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  • Choosing the best van for your business

    best van for your business

    If you’re in a trade like plumbing, home removals, or parcel deliveries, a van is an essential business investment. When it comes to choosing the right van, however, many people come unstuck; rushing in to purchase without stopping to consider critical factors such as payload, usage, and running costs.

    So how do you avoid this common misstep?

    In this guide, we provide guidance on choosing the best van for your business and outline the key things you need to know in order to decide which van is right for you.


    A van’s payload is the maximum amount it can legally weigh when loaded (as specified by the manufacturer) but this isn’t only measured by the weight of the cargo you carry in your load space. Payload also takes into account the weight of any passengers or vehicle modifications you make too.

    Ensuring you stay within the limitations of your van’s payload is vital so when selecting a model think about who’ll be using it and what you’ll be transporting. Exceeding your van’s payload on a regular basis won’t only incur fines, it also puts your vehicle under excess strain that can result in premature wear and tear.


    What you’ll be using your van for day-to-day will also influence the type of van you need for your business.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re transporting tools and materials, people, packages, or white goods, in every instance the size and weight of your cargo will have a huge bearing on your van choice.

    In addition to selecting a van with the right payload, you’ll also want to take into account a vehicle’s load space. This is the amount of space that’s dedicated to carrying cargo.

    Choose a load space that’s too small and you could find yourself having to make more trips than necessary, losing out on jobs, or parting ways with your van (potentially at a loss) for the sake of making a quick sale.

    Mileage & geography

    How far and wide you plan to travel in your van, and where you’ll mostly be operating, is also an important consideration when it comes to the make and model of van you choose.

    Are you likely to only be travelling to and from one location each day or will you be constantly on the road making collections and drop-offs? Will you be mostly driving in urban cities or are you likely to travel on  uneven country tracks?

    If you’re likely to enter big cities such as London regularly, you’ll need to ensure your van is Euro 6 compliant in order to avoid the daily ULEZ charge (which you’d be liable for on top of the congestion charge).  

    Factors such as these are worth pausing to think about as they can influence whether you decide to go for a new van versus a second hand one, or a hired or leased van versus buying one outright. How many miles you plan to do can also impact on whether you opt for an electric vehicle over a diesel or petrol one.


    Something else you should keep in mind when choosing the best van for your business is access.

    If you’re in the habit of transporting heavy loads, you may need a vehicle with a tail lift, or the very least one that enables forklift loading and unloading.

    If you’re routinely accepting goods from a loading bay, having rear vehicle access will be important. Whilst for curb side loading or drop-offs in busy city centres, side access is a preferable option; allowing you to enter and exit the vehicle in tight spaces or high trafficked areas.

    Access is also important when it comes to the height and width of your business van. If you’re working mostly in rural communities, bear in mind having the headroom to pass under low bridges and the capacity to drive down narrow village lanes.  

    Future maintenance

    Finally, when choosing the best van for your business, spare a thought for its future maintenance and depreciation.

    Opting for an older, secondhand, model at a steal of a price may seem like a wise decision to save you money upfront, but older vehicles are more likely to breakdown or fail MOTs, which could see you paying out for costly repairs, whilst also losing business while your van is off the road.

    Older vans may also cost you more in fleet insurance, because their age and any previous history of repairs automatically puts them at higher risk.

    New vans are likely to be more economical and offer a more comfortable driving experience, making them great choices for those who are on the move all day, but their value can also depreciate quickly, so they’re probably not the best choice if you’re using your van infrequently.

    On a related note, if you’re planning on signwriting your van with your business name or logo, make sure you let your insurer know. Adding external branding to a business van is considered a vehicle modification and failure to declare this could result in your van or feet insurance policy being voided.

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