[ 7 min read ]
What price, size, wheelbase, or payload do you need for your business van?
If you are wondering which commercial van you should lease – then you have come to the right place – we are here to help you find a perfect van lease deal.
Whether it is the price, the size, wheelbase or payload, several factors come into play when deciding on your van. A van is likely to be one of your most significant investments and most important assets depending on your trade or business. However, with so many different commercial vehicles on the market, the variety might seem intimidating and deciding on the right one for your needs can be sometimes tricky.
But there are a few critical questions that you need to keep in mind before you get your search for a perfect van lease deal started.
Brand new or used van?
Firstly, you need to set yourself a budget. Some business vans on the market can have a high price tag, and failing to set yourself a maximum price might mean that you spend out more than you can afford.
New vans are, of course, significantly more expensive than second-hand vans. But that does not mean you should rule them out as there are many advantages of getting a brand new vehicle on van contract hire or van finance lease.
Commercial vehicles are built to last - well, they are at least supposed to - and this means you should be able to get plenty of years of work out of any new van. Reliability is essential, given you will likely place a great deal of usage on your van, including long drives up and down the motorway and heavy loads.
Do keep this in mind if you are considering a second-hand van. Whilst vans are sturdy and reliable. The chances are that a second-hand van has been put through its paces, and in the end, you may not be getting what you expect. The mileage may indicate how hard it has been worked. Still, you will also want to conduct a thorough inspection of any used van before committing to purchase one.
How big does your van need to be?
You will also need to decide on the size of the van you are after. For example, suppose you are going to be moving heavy items, from furniture to plant machinery. In that case, you will need a larger van with a higher payload capacity (the maximum weight a van can transport).
Similarly, if space is essential, you will be after a high load capacity van. At the same time, a long-wheelbase vehicle will be necessary for the likes of scaffolders.
If, however, you are only likely to be working on private jobs where tools and materials are minimal, a small or medium van should suffice your needs.
OUR HANDY VAN SIZE GUIDE
Do I really need a van?
The final question you should ask yourself is, 'should I get a van?'.
Wanting and needing a van are two different things. Knowing the difference could save you thousands of pounds to put towards your business priorities. If you are starting a new business, consider using your existing vehicle for a longer period to see how it goes.
Once you have built a steady customer base and it becomes apparent that your current vehicle will no longer be fit for purpose. Then go out and get yourself a commercial vehicle. Remember that buying an expensive van before testing the water is risky. They are a considerable investment - especially when you are just starting. And like most vehicles, vans struggle to hold their value.
The best commercial vans on the market
Choosing the right van deal for your business is crucial, and your specific needs will determine the 'best' van on the market. To help you make this decision, we present some of the best small, medium and large vans below.
Best Small Vans
Although small van sales have dipped in recent years, small vans' fuel efficiency, lower prices, and emissions footprint still make these some of the best business vehicles on the market.
This multi-award-winning small van has a modern appearance, an excellent driving experience and is reasonably priced. The Citroen Berlingo is also available with superb diesel and petrol engines. DAB radio, electric windows, electric heated mirrors, and automatic headlights are standard on entry-level Berlingo vans. This van can transport two Euro pallets and has a payload capacity of one tonne.
Available in two sizes, this PSA Group van is an excellent choice for those who need a small van. Featuring an innovative iCockpit system, outstanding layout and extremely comfortable driving position, the Peugeot Partner is an attractive commercial van efficiently transporting loads of up to 1,00kg. You can also fit two Euro pallets in its loading area.
This van is especially popular in its 100% electric van version, called the Renault Kangoo ZE 33. Read our Renault Kangoo ZE review to find out what this excellent fully electric van has to offer. The Kangoo vans offer pocket-friendly prices, smart cabins, excellent engines and decent load capacity. Available in two trims and two body sizes, every professional can choose a perfect Kangoo van for their business.
Sharing a platform with the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner, this fantastic small van is one of our customers' favourites. This van offers two body lengths with a twin back door and sliding side door - one in a shorter version and two in the more extended version of the Combo van. However, what makes this small van special is the traction control on the centre console, which allows you to adapt the van to the terrain you're on with a single twist of a knob.
