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Finding the right used van for you

Finding the right used van for you

There are so many choices of used vans these days that it can be confusing and overwhelming when you need to make a decision about which used van is best for you and your needs. You may need to carry passengers in your van as well as equipment, you may need to carry heavy goods, or you may just need a small van for local deliveries. Here we will try and outline the different types of vans and how they can be utilised. 

Vans, vans, vans!

Vans can have many uses and can easily be seen as the unsung hero of the roads. Life would be so much harder without vans, they are needed for the transportation of goods, tools and equipment, and they are a regular sight on the nation's motorways as they travel the length and breadth of the country on a weekly basis.

In very basic terms you have the option of a small van, medium van, or large van, or the increasingly popular pickup truck - which can have multiple uses. To use your van to its full potential, you will need to pick one with a payload and load space to meet your usage requirements.

Payload refers to the weight of the load that the van can carry, including the weight of you and any passengers. Having a van that is overloaded is not only dangerous but also a legal offense, and you could be fined. Load space is the space within the van in which you can safely load your equipment. If you are a trades' person, and you need to carry large sheets of wood or plasterboard, or you use a van for home removals, then you would need to be aware of the space that is available to you inside the van. Load space is usually measured in litres or square meters and as you can imagine varies significantly in different sized vans.

Small Vans

Small vans are a common sight on our roads, they offer great versatility and for many small businesses they are ideal as they offer more space than a car-based van but still have great manoeuvrability and the running costs are relatively low. Smaller vans like the Ford Transit Connect, Citroën Berlingo, Fiat Doblo and Peugeot Partner are ideal for courier businesses and delivery services, as they have plenty of space for parcels in the load space, but they are also nippy enough to get around the town centres and narrow streets. These small vans offer a payload of between 600 kg and 800 kg, perfect for smaller based electricians, painters and decorators or gardeners. A roof rack can even be added so that ladders can be carried, reducing the need for a larger van.

At Van Circle, we have a selection of small vans at some fantastic prices that will get you and your business off to a great start. Browse our range and give us a call to help you through the rest of the process.

Medium Vans

Medium vans can serve many different purposes and be easily adapted. Not only can you use them to transport good around, but you can also use them to carry people. Medium vans have the space to be able to add an extra row of seats, meaning that you can now carry up to six people with plenty of storage space still available.

The Volkswagen Transporter comes with six seats in double cab format and still has plenty of room for work or play equipment. The Toyota Proace, Fiat Talento and the Ford Transit Custom are all a similar size, and are ideal if you need more space for your business. Electricians with a lot of kit, especially if working on a new house build, or carpenters who, not only need to carry a lot larger tools, but also large pieces of wood would benefit from this size van. Knowing the size of the inside of your van is imperative, payload and load length are vital and all with an average load length of 2500 mm for a panel van variant, medium vans make good choices for transporting you, your crew and your equipment.

Large Vans

Large vans are the kings of the roads. They are used for transporting vast amounts of goods, like food deliveries to shops, or for house moves, or larger building supplies. They not only have more space and a much higher payload - up to 1600 kg, but you also have the option of MWB (medium wheelbase) and LWB (long wheelbase), and wide rear and side sliding doors means that there are so many more options available to meet your needs.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Renault Master are hailed as being the biggest with 17 cubic meters of space just begging you to fill, you may even be at a loss as to what else you can throw in there to fill it. The UK's biggest selling large van is the Ford Transit, It's easy to drive, cost-effective to run and excellent value for money, with nearly 3500 mm of load length and over 2500 mm of load height and being fully customisable they really won't be much you can't do with this van. Many makes and models including The Peugeot Boxer also offers a tipper version, meaning that if you operate a building, or a landscape business you can easily transport any rubble, stone or soil that you might need.

Pickup Trucks

Pickup Trucks may not be what you instantly think of as a van, but they are growing in popularity and have many uses. They are great off-road, and they have the option of single and double cab, meaning that you can use them outside of work for the family or to transport your team to the work site. If you work off the beaten track, like in agriculture or landscaping, then pickup trucks are great getting you over bumpy terrain, and with a cover over the back of the truck you can ensure that you lose none of your essential work tools or equipment are kept safe.

The Toyota Hilux double cab, not only has room for five people, but also has a payload of 1.105 kg, this is before you’ve added the soft or hard top cover, but there is still plenty that can be packed in and secured down. With no doors to navigate to get things in the back it means that you are not as restricted as you would be with a smaller van and really the sky is the limit.

The Ford Ranger double cab is available with EcoBlue meaning that it is improved efficiency and refinement with fewer emissions, also comes with a max payload of 1.140 kg, which is staggering considering that some medium-sized vans don't offer that much.


So, now you know all the different types of vans, it should be easier to make a decision about which is best for you and your needs. The information about the vans and their pay load, load space and load lengths might seem overwhelming, but we are always more than happy to explain anything you are unsure of, and talk you through all the options that may be of interest to you. There is no right or wrong answer and each van offers you something different, and with the pickup truck in the mix you really are spoilt for choice.

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