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How to best buy up a 2nd hand minibus

Finding the right second hand minibus can be difficult as the choice is often limited. Focus your search by making a list of your minibus requirements and divide the list into two categories; desira...

Finding the right second hand minibus can be difficult as the choice is often limited. Focus your search by making a list of your minibus requirements and divide the list into two categories; desirable and essential. Remember to consider other expenses such as minibus insurance and running costs.

If a specific minibus vehicle is found here are ten tips to bear in mind:

1) Check the vehicle bodywork. Look for any signs of repair which may indicate the vehicle has been in an accident.

Inspect under the wheel arches, suspension struts and along the door frames for any evidence of rust.

2) Check the engine's oil using the dipstick. If it's golden and relatively clean then the vehicle has been well looked after. Black, tar-like oil indicates it hasn't been changed for long time.

Look underneath the vehicle, checking the engine, drive shaft and gearbox for any signs of leaking fluid.

3) Inspect the interior of the minibus. Look under the seats and carpets for any sign of corrosion.

4) Check the minibus tyres. Look for any signs of unusual wear as this may indicate a problem with the suspension.

Any unusual bulges or lumps in the tyres are often a sign of internal damage. Inspect the tyres' sidewall rubber for sign of cracking. Crazing and cracking usually becomes evident on tyres that are more than five years old.

Ensure the minibus tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Any less and they will soon need to be replaced.

5) When purchasing a second hand minibus keep in mind the cost of making alterations. Adding wheelchair access facilities can cost more than the vehicle's purchase price.

6) Before completing a purchase confirm the Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) matches the 17-digit number printed on the vehicle's registration document.

The VIN number can be found on the minibus's engine, at the base of the windscreen or on the driver's door.

7) Pay particular attention to the mileage on a second hand minibus to avoid buying a clocked vehicle. 'Clocking' is term applied to the illegal practice of winding back a vehicle's mileage counter.

A shiny, worn steering wheel on a minibus with low mileage is often a giveaway. Also check that the dashboard has not been tampered with.

8) If the minibus has an accessible lift fitted then it should be manufactured to British Standards (BS) 6109 and have a safe working load (SWL) of 300kg. The lift will also need to conform to the 1998 Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations.

9) As the minibus may have been manufactured before the new minibus safety and seatbelt legislation was brought in, check it complies with the relevant regulations.

10) Take the minibus for a test drive. Check the brakes, clutch, accelerator, gear stick and steering. Make sure all the electrical equipment works correctly.

When you've found a minibus that meets all your requirementsScience Articles, consult a minibus insurance specialist to find the best deal for your minibus insurance.

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Innes Fresco has no end of experience in writing all about minibus hire and some other subjects related to transport for the likes for and others.

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