What are the best vans for business leasing?
- Which is the best manufacturer of business vans?
- How does van leasing work?
Vans have long been a trusty tool for workers and private individuals. They are ideal for transporting small items, perfect for sole traders and great if you need to take slightly larger pieces of equipment to a job as a gardener or plumber.
We’re going to acknowledge here that there isn’t enough information out there about vans. When you’re looking for detail about buying or leasing, the vast majority of the data is about cars.
When looking for a new van it’s sometimes not easy to know where to start your search. Of course, there are several things that you have to consider including payload and practicality, as well as other things depending on where you will be travelling (such as emissions for low-emission zones). Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for in a new van, the search can start.
So, which manufacturer produces the best vans for business? In this article we take a look at the car makers that make the best vans and what makes them the right van for your needs. We also take a look at van leasing.
Which is the best manufacturer of business vans?
Before we start, we need to clarify that this is simply our opinion. There are a lot of manufacturers out there that may be much better suited to the needs of you and your business.
We aren’t going to be rating them in any particular order, as they all produce good vans that may meet your individual business needs.
Ford has long been popular with van drivers and over the years it’s produced some really good models, including two of our all-time favourites, the Transit and the Transit Connect.
Another favourite, the Ford Transit is the best-selling commercial vehicle in the UK and won Van of the Year by AutoExpress three years in a row. It is hugely affordable in all aspects including financing, insurance and running costs and it drives very well. In the L2 and L3 vans, there is room for up to four Euro pallets. The L2 van has a load length of 3.04m and the L3 van is marginally smaller with a length of 3.49m. In the larger L4 van you can fit up to 5 of the pallets and, with additional load length, you can stow a load of up to 4.21m in size.
The payload for the Transit varies depending greatly on which variant you decide to lease or purchase. The lightest front-wheel-drive Transit has an impressive payload that is 1,445kg (almost 1.5 tonnes). It also has a very good number of safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision Assist.
The Transit is now available as a plug-in hybrid, and Ford has announced the popular van will be available as a fully electric vehicle with a 217-mile range between charges at some point in 2022.
Ford Transit Connect
If you’re someone who favours the smaller van then this one is a great option. The Ford Transit Connect has been one that many van drivers will choose out of a line-up. It’s often ranked as one of the best small vans on the market and, being honest, we aren’t surprised.
The design of the Transit Connect is definitely practical and user-friendly, including a load-through bulkhead that can allow you to carry items that are up to 3m long even if you have a short-wheelbase van, this increases to 3.4m if you select the long-wheelbase option.
There is also a flip-up hatch at the bottom which enables you to slide long items into a storage area that is beneath the front passenger seat. Behind the bulkhead, there is room for Euro pallets. In the short-wheelbase version. If you decide on the long-wheelspace van then there is enough space for two or four 8x4ft sheets.
With a payload of up to 967kg and side-wall mounted tie-down points that help to keep the load floor clear this one is great if you’re looking for a practical vehicle with flexible storage space
Just like the Ford Transit, the Transit Connect comes with a number of safety features that include Active City Stop and Traffic Sign Recognition. The van also comes with an infotainment system that works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Want to talk about the Ford Transit or Transit Connect? Call our team of Vehicle Specialists on 01903 538835, or request a callback.
Volkswagen is another manufacturer that has gained a loyal following amongst van drivers, and it has plenty of vans on offer for a range of different purposes.
The Volkswagen Caddy is slightly pricier than others in its class, but according to a large number of people, it’s worth the additional expense.
Being a Volkswagen you expect it to be reliable and the advantage with this is that the Caddy has a really good resale value. This comes in handy if you are planning on selling it on (Finance Lease). Of course, if you’re looking to get a used van, the high resale value of a Caddy means that you will end up paying more to invest in one.
The panel van has a load capacity of up to 3.2m2. The Caddy Maxi Panel van is slightly larger and has a load capacity of up to 4.2m2.
You have the option of adding lashing rails and rings, as well as a rubber floor, which will make for easy cleaning. The rubber floor also helps with insulation and sound-dampening.
The Volkswagen Caddy also comes with a number of safety features, plus an integrated infotainment system for those long days sitting in traffic or driving to jobs.
Volkswagen Transporter 6.1
This is the update on the incredibly iconic and popular T6 that was available for more than 70 years. The T6 was incredibly popular with the self-employed and Volkswagen is hoping that the updated Transporter 6.1 will also win your heart.
There are two variants available, the Startline and the Highline. The Startline is the entry level model, however with multiple options available in both variants you the payload and load volume are generous. The payload is between 713kg to 1,309kg and the load volume is up to 9.3m2.
If you wish to customise your Transporter then there are many options available including lashing rings, electric tailgate, carpet or rubber flooring in the rear and integrated infotainment and SAT NAV system.
As of 2020, Volkswagen also started to produce the ABT e-Transporter, a fully-electric Transporter with a range of 82 miles between charges.
The Volkswagen Crafter is, according to Volkswagen ‘a commercial vehicle like no other’ and the fact that in 2017 it won the International Van of the Year seems to back that up quite well.
The Crafter comes has two variants with multiple configurations. It has wide sliding doors, that can open up to 1,311mm and also has the benefit of a high load compartment height of up to 2,196mm. Added to that, the loading sill can also be lowered by 100mm, making it great if you’re trying to load something just a little bit unwieldy or heavy. Depending on the model you choose the payload varies, ranging from 735kg to 1,454kg.
The Crafter also comes with a lot of safety equipment including Park Assist, Side Protection and Rear Traffic Assistance.
Have questions about Volkswagen vans? Request a callback from our team of vehicle specialists or call them now on 01903 538835.
