Research and reports
Whether it’s new, second-hand, or you’re leasing, choosing a van for your business is a big decision. However, comparing all the different options on the market can be difficult.
To give you a helping hand, we spoke to almost 250 small business owners in the UK to find out some of the best vans for 2024.
Respondents ranged from builders and plumbers to retail and engineering businesses. And they shared what makes a great van and key areas to consider when choosing your vehicle.
In this article, we look specifically at small vans. From Ford Transits to Citroen Berlingos, you can compare small vans based on important features such as size, reliability, and value for money.
Of the 250 businesses we surveyed, 57 own a small van. The highest number of small van owners have a Citroen Berlingo, followed by Ford Transit Connect, Vauxhall Combo, and Peugeot Partner.
Other small vans owned by our survey participants include the Renault Kangoo, Mercedes Titan, Volkswagen Caddy Cargo, and Fiat Doblo.
According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the best selling light commercial vehicles in the year to November 2023 were:
We asked owners of small vans to rate their vehicles based on the following criteria:
Van owners had to give their vehicle a score from one to five (one being poor and five being excellent) on each of the categories. The table below shows the average scores for the five most popular small vans.
According to our survey, the Citroen Berlingo is the best small van for small businesses, achieving the highest average score in four of the five categories.
The next best small van is the Peugeot Partner, which came out on top for size and got the second best score for reliability.
The Ford Transit Connect came second for economy and overall value for money, while the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo got the second highest score for basic features, and the Renault Kangoo ranks second for on the road cost.
Here are some more details on the most popular small vans, including sizes, models, features, and starting prices.
The Vauxhall Combo has a choice of two models: the Panel L2H1 and the Panel L1H1, which are both available in diesel or electric.
The max length of a Vauxhall Combo is 4.7 metres, with payloads (the maximum weight the van is legally allowed to carry) ranging from 665kg to 1,002kg. The load length for this van ranges from 1.5 metres to 2.1 metres and it has a maximum load height of 1.2 metres.
Both versions of the Combo have rear doors, while the Panel L2H1 has an extra side sliding door for loading and unloading.
The price of a new Vauxhall Combo starts at just under £22,000 for a diesel van and from £33,000 for an electric one.
If you’re looking to buy one second-hand, it could cost up to £15,000.
The Peugeot Partner comes in different sizes and models. There’s an option for a crew van that holds up to five people or a panel van if you need more storage space. You can also choose between a standard and long length.
The two models are the Professional Premium+ and the Asphalt Premium+. The latter has a range of extra technology, comfort, and lighting features.
Depending on the model and size you go for, the Peugeot Partner has a maximum load space of up to 3.8m³ and a maximum load length of up to 2.1 metres.
The price for a new Peugeot Partner van starts around £20,000. If you’re looking to buy one second-hand, you could pay between £5,000 and £15,000.
The Citroen Berlingo comes in two sizes: ‘M’ which is 4.4 metres long and ‘XL’ which is 4.75 metres.
There are also two Berlingo models to choose from. The Van Worker Pro is suitable for workers transporting employees and equipment to all types of locations, while the Van Driver is designed for businesses that make long journeys or lots of deliveries in urban areas.
Citroen Berlingos can have a load space of up to 4.4m³ and a payload of up to 1,000kg. These vans have one or two sliding side doors to help with loading and unloading, as well as hinged doors on the back.
If you’re buying new, a Citroen Berlingo could cost in the region of £30,000. However, the price will depend on the model, size, and fuel type you go for.
For second-hand buyers, Berlingo vans could cost approximately £10,000 to £20,000.
The Ford Transit Connect comes with short and long wheelbase options, with a load volume of up to 3.6m³ and a payload capacity of up to 982kg.
This van has two body styles to choose from. The ‘Van’ or the ‘Double Cab-in-Van’. The Van has a full height, full width bulk-head with two or three seats in the front as well as sliding side and rear cargo doors. The Double Cab-in-Van has two seats in the front, with an extra row of three seats behind.
Depending on the type of van you choose, a new Ford Transit Connect could cost £25,000 to £30,000. Second-hand buyers could pay up to £15,000.
The Renault Kangoo comes in two versions: a crew van and a panel van.
The total length of a Kangoo crew van is 4.9 metres with a load platform length of 2.2 metres. The crew van has a standard load volume of 3m³ and a maximum payload of 871kg.
The panel van is 4.4 metres long with a load platform length of 1.7 metres. This van has a larger standard load volume at 3.3m³ and a smaller max payload of 775kg.
Both options have sliding side doors and rear doors on hinges.
Pricing for the crew van starts at £24,650, while the panel van costs a minimum of £20,250.
If you’re buying second-hand, you could get a Renault Kangoo for between £5,000 and £15,000.
There are three different models in the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo range:
This van can transport up to 700kg, including 100kg on the roof. It’s 4.5 metres long and 1.8 metres in height.
The Caddy Cargo’s typical load space is 1.27m tall with a width of 1.6m, and a length of 1.7m. The total load volume is 3.1m3.
Owners of this van benefit from a side sliding door for loading and unloading, as well as two rear doors.
Depending on which version you choose, a new Caddy Cargo could cost between £25,000 and £30,000. A second-hand buyer could pay between £10,000 and £15,000.
What business van would you recommend for 2024 and why? Let us know in the comments below.
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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.
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