For business to be blooming, a florist needs a decent set of wheels. So which are the vans that will keep everything rosy?
If you're doing journeys of any length, you'll want to consider a refrigerated van to keep your flowers looking really fresh and lovely.
A sliding side door for easy access, especially when you're parked close to other cars in busy streets without space to open the back doors, is a must. Lighting in the load bay helps too if you're parking somewhere that isn't well lit.
Bluetooth will allow you to take calls on the move – very important if you haven't got someone to man the phones when you're out and about.
Low running costs, including good fuel economy, are important for any business owner.
Renault Kangoo: The Kangoo is spacious, practical, reliable and great value to run. A load bay up to 1.86m long and a payload capacity of up to 4.6 cubic metres or 800kg means you can carry plenty of plants, and a low load sill makes getting them in and out easy. All Kangoos have a passenger side sliding door, and the Kangoo Maxi has one on the driver's side too. Fuel economy gets up to 66mpg – there's also an all-electric Kangoo, which is eligible for the government's plug-in grant.
Ford Transit Connect: Smaller than a full-size Transit, the Connect is derived from the Focus and designed for city driving. Smooth engines, a comfortable cabin and the durability and capability you'd expect from Ford helped make it the UK's fifth bestselling van last year. It can carry a payload of up to 865kg or 3.6 cubic metres, and a sliding side door is standard – some versions have two. Load bay lights and six tie-down points are also standard, and the load sill is nice and low. Fuel consumption can reach 72.4mpg.
Vauxhall Corsa van: Derived from the hugely successful supermini, the stylish Corsa van is ideal if you don't need to carry large loads and want something that's super compact and manoeuvrable around town. Its load bay will hold 571kg or 0.92 cubic metres, and there's plenty of standard equipment, including Bluetooth, USB and MP3 connectivity, hill start assist and anti-lock brakes. Fuel economy is outstanding at up to 85.6mpg from the 1.3-litre diesel engine, which, like the 1.2-litre petrol (itself managing a respectable 52.3mpg), has stop-start engine technology to aid efficiency. Although it's no longer available new, the Corsa van remains one of the best used small vans around.
At used van dealers Vanwise Group, we have a wide variety of used vans for sale of a variety of makes, models and sizes. If you'd like to test drive one of them, call us at our Kent dealership on 01622 233151 or our Essex dealership on 01279 216163 – ask us about our van contract hiredeals and vans on finance too.