Buying a new van can be an exciting yet daunting experience. With so many options and factors to consider, it’s important to think carefully about how you will use your van before making a purchase. Swiss vans have all types of Iveco Vans for sale.
This guide will walk you through the key considerations when choosing a van in the UK, to help ensure you select the perfect vehicle for your needs.
How will you be using your van?
First and foremost, reflect on the main purpose of your van. Do you need it predominantly for transporting goods and merchandise? Will it double up as a people carrier? Is fuel efficiency a priority? Being clear on your needs will make it easier to narrow down the choices.
For example, if you plan to use the van for family duties most of the time, opting for a car-derived van with comforts like climate control and lots of seats may be the way to go.
On the other hand, if you run a delivery business, a basic panel van with maximum load space will probably better suit your requirements.
Think About Payloads
What is a van payload?
Payload refers to the maximum carrying capacity of a van, excluding the weight of the driver and fuel. It’s a key specification to consider, as you want to choose a van that can safely accommodate the loads you need to transport. Payloads are measured in kilograms or tonnes. A larger van like a Luton or box van will offer payloads between 1 and 2.5 tonnes, while smaller vans have payloads from around 650kg up to 1 tonne.
What Is Load Space & Why Is It Important?
As well as payload, you need adequate load space inside your van to transport your cargo. Measure the size and dimensions of the items you anticipate moving regularly. For example, if your business involves delivering bulky furniture, you’ll likely need a sizable medium or large-panel van.
The load space is also determined by the van’s height and whether it has a high-roof option to allow stacking. Measure carefully and don’t cut it too fine – go for a slightly bigger load area if possible to give yourself flexibility.
Where to buy A Van?
Iveco vans are high-specification commercial vehicles available for sale in the UK, catering to both individuals and businesses.
Known for their unmatched reliability, exceptional performance, and advanced auto technology, they are a top choice in the commercial vehicle industry. The brand, Iveco, is celebrated for its commitment to innovation, including pushing towards reduced emissions and enhanced efficiency. Iveco Vans for sale are available at Swiss Vans, a leading van dealer in the UK.
Their vans are versatile, fuel-efficient, and have superior safety features, making them suitable for various applications.
How Many Seats Do You Need?
If you plan to use your van to carry passengers, the number of seats is vital. Crew vans can accommodate around 5-7 people including the driver. Car-derived vans often have 5-8 seats in total. If you want to use your van predominantly for transporting people, go for a combi van that maximises seating while offering some rear cargo space.
Certain vans also have foldable or removable rear seating to switch between cargo and people-carrying duties.
Consider how accessible the load area needs to be. For frequent loading and unloading, choose rear or side doors that open wide for convenient access. Most panel vans have rear doors only, while some medium and large vans also offer side access.
Car-derived vans typically have a tailgate and fold-flat rear seats. A liftgate is another useful option – especially for taller vans. Measure the opening heights and widths against your cargo to ensure everything will fit.
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Type Of Journey
Your regular journeys will also guide your choice. For long motorway trips, focus on an economical engine with low emissions, cruise control and a comfortable driving position. If you frequently drive in cities or built-up areas, consider a shorter wheelbase and tighter turning circle for extra manoeuvrability.
You may also want parking sensors and blind-spot mirrors. Knowing your typical routes enables you to choose the most suitable van for those conditions.
What Are The Different Types Of Vans?
Now you have an idea of your needs, it’s time to explore the different van types available:
Panel vans have a fully enclosed cargo area and come in small, medium and large sizes:
Small Panel Vans – Up to 2.8 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW). Payloads around 650kg-1 tonne. Ideal for local deliveries or as a first van. Example models: Ford Transit Connect, Citroen Berlingo, Renault Kangoo.
Medium Panel Vans – 2.8 to 3.5 tonnes GVW. Payloads up to 1.4 tonnes. One of the most popular options for small businesses and tradespeople. Example models: Ford Transit Custom, Mercedes Sprinter, VW Transporter.
Large Panel Vans – Over 3.5 tonnes GVW. Payloads up to 2.5 tonnes. The largest vans are ideal for moving bulky or heavy cargo. Example models: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Iveco Daily.
Car-Derived Or Compact Vans
As the name suggests, car-derived vans share many components with regular cars and are more car-like to drive. They typically have integrated front seats and cargo space in the rear. Payloads range from around 650kg up to 1 tonne. Example models: VW Caddy, Ford Tourneo Connect, Fiat Doblo Cargo.
Small Or Light vans
Light vans sit between car-derived and small panel vans for payload capabilities. They offer payloads starting around 800kg and are nimble to drive. Example models: Ford Transit Courier, Citroen Nemo, Peugeot Bipper.
Crew vans provide seating for multiple occupants as well as cargo space. They often have a second row of removable seats and may have up to 7 seats. Example models: VW Transporter Kombi, Ford Tourneo Custom.
You’ll also find other specialist vans types like tippers, box vans, Lutons and dropsides. These are designed for specific industries or cargo requirements.
How Do I Choose Van Size?
Within the different van categories, you’ll find various sizes to suit different needs. Consider these key factors such as van wheelbase, van height and cabin size.
What Is A Van Wheelbase?
The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles. A long wheelbase provides more load space, while a shorter wheelbase gives better manoeuvrability. For example, a Ford Transit Custom comes in three lengths:
Short wheelbase (SWB) – 270cm wheelbase. Around 6m3 load volume. Ideal for tight urban areas.
Medium wheelbase (MWB) – 320cm wheelbase. Approximately 8m3 load volume. A popular middle ground.
Long wheelbase (LWB) – 370cm wheelbase. Roughly 10m3 load volume. Maximizes cargo space.
Choosing The Right Van Height
As well as length, van height is important for load space. The main options are:
Standard roof – Gives around 1.8m internal load height. Ideal for lighter cargo.
High roof – Increases internal height to approx 2m. Enables stacking of heavier goods.
Luton or box van – Raises roof even higher (up to 2.7m) for bulky loads.
Wheels & Tyres
Larger vans usually have twin rear wheels (twin rear wheels) to support bigger payloads. You can also opt for all-terrain tyres for grip off-road.
Don’t overlook comforts to keep you happy on the road:
- Adjustable driving position – Ensure you can sit comfortably with good visibility.
- Climate control – Stay cool on hot days and defrost windows quickly.
- Cruise control – Reduces fatigue on long motorway trips.
- Navigation system – Helps plan efficient delivery routes.
Don’t Forget Running Costs
Your chosen van will incur ongoing costs for fuel, maintenance and insurance. Compare these costs across different models and engine options. More fuel-efficient Euro 6 diesel engines offer lower emissions and better economy. Smaller vans and petrol engines are usually cheaper to insure.
Evaluating your practical needs alongside test drives enables you to strike the best balance of cargo space, dimensions, driving experience and running costs in your new van. Taking the time to get it right will ensure many happy years of reliable service.