There's nothing wrong with old vans. Diesel engines can do 500,000 miles. There is an element of luck though. Sometimes, one can buy a lemon that is unreliable: every time it is repaired something else goes wrong ad infinitum. The same could be said for new vans as well. Roll the dice and see whether you feel lucky
The engines might last 500,000 miles miles but the bits bolted on don't. I used to get cars from fleet auctions for the taxi trade and they averaged 100,000k with a full mdsh. Within the 2 years it would be water pumps, alternators and half of them the dreaded fuel pump. Last one had a timing belt snap after on 13000 miles. That was a new cylinder head.
So for me it's buy new. Get in and start, no worry's. 5-6 years later weigh in and buy new again. Tax allowances are there too.
Same with cars now. Buy new and keep for 10 years. Even then only 60k on the clock.
But thats me. A decent well looked after private owned car maybe could be a good buy but a van makes me a living a car cost me my living.
ive just bought an 09 plate transit lwb med roof its in mint condition iside an out an ex lease van full dealer service history was serviced every 15k got it for Â£3900 plus vat mileage is high though but it drives like new ..im the same i couldnt justify 10k plus on a van plus that if i have no work i havent got to worry about payiing for it
308 cdi 2.2 run on fumes the only fault i find is in a bad winter the high pressure pump seals are prone to leak (perish),,about 30 quid to replace ..the parts for these vans are gettin cheaper coz of the volume on the roads i think
pump injectors and the related seals are a problem on all CDI engines but otherwise the best version of a commonrail you will find. my vito 110 was decent on fuel so i would be tempted if a standard size sprinter was similar (low roof SWB)