Due to the high demand in online shopping in the past few years, the UK has seen an influx of thousands of new courier van drivers take to the roads, but which van is the best for delivering goods?
With many van drivers being self-employed it is essential you choose the right van for your business. That’s why we’ve put a guide together on the best vans for delivery drivers, although please note, one size does not fit all and the best delivery van for yourself is one that suits your needs.
1. Ford Fiesta Van
The Ford Fiesta is a perfect local town or city van. Not all delivery drivers need to haul huge amounts of boxes around town and the intimidating dimensions of a van can be off-putting. If you are delivering smaller goods or orders that are lightweight, then the Fiesta will be plenty big enough.
With a rear window, a bulkhead with a meshed top you can see through and the same dimensions as the standard Fiesta it is the perfect size to nip in and out of tight spots around town, especially if you have no previous experience of driving a commercial vehicle. The Ford Fiesta Van is also one of the cheapest vans to insure.
2. Citroen Berlingo
The main reason why the Citroen Berlingo is such a good delivery van, is the clever piece of technology that lets you absolutely max out the permitted payload. It’s called the ‘Overload’ sensor and it warns you when you have got close to the maximum and when you have reached it.
This has an obvious safety benefit, as you will not be driving around with too much weight in the back of your van, but it also has an efficiency benefit. If you are unsure about whether you are close to the maximum you may want to play it safe and not overload. This way you’ll know how much you can get in without having to weigh all the stuff that is going in the back of the van.
3. Mercedes- Benz Sprinter
This 5- door van has electrical power steering, hill start assist and active brake assist to name but a few features. It’s one of the best delivery vans for bigger loads because it can handle a volume of 14 m³ and has 270 degree rear doors.
4. Ford Transit
This is another good option for bigger loads because it can handle a volume of about 12 m³ and has 180 degree rear doors. This clever van has front and rear parking sensors, an adjustable steering wheel and much more.
5. Nissan NV 200
The Nissan NV 200’s twin sliding doors and rearview camera make it one of the best courier vans for city-based business. It also features fog lights and multifunction steering.
6. Vauxhall Vivaro
The Vauxhall Vivaro is often considered to be one of the most reliable courier vans on the market. With features such as, an anti-lock braking system with electronic force distribution, an adjustable steering column and an electronic stability program with traction control. This is a good mid-sized option as it can fit a volume of around 6 m³ and handle a payload of about 1000 kg.
How to choose the right van
Here are some things you should consider before making your purchase.
Make sure your van is secure
Most modern vans all come with a high level of security, but if you’re transporting expensive goods it might be best to look at additional security measures to avoid van break-ins and other mishaps that could impact your business.
If you’re buying a new van, make sure you get adequate security measures fitted. Get an alarm, an immobiliser and deadlocks, even if they are not standard on your particular model, it’s worth forking out a little extra for peace of mind.
If you’re not sure whether your van has been fitted with an immobiliser, read our blog on how to find out if you have a factory-fitted immobiliser. If you don’t, it might be worth investing in an immobiliser.
Make sure you consider comfort
Due to the nature of the job, you will spend large amounts of time in your van, so it’s important you pick one that is comfortable. Whilst checking engine size and durability are fine traits, you of course need to ensure you don’t get aches and pains while driving.
If you’re able to make sure you take a test drive in your van for a prolonged period of time so you can really figure out how comfortable you feel while driving. It’s also a good idea to check you’re happy with the setup of the dashboard.
Check your van’s fuel efficiency
If you do short distance deliveries, you will need to pay extra attention to the miles per gallon (MPG) a van can do. MPG takes into account the stopping and starting you’ll be doing if you have a lot of deliveries within a short distance.
If you’re more interested in vans for long deliveries, pay attention to ‘MPG Extra’ as this will inform the mileage you’ll get if you’re spending most of your time driving on motorways in between stops.
‘MPG Combined’ will let you know the mileage you can expect doing some sort of combination of the two. Whichever option you’re looking for, the best vans for courier drivers are ones that don’t break the bank on fuel.
Courier van insurance you can trust
Don’t just use comparison sites or online quotes for your van insurance, because their quotes will be generated by a computer and can’t be altered. Plus, they might not offer you the right level of cover that you need when working as a courier.
By talking to an insurance specialist on the phone you can make sure you’re answering all the questions correctly, and have someone on your side, helping find ways to save you money and get the very best and most affordable cover.
The best van insurance deals are usually done over the phone — 79.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in July 2020 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided. Call 0800 141 2794 or request a callback at a time that suits you.