Many entrepreneurs and small business owners are interested in starting a delivery business using Amazon vans. Amazon‘s massive shipping operation requires thousands of delivery vans, and they regularly replace old vans with new ones. This leads to the natural question – can you buy Amazon‘s used vans when they are retired from service?
In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about buying used Amazon delivery vans, including:
- Does Amazon sell their used vans?
- How to buy retired Amazon delivery vans
- What models of vans does Amazon use?
- How much do used Amazon vans cost?
- Pros and cons of buying ex-Amazon vans
- Alternatives to buying directly from Amazon
- Other frequently asked questions
Let‘s get right into it!
Does Amazon Sell Their Used Delivery Vans?
The short answer is no, Amazon does not sell their used delivery vans to the general public. The main reasons are:
- Lease agreements – Most Amazon delivery vans are leased, not owned by Amazon. The leasing companies take the vans back at the end of the lease terms.
- Fleet maintenance – Amazon replaces vans frequently to maintain a consistent, reliable fleet. Older vans are retired and sent to auction/wholesale markets.
- Proprietary tech – Amazon vans may have proprietary routing and logistics technology onboard that Amazon doesn‘t want publicly available.
So unfortunately, you can‘t buy used vans directly from Amazon. But you still have options…
How to Buy Used Amazon Delivery Vans
Just because Amazon doesn‘t sell their used vans doesn‘t mean you can‘t buy retired delivery vans. Here are some options:
Government and Fleet Vehicle Auctions
When Amazon and its partners retire leased vans, many of them end up at government, fleet, and commercial vehicle auctions. These are open to public bidding, allowing you to purchase ex-Amazon vans.
Major auction sources include:
- www.govdeals.com – Online government auctions across the US. Search for "Amazon van" or "Mercedes Sprinter".
- www.ritchiesauctions.com – Live/online fleet vehicle auctions.
- www.manheim.com – Largest wholesale used vehicle auction company.
- Local / regional government auctions – Check your state‘s surplus property office.
The benefit of auctions is that vehicles are heavily used, so you can get good deals. However, selection and condition vary. Inspect thoroughly before bidding.
Wholesale Van Dealers
Search dealer inventories for "former Amazon van", "Amazon tribute", or similar keywords. Expect to pay more than auction prices, but vans often have dealer service/reconditioning.
Retired Amazon vans regularly show up on eBay Motors, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other classifieds:
- eBay Motors – Search for "Amazon van" under Cars & Trucks.
- Craigslist – Check under "Cars & Trucks for Sale".
- Facebook Marketplace – Search "Amazon van" under Vehicles.
Classifieds offer more choice but less protection than dealers. Inspect vans thoroughly before purchasing.
In summary, with some searching you can find used Amazon vans for sale through various secondary markets. It just takes more effort than buying directly from Amazon.
What Models of Vans Does Amazon Use?
The majority of Amazon‘s delivery vans are Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, predominantly the 2500 model with 144" wheelbase. Other common configurations include:
- Mercedes Sprinter 2500 – Standard roof, high roof, crew van, cargo van. Most common Amazon van.
- Mercedes Sprinter 3500 – Larger capacity, higher GVWR. Used for larger loads.
- Ram ProMaster 1500 – Lower cost alternative to Sprinter. Less common.
- Ford Transit – Also a lower cost option. Not as common for Amazon.
Within these base models there is variation in specs like roof height, cargo capacity, doors, and configuration. Sprinters make up ~80%+ of the fleet. Focus your search on them for best selection.
What Do Used Amazon Vans Cost?
Pricing depends heavily on van specs, mileage, condition and source. Some typical ranges:
- Auctions – $10,000 – $25,000+
- Dealers – $15,000 – $35,000
- Private sellers – $12,000 – $30,000
Higher mileage vans (100k mi+) tend to be ~$5-10k less than lower mileage ones. Condition is key – inspect thoroughly.
Aim for $125/month or less in estimated ownership costs per $10k financed. Make sure it‘s viable for your business.
Pros of Buying Used Amazon Vans
There are several benefits to purchasing a previously-leased Amazon delivery van:
- Cost savings – Used vans are 20-40% cheaper than new. Savings improve profit margins.
- Good condition – Amazon replaces vans regularly. You can find relatively new, low mileage vans.
- Regular maintenance – Amazon vans receive scheduled maintenance and service.
- Proven design – The iconic Sprinter van is tried and true for delivery use.
- Easy customization – Remove shelving/wraps and make it your own delivery van.
For startups and small fleets, buying used can be an affordable way to acquire high-quality vehicles. The savings compared to new vans give you a competitive advantage.
Cons of Buying Former Amazon Vans
However, there are also some downsides:
- Limited selection – Used vans become available sporadically, in varying condition. Hard to find exact van you want.
- Out of warranty – Most used vans are past the original 3 year/36k mile warranty period. Risk of repair costs.
- Unknown history – No way to know maintenance history/damage/mileage beyond Carfax.
- Branding removal – You may need to remove Amazon logos, which takes time/effort.
Overall, the pros tend to outweigh the cons, but go in with full awareness. Do thorough inspections and have purchase vetted by a commercial van specialist before buying.
Alternatives to Buying Used Amazon Vans
Purchasing a used Amazon van is just one of many options for acquiring delivery vehicles. Some alternatives worth considering:
Lease a New Sprinter Through Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz offers competitive lease financing on new Sprinter vans. Take advantage of new vehicle warranties and avoid uncertainty of used vans.
Lease/Finance from Local Commercial Dealers
Develop a relationship with local commercial dealers to access lease/finance options not available to general public.
Services like U-Haul offer cargo van and pickup rentals. No commitment or ownership costs. Better for starting out.
Using Personal Vehicle
Light-duty pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers can work for light delivery loads. Minimize startup costs.
Buy Other Used Vans
Consider used vans from other fleets besides Amazon. Similar cost savings without Amazon branding.
Evaluate all options thoroughly before committing to determine the best fit and total cost of ownership for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some other common questions about acquiring used Amazon delivery vans:
Q: Does Amazon sell used vans through the Delivery Service Partner program?
A: No, DSP providers lease new vans through Amazon. Used vans must be acquired independently.
Q: Can I purchase a used Amazon van and do deliveries for them?
A: No, you must be accepted into the DSP program and use provided vans. Used vans can be used for other carriers.
Q: Are there financing options for buying used Amazon vans?
A: Yes, many lenders offer financing for older commercial vehicles. Expect higher rates/fees than new van financing.
Q: Do used Amazon vans have winter weather packages?
A: Some do depending on region of origin. Add this to your checklist when inspecting potential purchases.
Q: Are there warranty options for used Amazon vans?
A: Yes, you can purchase third party extended warranty plans from providers like Endurance and Protect My Car.
Q: Do I need a commercial driver’s license to drive an ex-Amazon delivery van?
A: No, a regular license is fine unless the van exceeds 26,000 lbs GVWR or carries 16+ passengers.
Q: Can I customize a used Amazon van for my own business?
A: Yes, you can fully customize it by removing previous branding and installing racks/shelving as needed.
The Bottom Line
Although Amazon doesn‘t directly sell their retired vans, you can source great used vehicles through auctions, dealers, and private parties. Focus your search on well-maintained Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, budget for necessary prep and repairs, and you can end up with affordable, quality delivery vans.
We hope this guide gave you clarity and confidence around acquiring used Amazon vans. They offer huge potential for delivery businesses through cost savings and proven reliability. Do plenty of research to locate the best options and perform thorough inspections prior to purchasing. Then put your brand on it and hit the road delivering!