Low emissions zones and clean air zone charges are being introduced across major cities in the UK. With over 21 cities bidding to get involved, if you’re looking to purchase a new van for your business, you should make sure it is compliant with your city’s proposals, which should roll out between 2020 - 2022.
Alongside this, new vehicle design legislation is being rolled out in 2022. This legislation gives manufacturers the power to produce safer, fuel-efficient and streamlined trucks, lorries and vans. With longer aerodynamic noses and flaps and crumple zones, this will mark the end of brick-shaped commercial vehicles which are deemed inefficient and dangerous - especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
With so many commercial vans available, knowing which one to choose can be a real challenge - especially if you’re a new sole trader or freelancing builder. From knowing which load capacity to choose, to deciding whether you want a short or long wheelbase, to flatbeds and tippers, there’s a huge amount of jargon to sift through. The experts at Nationwide Cars have put together some of the best commercial vans for your business so that you can excel at your job.
The Ford Transit has been a popular choice of vehicle for business owners and freelancers since 1965, and it’s easy to see why. Reliable, functional and tough, it’s the go-to van for sole traders, freelancers and businessmen across the UK. What makes the Ford stand out from other competitors is the fuel efficiency, phenomenal driving capability and safety features.
There’s a wide range of Ford Transits available, and the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel 103 bhp engine is the most efficient of the range and delivers 42.2 mpg with 2000 rpm. If you’re looking for a more economical engine, Ford’s 123bhp Econetic is the lowest in emissions, sometimes reaching as low as 177g/mm while achieving 44 mpg.
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect comes in both long and short wheelbase options and can take up to 3.6 cubic metres of load volume. The MPG depends on the specification you choose. Cheap and spacious, the cabin of the Ford Connect has an abundance of headroom and has excellent power and superb fuel efficiency. Perfect for sole traders, this compact van will get you exactly where you need to be while safely storing all of your equipment.
Ford Transit Courier
The Ford Transit Courier features a plethora of smart technology and is incredibly fuel-efficient. Ideal for city driving, this commercial vehicle has an excellent in-class turning circle. It also boasts 10% more load volume than other vehicles in its class. The Courier’s steering wheel can be adjusted for both height and reach, catering for people of all sizes.
Ford Transit Custom
The Ford Transit Custom is the mid-sized model in the Transit range and the details of this van’s interior are similar to that of the Ford Focus. Every Custom comes with a 2.0 litre TDCi Ford EcoBlue and 70-litre fuel tank. Across the full range of Transit Customs, there are eight different engine power units available.
The Mitsubishi L200 has been around for 30 years and is a popular choice amongst in the pick-up truck market. The Mitsubishi L200 is great for sole traders and freelancers who need something bigger than a car, but not as big as a transit van. This commercial vehicle comes with a choice of two power outputs got the same 2.5-litre diesel engine.
Excellent in terms of fuel economy, the L200’s common-rail turbo diesel engine comes with an entry-level 4Life model that offers a 40.9mpg combined economy figure and CO2 emissions of 180g/km. In terms of speed, the 151bhp model takes 12.2 seconds to reach 62mph compared to the 178bhp's 10.4 seconds.
The biggest model in the VW panel van range, the Volkswagen Crafter features a roomy cabin and excellent storage space. Available in three different lengths (5,986mm, 6,836mm and 7,391mm) you can choose the length for your business. The VW Crafter’s engine is durable, efficient and has low-down pulling power. The stop-start technology is perfect for city driving. You can also choose whether you want stronger horsepower or loadspace.
What makes the Crafter so great for freelancers who are just starting is the fact that it comes in a range of load volumes and payloads. This means you can opt for a VW that is tailored to you. All options are generous when compared to its class rivals.
For those who need a van that’s spacious but adaptable, the Citroën Relay features impressive amounts of space, has low running costs and boasts excellent technology. Every Citroën Relay comes with a 2.2-litre diesel unit which provides remarkable fuel economy and great power. The most spacious in its class, the Relay has an intuitive dashboard, a pulldown desk and three spacious seats. Alongside this, hill-start assist, ABS and stability control are all a standard in this Citroën - perfect for a fuss-free, easy journey!
Similar to the Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a great example of perfection and performance in the full-sized van class, and comes in four body lengths with three roof variants. Due to the various options, size and versatility, this commercial van is great for a wide range of sectors. Whether this Mercedes is empty or fully-loaded, this van rides well and both petrol and diesel engines are fuel-efficient. The Sprinter’s BlueEFFICIENCY technology, an enhanced engine and smart tyres carbon emission make the perfect van - this Mercedes is perfect to drive in all weathers.
Whether you’re a sole trader buying a van for your business, or you’ve been given a company car allowance, Nationwide Cars are here to help you. Find out how company car allowances work here. We deliver our customers free and impartial advice to ensure you choose the perfect van. Contact us today and we can help get you back on the road in no time.