What is the best type of van for use in an auto services business? Well, that’s a pretty good question, and it just so happens I have little bit of experience here, because before retirement I had franchised mobile car washing, oil changing, and auto detailing units. You don’t necessarily have to have a work van to do any of this, you can also do it out of a pickup truck, or towing a small trailer.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each way of doing things of course – if you work out of a van you can lock it up at night, and you have a lot of area for good signage, however, it is slightly more difficult to work out of because you have to keep opening and closing the doors, and it’s not always easy to get everything. Okay so let’s talk about this shall we?
First, now that you understand the basics, you have to choose which type of van you want to use. There are many small minivan cargo configurations, but I don’t necessarily recommend one of these unless it is a three-quarter ton or 1 ton. There are some which are, but most of the little Astro vans and vehicles of that type are not able to handle the load that you will need for your water tank if you are doing mobile detailing, or fresh and used motor oil tanks if you are doing mobile oil changing. The brakes, rear end, and wheel bearings are the first weak links to break in that case.
The good part about a small van like this however is the turning radius, and the ability to get into parking structures. Nevertheless, you might need a full-size Chevy Van, or Ford Econoline van. Interestingly enough, Nissan has a new van which is very cool; of course it isn’t cheap either. So, if you are serious about starting a new business doing mobile oil changes or auto detailing out of a van, then you may wish to make the investment and get the strongest, best economy, and coolest van that you can.
You might also look at the new Ford Transit Van, its small, and there is also a version which allows for greater load capacity. They look cool, get great gas mileage, wonderful turning radius, and you can get one on a lease with easy payments. They have plenty of room for signage as well. What you must understand is that every work van is a trade-off, and you are you going to have to take a look at your area, where you will be working, the amount of volume you will be doing in your business, and then make the best choice for you. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.