Purchasing · The Van

My Story – Van 2

The Executive Summary

I found a second van for sale in as many weeks and it was only a few miles away from the first one. This meant it would be easy to drive down and take a look at it during the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, it had far more rust on it than the first one and the asking price was more than I was willing to give them on such a rusted vehicle. So, even more saddened than the first week, I decided to pass and head back home empty-handed.

The Details

I was still feeling a little defeated after walking away from the first van. I was so excited to start the project and not buying that first van meant another week of searching for sales. As luck would have it, a second van that fit my criteria and my price had recently been listed online by a small dealer. This dealer was only a few mile further from home than the first one. Just as I did before, I called a friend of mine who lived down that way. He also happens to know his way around cars, but mostly, bringing him along was just a good excuse to see him.

The two of us drove down to the dealership on Saturday to check out this new van. This one was different from most of the others I’d seen online because it was black!  I was excited to have a van that stood out a little bit against the standard white fleet vehicle.

We arrived at the dealer and a salesman took us around the side of the building to check out the van. The first thing I noticed was that it had far more rust on it than the pictures online made it out to have. After buying my first home, I’ve come to expect that the product will typically be a little different from how it appears online. So I wasn’t entirely shocked. I’ve always found this practice to be a little annoying, though. I mean, it’s not like I’m not going to see all the things you so caringly took the time to exclude from your photos. So why not just include your blemishes so that when a potential buyer does finally show up, you have a much greater chance of landing a sale because their expectations for what they’re coming to buy are more closely aligned with reality? But I digress. The van had a good deal of rust on it, though I wasn’t convinced that this was a deal breaker. We did a once over of the van, grabbed the keys from the dealer, and took it out for a drive.

This van drove much smoother than the first. No issues shifting gears and the engine sounded great. I wondered if I should try to get this one inspected as I had done with the first one, however, after the first mechanic’s inspection resulted in little information that I didn’t already know myself, I thought that paying for another inspection might just be a waste of money. So we drove the van around the country roads. Being pretty far out there, there were no small city streets where we could get a feel for the van’s handling. Just long, straight, fast roads.

I finally found a good place to pull over and we inspected the van again. Without some car salesman following you around, you can inspect the vehicle in a more leisurely manner. I crawled underneath the thing to inspect the underside. It looked as you would expect any Ohio vehicle of some age to look. Moderately rusty. I had wanted to stay away from buying a van in this area for that very reason, but it was hard to resist taking a look when these last two were so close to home. While these vehicles can still have many good miles put on them, working on a rusty vehicle always comes with more headaches than you’d like.

We took the van back to the dealer and again I told the salesman that I would have to think about it. While this van was much more mechanically sound than the first, it was a bit more expensive and I didn’t want to pay what they were asking for a vehicle with that much rust on it. My buddy and I went for pizza nearby to give me some time to think about it. During lunch, I decided that it just didn’t feel right and so I again drove home disappointed.

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