Finding a good 4x4 van for sale can be an arduous process. Often people will just settle on something that looks okay out of frustration, without really knowing if they got a good deal or not. This can potentially lead to serious problems in the future, which can end up costing you far more than the initial purchase price of the vehicle. This means that it is always better to take your time and make sure you find a great deal before you settle. In this article we take a look at everything you need to know in order to get a cheap but reliable four-wheel drive van.

What Should You Look For in a Four Wheeler Van?

Some vans offer a huge amount of features but remember that the best one is actually the one that offers you the fewest features whilst still having everything you need. 4WD means that you want power and the ability to move weight if needed. This means that you should probably be looking for vans that have a spacious interior. The rest, however, is completely up to you. If you plan on moving a family then you might want to look at models that feature rear passenger seats while if you are looking for a work vehicle then you might want to forgo the extra seats.

Where You Can Buy Cheap 4WD Vans

If you are in the market for a cheap van then you have quite a few different options. In the following sections we highlight the aspects of each of the options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about which is the best route for you.

Buying New

It can be quite difficult to find cheap 4x4 vans through new car sellers but you can still find great deals. The best thing to do is to look around multiple car yards during the end of financial year sales - when dealers are clearing out their stock at reduced prices. Taking the extra time to travel around will also ensure that you get the best price on whatever make and model you decide to buy.

Used Vans

Your first option for a cheap four-wheel drive van is through the used car market. While this is the first place most people look they usually are looking for deals at used car dealerships. The fact is that used car dealerships have a lot of overheads and place a huge markup on the price of their vehicles in order to cover expenses and to turn a profit. As such, the better option is to actually buy used vans privately.

Buying Vans Privately

While buying privately has the best potential for savings it also carries a bit of risk. However, this risk can be easily mitigated taking a few precautions. This means looking at each vehicle carefully and having financial and mechanical background checks done on them before you buy. While it may cost a little bit more to do things this way it has the potential of saving you a lot of hassle and money later on.

Repossessed Vans

Even cheaper than buying a used van privately is the option of buying a repossessed van. When people are unable to make their personal loan repayments on their vehicles they are often repossessed by their finance companies in order to cover the debt. These vehicles are then usually sold off to a repo vehicle dealer or auctions company. You can buy these pre-owned vehicles at well under the used market average price while still getting a vehicle that is in great condition. Another benefit of buying this way is that you are sure that there is no outstanding debt on the vehicle that you will be liable for - you know exactly what debt it had.

Salvage Vehicles

If you still cannot find a decent 4 wheel drive van then your final option is to buy a salvage vehicle. These are usually the by-product of crash write-offs by insurance companies. Since they have been involved in accidents, these vehicles can truly vary in their condition and value. As such, you must be prepared to spend a bit of time inspecting vehicles and you must be prepared to organize the repairs required to get each vehicle roadworthy again. Sometimes you can save money on parts if you simply buy two salvage cars and merge them into one good one, though this can take quite a bit of mechanical knowledge to do.

How to Tell if a Used, Repo or Salvage Van is in Good Condition

Bodywork - If you are buying a repo car then you should expect that there are at least one or two significantly damaged panels. While this is nothing to be concerned about since panels can easily be replaced, it does give you an idea of any potential underlying damage. Rear or side panels are usually fine unless the damage is very pronounced. However, front panel damage should be carefully considered, as it can be representative of potential engine damage. In either case you should always carefully inspect for underlying damage carefully, even if this means hiring a mechanic to perform an inspection.

The Wheels

The next big thing to look for is damage to the wheels of the vehicle. Wheels can become damaged in side on collision or when a vehicle runs over a curb etc. Damaged wheels and suspension can be expensive to fix but it is fairly easy to do.

Electrical Components

Damaged electrical wiring and components can be a nightmare to fix because it can be very difficult to tell exactly where problems are. Water damage or fire damage are both indicators of possible electrical damage. Thankfully, you can easily test all the electrical components by simply connecting a battery and testing all the lights, internal electronics and the starter motor.


The engine and it's components are the most valuable part of the vehicle and if you can find one that is in good working order then you are more than halfway to a fully working vehicle. It is much cheaper to get a 4x4 van for sale that needs panels replaced and still has a good engine than it is to get a van with a bad engine and good bodywork.