealers do the VIN check for you.

However, a VIN check will only show you the incidents and accidents that have been reported. So a trusted independent dealer should inspect your van anyway. 

  1. Warranties and maintenance: New vans score points in this category because they automatically come with warranty and maintenance packages. But these days, most manufacturers offer Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) programs with extended warranties on thoroughly inspected used vehicles. 

CPO vans can also include other benefits, like 24-hour roadside assistance. But you will pay more for those benefits, so a CPO vehicle will be more expensive than one that is not certified.

CPO programs usually only cover vehicles with relatively low mileage (less than 85,000). If you buy a vehicle with more miles, or if you buy one from an individual owner, you will not have warranty or service options. 

Other questions you may be interested in

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Dealers are required to meet reasonable quality standards in the vans they sell – certified or not – through what is legally known as an “implied warranty.” Just be careful with the words “as is” (as is); They may be used by the dealer to remove an implied warranty.

  1. Security features: The good news for virtually everyone who wants to buy a van is that unless you buy a very old one, any van you buy, used or new, will have the basic functions, such as airbags and antilock brakes. 

But keep in mind that recent years have brought an explosion of high-tech features to help drivers stay safe and avoid accidents such as backup cameras, forward collision alerts, automatic emergency braking system, detection warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and more. They are very valuable features.

A relatively new feature everyone appreciates is the backup camera – a safety feature that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made mandatory in May 2018 for all new vehicles sold in America. It is also relatively easy to install an aftermarket backup camera. You can find a variety of models on Amazon or Walmart for around $ 150.

  1. Variety: In any given year, there are 250 to 350 vehicle makes and models available in the new van market. That number is considerably higher when you start looking for used vans.

The options may seem overwhelming, but websites like and can help. They have “research” tabs on the home page that give you access to a lot of information, such as pricing, user and independent reviews, vehicle comparisons, photos, and just about all the data you need to make an informed buying decision — at as well as the links to the places where you can buy the van of your choice.

The bottom line

Buying a van, especially a used one, can be a tedious and overwhelming process; it requires intelligent and strategic thinking, as well as the intelligence to get a reasonable offer based on quality. Make sure you follow the directions above for a good deal.

Contact us for more information about #vanlife or if you have any questions about the subject.

FAQ on How many miles is too many for a used van?

How many miles do vans last?

Most vans last 200,00 miles and beyond, depending of course, on how well you maintain them. You may have to repair and replace some pieces after the first 100,000 though. 

Is 200000 miles a lot for a van?

200000 miles is not a lot for a van if it was properly maintained or if it hasn’t been involved in major accidents. Any van that has more than 200,000 miles tho, may be considered too old for some.

Is it worth buying a high-mileage van?

Buying a high-mileage van may be worth buying if you are not planning on travelling thousands of miles with it yearly. It will all depend on how well the van was maintained and how you plan on using it.  

Which vans last the longest?

The Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are the vans that last the longest and rated among the most reliable vans among long-term users.

Which cargo vans last the longest?

The Ford E150 and Mercedes Sprinter are the vans that last the longest, although you must take into consideration how well the vans were maintained and repaired over the years.