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A complete guide to buying a small van

Ford transit connect
April 4th, 2022

When it comes to buying a small van, you may have no idea where to start. There are so many options on the market, from electric to used vans, how do you know which are the best vans for sale near me?

In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about buying a small van and what there is to consider when making your purchase.

What are the best new vans to buy?

When you choose a van, it is mostly dependent on the purpose you will use it for. If you plan to use your small van as a delivery vehicle you may need slightly different requirements than someone who wants to use their van to go camping. However, there are a few standout vans that are known as being versatile for a range of purposes. Read on to discover the best small vans on the market.

Peugeot Partner

The Peugeot Partner is similar to the Citroen Berlingo, Toyota Proace City and the Vauxhall Combo, but has many memorable features that keep bringing buyers back. In this small van you’ll find Peugeot’s celebrated i-Cockpit design, which sets it above the rest of its competitors. The i-Cockpit includes a compact steering wheel, head-up instrument panel and a large touchscreen, making it perfect for commercial applications. This makes driving the Peugeot Partner much more satisfying and ensures your drive is much smoother. For a comfortable and stylish small van, this Peugeot is a great option. The 1.5-litre diesel engine or 1.2-litre PureTech petrol option are well matched for city environments and stop-start traffic or deliveries.

Ford Transit Connect

Another great option is the Ford Transit Connect, a well-rounded and impressive van. It offers a great drive with excellent payload and volume levels. This van is not suited to everyone, however, as the interior has a wealth of buttons that may not be to everyone’s tastes. It is considered a very comfortable small van and very ergonomic. You’ll also find the build quality to be exceptionally high and the 1.5-litre engine is well-suited to the city. You can choose from a 1-litre petrol engine if you plan to move lighter loads around the city.

Citroen Berlingo

Another great small van, the Citroen Berlingo is a quality vehicle that has been considered one of the best small vans for quite some time. It’s the perfect city van and comes out ahead of its competitors such as the Vauxhall Combo or the Toyota Proace City. It’s a great looking van as a proven package that combines efficient engines with a bewildering number of interior storage set-ups. As well as this, the current version aims to fix issues by offering improved refinement and more luxury and safety features.

Volkswagen Caddy

The Volkswagen Caddy has recently been updated and now provides firm competition for many other small vans. Based on the Volkswagen Golf 8 platform, the new Caddy 5 offers a whole range of safety and driver assistance features that make it an enjoyable, safe and comfortable driving experience. Now more practical than its predecessor, it is more refined and offers touchscreen controls for the van’s basic functions such as heating and volume. These may take some getting used to and may not be ideal for all van users.

Toyota Proace City

A new addition to the small van market, the Toyota Proace City shares its platform with the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo. It has a similar interior to the Citroen and the Vauxhall as well as incorporating other features such as plenty of airbags, tyre pressure monitor and other safety systems. As a result, this small van is slightly more expensive than other options but guarantees a safe and comfortable drive. It offers the same 1.5-litre engine and variety of connectivity and infotainment options as well as being as good to drive as others.

Financing your van

You may want to pay for your van outright, however, this isn’t always an option, particularly if you want to purchase a top of the range van with added features. There are plenty of ways to pay for your new small van such as on van finance or by buying a used van. A van can be a great investment, particularly when it is for your business, however, over time you will experience depreciation which means the value of your van will drop over time. This makes buying a van on finance a great option and you don’t have to worry about losing out on money further down the line.

Finance allows you to buy a van for a monthly expense which can help you manage costs better. This can also be done by putting the van through your business account to greater aid the financial burden of a brand new vehicle. When the contract comes to an end you can either trade in the van for a newer model or keep the one you currently have.

Don’t forget that used vans also offer a great financial option. You can choose the van you want and search around for the best price. Often van sales companies will have great refurbished options that are likely to last you for a long period of time, making it a great long-term investment.

Lastly, you could also consider contract hire for your van. This is a particularly good option for businesses as it enables you to get your hands on a great van whilst paying a lower hire price. Long term hire means you don’t have to worry about depreciation or forking out large sums of money for repairs and maintenance.

What do you need your van for?

An important part of choosing a van is making sure it will suit your needs and requirements. Whether you need your van for dog walking or camping trips, some vans will be better suited to the task.

Dog walking – If you’re a dog walker by trade or you want to take your golden retriever on drives to the beach, there are a few vans to look out for. Vans such as the Fiat Doblo, Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, VW Caddy, Ford Transit Connect and the Renault Kangoo are all excellent options. They are perfectly suited to carrying about four dogs at a time, good on fuel and relatively reliable and cheap to maintain.

Camping – Some people like having a van to carry their camping equipment easily, while others may convert their small van into a micro camper. The opportunities are endless and many small vans will do the job well while not being too bulky for small roads and parking. The Citroen Berlingo, the Renault Kangoo and Vauxhall Combo are popular options among those looking for more outdoor pursuits.

Towing – If you plan to use your small van to tow anything like a trailer, caravan or boat, there are a few options that are deemed best. These are the Volkswagen Caddy and Fiat Doblo Cargo, both with a 1.5-tonne towing capacity.

Business – Whether running a courier or delivery business, a small van is perfect for zipping around the city. The Peugeot Partner, Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Caddy all fare very well as the perfect business van. The Peugeot Partner stands out above the rest with the i-Cockpit, 1,000kg payload and a load space of up to 4,400 litres.

Find Vans For Sale Near Me with Van Sales UK

If you’re looking for your next small van, the team at Van Sales UK has got you covered. With a fantastic range of vans including new, used and electric, we’re sure we’ll find the right one for you. Whether you’re interested in the Ford Transit Connect, Peugeot Partner, Citroen Berlingo or many more, visit our website today. We offer van finance options including contract hire and purchase hire, so you can get your hands on your ideal small van for a much smaller price.

Whether you’re looking for your next camping or boating trip or you simply want to make a smart investment for your business, the team at Van Sales UK are highly experienced and can offer you the advice and guidance you need to drive away with the perfect small van. Get in touch today and we’ll answer any questions or queries you may have about buying a brand new small van.


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