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Best medium vans for 2024: voted by small businesses

4-minute read

Medium-sized van driving on the road
Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling

10 January 2024

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With so many options on the market, choosing the right van for your business can be tricky.

If you’re looking to buy or lease a van in 2024, to help you get started, we spoke to almost 250 small business owners to see which ones they’d recommend.

Respondents to our study ranged from tradespeople to retail business owners. They shared how they feel about their van, helping you to get started on your research.

From Volkswagen Transporters to Ford Transit Customs, this article compares medium vans based on ratings for key features such as fuel economy, on the road cost, and reliability.

If you’re looking for a more compact vehicle, read our article on the best small vans for 2024.

Of the 250 business owners we surveyed, 112 own a medium van. The most common small van among those surveyed is a Ford Transit Custom, followed by Volkswagen Transporter, Vauxhall Vivaro, and Renault Trafic.

Other medium vans owned by our survey respondents include the Mercedes Vito, Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, and Toyota Proace.

According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the bestselling small and medium-sized vans in the year to December 2023 were:

  • Ford Transit Custom
  • Ford Transit
  • Vauxhall Vivaro
  • Ford Ranger
  • Volkswagen Transporter
  • Renault Trafic
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Citroen Berlingo
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Ford Transit Connect

Read more: Business van insurance FAQs

The best medium van for 2024 – voted for by business owners

We asked business owners to rate their medium van based on following criteria:

  • size
  • fuel economy
  • reliability
  • basic features
  • overall value for money
  • on the road cost

Participants gave their vehicle a score from one to five (one being poor and five being excellent) for each criterion. The table below shows the average scores for the five most commonly-owned medium vans.

Size

Economy

Reliability

Features

Value

Road cost

Ford Transit Custom

4.48

4.10

4.36

4.19

4.19

3.71

Volkswagen Transporter

4.24

4.24

4.52

4.24

4.14

3.67

Renault Trafic

4.46

4.46

4.46

4.38

4.38

3.92

Mercedes Vito

4.33

3.83

4.67

3.67

4.00

3.67

Vauxhaull Vivaro

4.00

4.21

4.21

4.14

4.14

3.86

Renault Trafic voted best medium van

Van owners named the Renault Trafic as the best medium van, with the highest average score for fuel economy, basic features, overall value for money, and on the road cost.

The next best medium vans are the Ford Transit Custom, which came first for size and second for overall value for money, and the Mercedes Vito, which got the top score for reliability and came in second for size.

The Volkswagen Transporter scored consistently well, with the second best score for fuel economy, reliability, and basic features.

The best medium vans for 2024 compared

Read on for more information on the most popular medium vans, from models and sizes to best features and pricing.

Ford Transit Custom

This van has three body styles – the standard Van, the Double Cab-in-Van, and the Kombi. These models come with the option to seat up to two, five, or eight passengers respectively.

Depending on the style that suits the needs of your business, the Ford Transit Custom can provide a maximum load space of up to 8.3m³, a gross payload (excluding passengers) of up to 1,459kg, a max load length of 1.9m, and a maximum length of up to 5.3m.

How much does a Ford Transit Custom cost?

A new Ford Transit Custom is likely to cost a minimum of £35,000. If you’re buying second-hand, you may be able to find one for between £15,000 and £25,000.

Volkswagen Transporter

A panel van that’s been in production for over 70 years, the Volkswagen Transporter has a range of body styles including Panel, Kombi and Shuttle.

The max payload for this van is up to 1,278kg, with a load volume of up to 6.7m³. The max load width available is 1.7m, with a load length of up to 3m depending on the body style you opt for.

How much does a Volkswagen Transporter cost?

If you’re looking to buy a new Volkswagen Transporter, the starting price is likely to be between £28,000 and £33,000. A used Transporter could cost between £10,000 and £20,000.

Renault Trafic

The Trafic, described by Renault as the ‘van for all trades’, comes in a Crew van that seats up to five passengers or a Panel van that has three seats.

The Crew van has a higher max payload at 1,122kg and a standard load volume of up to 4.3m³, while the Panel van has a slightly smaller max payload (1,017kg) but a higher standard load volume of 5.8m³. The max load length for a Renault Trafic is 4.2m.

How much does a Renault Trafic cost?

The starting price for a Renault Trafic is just over £35,000. If you’re looking in the second-hand market, you could find one for around £15,000.

Mercedes Vito

The Mercedes Vito comes in three body styles – Panel, Crew, and Tourer.

The Panel van has three seats, with a maximum payload of 943kg and a load volume of 6.6m³. The Crew van has six seats and a load volume of 4.1m³, while the Tourer has nine seats.

How much does a Mercedes Vito cost?

The starting cost of a new Mercedes Vito is likely to range from £30,000 to £40,000. A used Vito could set you back between £10,000 and £20,000.

Vauxhall Vivaro

The Vauxhall Vivaro comes in two body styles – the Panel L1H1 and the Panel L2H1.

The L1H1 has a load height of 7.8m and a payload of up to 1,458kg. Its overall length is just under five metres, with a load length of up to 2.5m.

The L2H1 is a longer van, with an overall length of 5.3m and a maximum load length of 2.8m. However, its load height (7.6m) and max payload (1,415kg) are lower than the L1H1.

How much does a Vauxhall Vivaro cost?

The starting price for a new Vauxhall Vivaro is just over £27,500 (excluding VAT). Buyers of pre-owned Vivaros could get one for approximately £10,000.

Methodology

This article is based on data from an October 2023 survey of 247 small business owners that drive a van for work.

What van would you recommend to other businesses and why? Let us know in the comments below.

Useful guides for business van drivers

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Gorodenkoff/stock.adobe.com
Conor Shilling

Written by

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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