How to Buy a Postal Van or Truck | It Still Runs

While it’s not unusual for retired postal workers to purchase a used postal van or truck for their personal use, there are special considerations you need to be aware of about how to purchase one in the first place, as well as the legal responsibilities you must meet.

where to buy a postal van or truck

Buying a postal van or truck can be difficult as it is a well regulated and government approved commercial vehicle. While you probably won’t be able to find a mail truck in your local classifieds, there are a few places you can check, such as online auction sites, local dealerships, auctions that specialize in used commercial vehicles, or websites that specialize in used commercial vehicles. at the open sale. -vehicles of the market in general. One of the best places to check is, a website specifically dedicated to selling government-owned, decommissioned, surplus, and impounded vehicles to the public.

things to look for

Depending on the source of the vehicle you find, the condition, price, and legal status of the vehicle may be questionable. Thoroughly review each of these items with the seller and a third party mechanic.


While the condition of a used mail truck can vary depending on who and where you buy it from, it should be free of major rust damage, particularly on the vehicle’s undercarriage. If you intend to use the van or postal truck as a recreational vehicle, make sure the brakes, engine, and transmission are in reliable condition that will allow you to drive the truck for at least six months before it needs major mechanical work. if you don’t need to drive the vehicle, you can rely on your own judgment as to whether the truck meets your requirements.

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Obviously, price is also a major concern to consider when purchasing a van or postal truck. Although prices may vary by location and condition, a good range to expect is $3,500-$5,000 at time of publication, unless you are purchasing a new surplus vehicle, in which case the price could be as high. like $15,000 to $25,000.

legal status

Because postal trucks are government-approved vehicles, make sure the seller has the legal right to sell the truck to you in the first place. If the truck is to be used for recreational purposes, it must be equipped with all the proper doors and seat belts required for a normal car or truck. For the most part, following the same rules that are required for food trucks or ice cream trucks will suffice.

the purchase process

Because you won’t need a commercial driver’s license or CDL, unless the truck weighs more than 26,000 pounds, the buying process is usually similar to buying a regular vehicle. Once you’ve chosen a dealer and the truck you want, you’ll need to pay the full price of the truck up front or make financing arrangements. If financing arrangements can be made directly with the seller, you will most likely have to pay up to a 20 percent down payment, followed by a monthly payment of $200 or more. Since dealer financing often carries a high interest rate, seek a loan from an outside source, such as a bank or credit bureau.

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Once you’ve secured financing, you’ll need to submit all of your documents and a valid driver’s license along with your down payment. depending on the condition of the vehicle, you may also need to arrange for the vehicle to be transported to your address or have someone accompany you to drive one of your vehicles home.

legal issues

In addition to making sure the vehicle is roadworthy, there are a number of legal issues mail truck owners need to be aware of. While postal trucks and vans are technically considered commercial vehicles, you don’t need a commercial driver’s license to drive one unless the truck weighs more than 26,000 pounds. while a postal delivery driver must have a driver’s license because they drive for pay, someone who owns and operates a delivery truck for recreational purposes does not need any special license.

Postal trucks do not have actual plates, but instead use an identification number that is located on the upper left corner of the rear of the truck, near the roof. therefore, you will need to ensure that you have a properly affixed license plate before driving the truck or van on the highway.

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