Ford Transit Connect
For a long time, the Ford Transit Connect has been a firm favourite for small van drivers. Comfortable, good to drive and reasonably economical, it is no wonder Transit Connect is ranked as one of the best small vans on the market. You will also get a fair price-quality deal, with the likes of DAB radio, USB ports and AirCon as standard on newer models.
Best Medium Vans
Medium-sized vans are now the most popular size of commercial vehicles in the UK. Big and sturdy enough to deal with all but the most specialist trades, they offer a happy balance of space and performance.
This medium commercial vehicle has a solid and elegant design liked by many. Moreover, it is a delightful van to drive. The Peugeot Expert offers three body sizes, which is more than most of its rivals and has one of the best-in-class payload ratings of up to 1.5-tonne. On top of excellent diesel engines, it now also comes in an all-electric Peugeot Expert version.
The Citroen Dispatch has been recently updated and now has a look that differentiates it from its PSA Group cousins. The Dispatch van is based on the Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2) used on Citroen cars, including the C4 Picasso, making it car-like to drive. Offering three sizes, this commercial van can carry loads of up to 1,458kg. In addition, the 100% electric Citroen e-Dispatch model is now available on top of diesel versions.
The Vauxhall Vivaro is an attractive van to look at and takes the 2nd position in our 'Top 5 medium van payloads' guide beaten only by the Ford Transit Custom and only by 11kg. The Vauxhall Vivaro offers ultra-efficient engines, practical solutions and in-cab connectivity that turns this spacious van into a mobile office when needed. Proudly made in Britain, the Vivaro is a tough van and a popular van leasing choice.
Ford Transit Custom
The best-selling commercial vehicle in the UK, the Transit Custom is now something of an institution. It is not hard to see why - it's an excellent medium van that is affordable (from purchase through to insurance and running costs) and is a pleasure to drive. However, you may want to push a bit further for a premium model – and get many more extras – still with a relatively small price tag.
You know what you are getting with a Mercedes van – build quality, exceptional safety and a driving experience better than most. You will get many features as standard, but the Vito does sit at the higher end of the price spectrum. The lack of a high-roof model may also put some people off. However, the Mercedes now offers a fully electric eVito model with very keen pricing, attracting customers.
Most people who decide to buy a big van "know" that they need a big van. Usually pricier than their mid-sized cousins, large vans offer a tremendous amount of variety. So you should be able to get a vehicle that suits your exact needs, whether that is a specific length, height, capacity, payload or wheelbase.
An icon in the Transit series, this large Ford model offers unparalleled comfort on long drives. Admittedly you can find vans with better payload attributes. However, the Transit's engine is still a central selling point. The Transit hybrid diesel and Transit mild-hybrid electric-diesel versions are now available. In addition, the Ford Transit lease offers a van with an impressive load space and innovative, connected technology.
The Peugeot Boxer is one of the most affordable large van deals, but you shouldn't think the low price means less quality. On the contrary, Boxer remains on top of the class regarding payload and fuel economy. Moreover, it gets regular updates, including the most recent Euro6 regulations compliant engines. There is a Boxer van for every business, available in four lengths and three roof heights with a payload of up to 1,570kg.
Another long-time favourite with large van drivers in the UK, the Sprinter offers a premium feel and comes with a desirable 4x4 transmission on the smaller models. Leasing a Sprinter van, you can expect a good level of onboard tech as standard whilst offering a high driving position that gives a good view of the road.
Commercial vehicle leasing
Another option for those unsure about buying a business vehicle is to lease it. Leasing can be a helpful option if you struggle to find a big lump sum to buy a van upfront, as you can instead stage the rentals over a fixed-term contract. You can also cover the maintenance costs on the agreement by selecting a funder maintained contract. It may be worth taking a Funder Maintained contract for extra peace of mind and lower overall maintenance costs for a slightly increased monthly rental.
If you are unsure, check out our guide on whether you should buy or lease your business van.
If you would like to proceed with leasing a new van straight away, we are happy to find you the best deal. Call us on 01424 863 456 today or contact us to enquire about your specific needs and requirements.