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How to choose the right van for you

August 7th, 2020

How to choose the right van for you: From types and size to van lease deals

Today, many businesses rely on a fleet of commercial vans. Whether you work in the haulage industry or you manage a small plumbing company with a few highly-skilled contractors, commercial vans can make the day-to-day operations of your business much smoother and more efficient. With so many cheap van lease deals available, leasing or owning a van has also never been easier or more accessible.

However, it’s important to find the right van for your requirements. No two businesses are the same and the type of van you need will depend on a variety of factors. For example, if you run a business that relies heavily on the transportation of tools and equipment, a van with lots of loadspace will serve you much better than a van with lots of passenger seats.

To help you understand your options and make an informed decision about the right van for you, we’ve put together this helpful.

Types of commercial vans

Whether you’re looking for a van for personal or commercial use, it’s important to understand the different options available to you. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding a van. It’s important to spend time thinking about your requirements and how you plan to use the van on a daily basis, as this will help you find a vehicle to match your needs.

Some of the main types of van to consider include:

Box vans

Box vans have two main components: a chassis cab at the front of the van with passenger seats, and a large box at the rear used for transporting cargo. These are typically separate. Box vans are often used by removal companies as they offer plenty of space for furniture and other belongings.

Luton vans

Luton vans are very similar to box vans. In fact, they are often considered to be a type of box van. The main difference is the body; with Luton vans, the cargo area often extends over the top of the passenger cab. This allows extra storage space, making this another popular van type for companies that transport lots of cargo.

Panel vans

Panel vans have a similar framework to cars, however they are noticeably much bigger. They offer a good balance between passenger comfort (e.g. the cab typically holds three seats) and cargo space. Panel vans are light commercial vehicles with enough space to transport small items (e.g. painting equipment or an electrician’s tools), but they are also popular for personal use.

Crew vans

Crew vans are very similar to panel vans in terms of style and appearance. The main difference between a panel and crew van is the additional seating. Crew vans have an extra row of seating to accommodate for additional passengers, making crew vans a popular choice for small companies that need to transport a crew of workers from A to B.

Pick-up vans

This is another type of van that’s popular for both personal and commercial usage. Pick-up vans are much smaller than the others on this list, with a cab seating 2-4 people and an open back. This space can be used to transport smaller items, however, you may need to store them inside (such as in a garage) overnight to protect them from theft or the weather.

These are some of the most popular vans for business fleets, however there are also more specialist models available. These include tipper vans, dropside vans and curtain-side vans, which are often used for transporting large volumes of cargo.

Factors to consider when choosing a van

You may already have some idea of the van type that best suits your needs. For example, if you run a small painting and decorating business with only one or two employees, you may be looking for a panel van to transport lightweight cargo through city streets. On the other hand, if you run a nationwide storage and removals business, perhaps a box or Luton van, or even a larger curtain-side van, would meet your requirements best.

Once you have a few styles and types in mind, you need to consider the specifications of each in more detail. Below, we list some of the main factors to consider when choosing the right van for you.

Weight restrictions

Figuring out the height and weight restrictions of the van you need is especially important if you’re buying or leasing a van for commercial purposes. Overloading your vehicle is illegal and you could face penalties for doing so, so considering the cargo you will need to transport on a daily basis and finding a van equipped to do so is vital. Remember that the maximum payload of a vehicle also includes its passengers, so if you plan to transport more than one person at a time, you will also need to factor this into your weight calculations.

Loadspace restrictions

In addition to payload, you must also consider the loadspace restrictions of each van type. This includes the width, height and length of the space available to store cargo and passenger luggage. Again, the loadspace required will depend on how you plan to use the van and what the vehicle will be used for. For example, if you are a mobile florist, you probably won’t need much loadspace, as the height, width and length of your cargo will be limited. However, if you’re a construction worker who regularly transports large planks of timber and other heavy objects, you should consider the exact dimensions of a vehicle before buying or leasing it.

Passenger space

Another important consideration to make is passenger space. The number of seats available for passengers will depend on the style and size of the van you choose, so think carefully about your requirements before making your decision.

Driving environment

It also pays to think about the type of driving you’ll be doing. Although this may not be the biggest influencing factor, it’s still important to consider. After all, if you will mainly be driving through cities, large models like curtain-side vans will be less favourable than more compact options like crew vans. However, the payload and loadspace restrictions are perhaps the most important factors to think about.

Cabin functions

When you’re on the road all day, the features and functions available in your cabin are important! This is what keeps you comfortable and entertained while you’re behind the wheel. Certain functions will also make it easier for you to run your business, such as the ability to take phone calls over Bluetooth or a built-in Sat Nav to direct you to customers’ properties.

Buying a van and van finance deals

Once you’ve figured out the type of van you need and the exact specifications you require, it’s time to consider the financial side of things. Luckily, there are many brilliant and affordable ways to find the perfect van for your business if you don’t want to buy a brand new model from a manufacturer. These include:

Buying a second-hand van

Many dealerships and van traders offer second-hand models at much more affordable prices than brand new models. Second-hand vans are often in great condition and perhaps only a few years old, yet are available at significantly cheaper prices.

Hire purchase

Hire purchase is another funding option available for people hoping to own a van without paying huge upfront costs. With hire purchase, you pay a small upfront fee in addition to monthly payments for a pre-agreed period of time. At the end of the contract, once you’ve paid the amount in full, the van is yours to keep.

Van leasing

Van leasing has become an extremely popular method of van financing in recent years. This is because it offers an efficient and cost-effective way to drive a van, without the added complications of van ownership. You also have lots of flexibility with van leasing as there are two main options available:

  • Contract Hire; this is a long-term hire solution for drivers who don’t want to own the van at the end of the contract period. This gives you the option to pay monthly and simply hand the van back at the end of the agreement.
  • Finance Lease; this is similar to contract hire financing but it’s only available for business owners and has many significant tax benefits. With this option, you can either pay the full cost of the vehicle (plus interest) over the length of the contract agreed between you and the leasing company. Or, you can pay reduced monthly payments and then a final sum at the end of the contract based on the predicted resale value.

For more information about each of these van leasing solutions, get in touch with us at Global Vans today. Alternatively, browse our full range of long and short-term van lease deals to find the right financing solution for you.

Global Vans: Look no further for bespoke financing solutions and cheap lease vans

A van leasing company with a difference, we pride ourselves on our commitment to matching well-maintained vehicles and affordable lease deals to our valued customers. We have a range of vans available for lease from many leading manufacturers and are on hand to help you choose the perfect financing solution for your needs. For more information about our services or to find the right van lease deal for you, contact us at Global Vans today.

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