Such is the variety of vans on offer these days, it can be difficult for builders to decide which is the best option for their needs. From short and long wheelbase to different load capacities, flatbeds to tippers, the choices can seem overwhelming. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best commercial vans around to help you make your decision.
The Ford Transit is Britain’s most popular model, available in a wide range of guises. Touches such as the tough plastic load floor covers, which extend up the walls, help reduce wear and tear on the load space, while running costs have been reduced on more recent models, which use the marque’s EcoBlue technology.
The engine options on the Ford Transit each offer plenty of pulling power and flexibility for both around-town and motorway driving, and the van has a reputation for reliability. It’s a solid choice, regardless of the body style and size you opt for.
As far as lists of the best work vans go, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter often comes in a close second to the Transit. Although it has a higher price tag, it offers a lot to builders, having a large load space and the option for a double cab. It also has a four-wheel drive version, which is handy if you travel to off-road construction sites regularly.
All engines that the Sprinter comes with are strong, with the 3.0-litre V6 delivering the most power. Builders will find the easily accessible rear and creature comforts in the cabin useful on the short wheelbase, panel version.
Those looking for a smaller van will find the Peugeot Partner worth a look. There’s a choice of just two body lengths, and the option of extra seats in the L2 version, while an all-electric option is a great choice for builders needing a new or used commercial van primarily for city use.
Crucially, the newer models are Euro 6 compliant and the Partner offers good interior comfort, with logical controls, plentiful storage options and an adjustable driving position. It’s certainly a good panel van for those with smaller loads to transport.
If you’re someone who likes a touch of style and plenty of tech in your commercial vehicle, the Volkwagen Transporter will check the boxes. Not only does it feature the marque’s BlueMotion kit as standard and comply with Euro 6 standards, it also has a 5-inch touchscreen DAB radio with Bluetooth on every trim.
A double cab version of the Transporter is available, and the van’s load space and practicality are up there with the best. It also has a raft of safety equipment, ensuring you and your cargo are protected.
When it comes to dropside vans, the Citroen Relay is a strong contender. The light chassis makes it ideal for carrying higher payloads, while the 129bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine is capable and sturdy whether you’re driving in the city or on the motorway.
The cab is spacious with good all-round visibility, and there’s some advanced kit included as standard, from a DAB digital radio with Bluetooth to steering mounted controls. To top it off, because the Relay Dropside is well stocked, there are both new and used models readily available.