Renault has been making practical and affordable vans for a long time. Its vans are popular with businesses and van drivers because they are affordable and have a strong reputation for reliability. The company is also paving the way for electric vans, and the electric Kangoo is becoming increasingly popular.
The Renault Kangoo is a popular small van and is hugely customisable.
With a low load threshold and a load volume of up to 3.6m2, it has a multi-positional bulkhead and ply-lining that can protect the interior of the van against damage from cargo. The Kangoo also comes with a rear roof flap that allows for vertical storage of oversized objects. Other features include rear parking assist and USB and AUX ports.
If you want an electric van, then the Renault Kangoo could be just what you’re looking for. Electric vans aren’t as advanced as electric cars just yet, but with more low emission zones being introduced in cities across the country, we’re sure that they will become more advanced and more popular in the years to come. The Kangoo ZE has a range of 170 miles.
If you’re looking for something bigger but equally as affordable, then the Renault Master could be for you. It has a load volume of up to 17m2 and payloads of up to 2,167kg depending on what model you go for. It comes in 4 lengths and 3 heights and has a maximum width of 1,380mm, meaning it can transport 4 euro pallets. The rear-wheel-drive versions are able to transport up to 5 euro pallets. The rear doors open at 270° (optional).
You can customise the vehicle with some optional extras including an integrated touchscreen system that includes navigation.
Another hugely popular brand for van drivers, Citroen offers a range of affordable vans in a range of sizes.
More commonly thought of as a family vehicle the Berlingo can also be purchased as a van with a payload of up to 850kg, which equates to an available volume of up to 4.10m2. It also has an available length of up to 3.25m and a width between wheel arches of 1.23m.
The van is available in two lengths and offers smart access points that include large sliding doors and asymmetric rear doors that open to 180°. With the larger version of the Berlingo, 2 EuroPallets can fit comfortably in the loading space.
The Berlingo features a touchscreen tablet that comes with navigation displaying speed limits and traffic conditions as well as extra media features including streaming and voice recognition.
If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, then the Citroen Dispatch is a great option. It comes with optional hands-free sliding side doors and a payload of up to 1400kg. In terms of volume, the Dispatch offers up to 6.6㎥ of useful volume and up to 4m of useful length. There is also 1.25m between wheel arches. The Dispatch can also pull up to 2.5 tonnes of trailer if you need to transport additional items.
In terms of safety and technology, the Dispatch comes with Grip Control that optimises the traction of the front wheels according to terrain, and a Heads-Up Display. The Heads-Up Display shows essential driving information such as current and recommended speed, navigation instructions and collision risk alerts, on a transparent section in your field of view. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road but still get all the information you need. It also comes with Blind-Spot Monitoring and Active Safety Brake.
Peugeot has gained a loyal following for its vans and is following in Renault’s footsteps with a fully-electric version of the Partner.
Sitting in the middle of Peugeot’s van range, the Partner has two versions but sit on the same length wheelbase. Depending on what version you go for, you can have a payload of either 750kg or 850kg and the load volume can reach up to 3.7m2 and can come with a Multi-Flex passenger seat and a cage bulkhead that folds around the driver.
There are also more safety features in the latest Partner including Active City Brake, parking sensors and a reversing camera. You can also get an infotainment system on the higher trims.
The electric version of the Partner has a range of 106 miles, with a battery and drivetrain warranty of 5 years and 40,000 miles.
The Boxer is larger than the Partner, so if you’re looking for something a little bigger than this one is for you. With a payload that ranges from 1,115kg up to 1,900kg and a load volume between 8m2 and 17m2 (long-wheelbase), you’re definitely getting a spacious vehicle. In fact, it has one of the highest load-carrying capacities in its class.
The gross weight of the Boxer extends from 3,000kg (3 tonnes) to 4,005kg, however, it’s worth being aware that this higher weight limit does put the van into the HGV licence category.
The Boxer has one of the widest load widths in its class at 1,870mm and the interior height reaches 2,171mm. You can also fit a Euro pallet in widthways, with a side-door width of 1,250mm. You also get a full-height steel bulkhead as standard.
If you’re focusing on the safety equipment that comes with the Boxer, then it’s worth knowing that they come with Electronic Stability Control with Hill Start Assist as standard, along with ABS and Emergency Brake Assist.
So there are our top brands for vans and some of the most popular vans they produce. As we said, these aren’t the only makes and models on the market but they are our favourite.
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How does van leasing work?
It’s very common for businesses to lease vans, and this is because there are so many benefits. These include:
- If you’re leasing your van and you’re a VAT registered company then you can claim 100% of VAT back on the monthly payments
- Your company vehicles can either be on, or off, balance sheet, depending on which option is more beneficial to your business
- The payments for company car tax are fixed when you lease a vehicle. Which means that you pay a set amount depending on your tax bracket rather than being charged depending on how much CO2 your van emits.
You can read more about company car tax for vans here. So those are some of the benefits of leasing your company vehicle, particularly if you are leasing a van.
What lease contract would be best for me?
Many people that lease vans tend to choose a Finance Lease. This is a contract that does not have any mileage or wear and tear restrictions, so is perfect for vans who are doing excessively high mileage or will suffer from slightly more damage. It is also perfect for vans with expensive conversion units, such as refrigeration units.
You pay a monthly fee for a set period of time. Once that time is up, you are responsible for selling the van on. The money you receive from selling the van on will then go to your final balloon payment. If you sell the van for more, you get to keep the equity but if you sell it for less then you will have to top it up yourself. Alternatively, you can pay a small fee, usually one monthly payment, and extend your contract.
Hopefully this has given you an idea of the best brands for business vans, as well as giving you some brief information on van leasing. As we said, these aren’t the only great vans on the market, but they are our favourites and ones we definitely think you should have a look at.