Which is the best cargo van?

Do you make a living transporting goods from A to B? If so, you’ll know how important it is to have a decent cargo van for the smooth running of your business.
That van needs to be reliable, spacious enough to fit all your cargo (and then some), and ideally cost-effective to run, seeing as the nature of your job sees you clocking up a lot of miles on a day-to-day basis.
It’s fair to say that your van is the lifeblood of your company – you simply wouldn’t be able to do business without it! Such a vital asset needs to be protected with van insurance that covers not just the van, but the goods you’re transporting, too.
The Insurance Factory can arrange bespoke van insurance that reflects your business needs, for a competitive price. Our policies come with a range of benefits as standard, with optional extras including breakdown cover, 14-day like-for-like van hire, key care cover and protection for gadgets you take in your van with you, all available at an extra cost.

Time to upgrade your cargo van?

If you’ve decided that it’s time to upgrade your cargo van, or perhaps you’re just setting up your company and need to purchase your first vehicle, there are a lot of great cargo vans currently on the market. That means it can be quite difficult to narrow down which one is right for you.
Cargo vans are different to crew cabs in that they contain just one row of seating at the front, including the driver’s seat and usually two passenger seats. This setup means maximum space at the rear to fit in all the goods that you’re transporting.
So, let’s take a look at the best small, medium and large cargo vans that could be a good match for your business:

Small: Ford Transit Connect (£15,137 – £21,287)

You can’t really go wrong with a reliable Ford Transit Connect. Auto Express explains how it drives just as well as Ford’s standard cars, and provides a practical and well-designed load space.
Like many other vans in its category, the Connect comes with two wheelbases: the L1 and longer L2. The L1 comes with a load volume of 2.9 cubic metres and a payload of 630kg, depending on the spec. Choose the L2 and you’ll get 3.6 cubic metres and a max payload of 720kg.
The diesel engine has three states of tune – numbered 75 (74bhp), 100 (99bhp) and 120 (118bhp). The latter is six-speed while the former two are five-speed manual.
The 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine options get a pretty decent 58.9-68.9mpg, but opt for the ECOnetic model with stop-start functions and optional 62mph limiter and you’ll see your mpg rise to an impressive 72.4mpg.
It’s a comfortable drive, praised for its responsive handling and supple suspension. The cabin is extra spacious with plenty of headroom and some nifty storage areas.

Medium: Renault Trafic (£22,800 – £32,200)

The Trafic is one of the top-selling medium-sized vans in the UK, notes Auto Express, with the latest model receiving upgrades to its looks and tech.
The load area is unchanged, though. The van is available in two body lengths and roof heights, with cargo volume ranging from 3.2 cubic metres to 8.6 cubic metres. Items as long as 4.15 metres can be loaded into the van thanks to its thru-load facility and hatch in the bulkhead beneath the passenger seat.
The Trafic is one of the roomiest in its category. The standard panel van provides 5.2 cubic metres of cargo volume and there’s a payload of 1,079kg-1,269kg.
There’s a DAB radio with Bluetooth, ESC stability control, remote central locking and a full steel bulkhead on all models. Upgrade to Business+ and you get air-con and rear parking sensors, among other features, too.
The former 1.6dCi engine has been replaced by a bigger 2.0dCi with a single variable-geometry turbocharger. This upgrade was added to help the van meet emissions regulations and enhance responses. It’s available in 120 (111bhp), 145 (143bhp) and 170 (168bhp) options.
The new engine comes with a stop/start function to help boost fuel economy. Plus there’s Renault’s ‘ECO’ button, which dulls the throttle response to keep revs in check.

Large: Mercedes Sprinter (starting from £24,350 excl. VAT)

If you need a bigger van to transport your cargo, the Mercedes Sprinter is up there with one of the best (as is the Ford Transit, the Connect’s bigger brother).
As What Car? explains, the Sprinter comes in a wide range of body types, lengths and roof heights, with a new front-wheel drive option added to the mix. The four cylinder, 2.1-litre diesel engine delivers 111bph, 143bph and 163bph, while the 3.0-litre V6 produces 187bhp.
Opt for the standard front-wheel drive option and payload exceeds 1,200kg due to a 50kg saving compared to the rear-wheel drive model. Plus you get an 80mm reduction in rear loading height.
Loadspace ranges from 2,607mm in the L1 to 4,707mm in an L4, with heights ranging from 1,798mm to 2,209mm for H1 and H2.
The Sprinter has an excellent reputation for its reliability. Its safety features aren’t to be sniffed at, either: Crosswind Assist helps keep you in a straight line in high winds; Attention Assist detects signs of drowsiness; and optional Active Distance Assist keeps a safe distance between you and the vehicles in front.

Van insurance from the Insurance Factory

The Insurance Factory understands that your cargo van is more than just a vehicle – it’s one of, if not the most important part of your business.
We’re specialists in arranging cover for a wide range of trades and uses, including couriers, scrap dealers and for people who transport fragile and hazardous goods. We’ll take the time to understand the nature of your business and your unique requirements, before finding a policy to suit.
Get a free, no-obligation quote today!