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Choosing the right van for you

At Vanaways, we understand the challenges faced when navigating the path to finding your perfect van. With an array of makes, models, sizes, and specifications available, the process can be both complex and overwhelming. That’s where we step in; these pages will serve as a comprehensive guide, providing you with invaluable insights, based on industry expert advice, and all the necessary information to simplify your buying journey.

Experience the Vanaways advantage where ‘new vans, hassle-free’ isn’t just a slogan; it’s our commitment to you. Our mission is simple: to transform the daunting task of purchasing a new van into a hassle-free, one-stop experience. We pride ourselves on being more than just a standard LCV supplier; we’re your trusted partner in making the right investment for your commercial vehicle needs.

Whether you’re a small business owner seeking a single reliable van or a fleet manager looking to upgrade your fleet, our extensive range of new commercial vehicles caters to diverse requirements.

Get in touch and browse our buying guide below to consider all you need to know before purchasing a new van and to work out which van is best for your business.

New Vs Used (7) - Van Sales UK
New Vs Used (8) - Van Sales UK
New Vs Used (9) - Van Sales UK
New Vs Used (10) - Van Sales UK
New Vs Used (11) - Van Sales UK

New Vs Used: Pre Registered Vehicles Explained

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding pre-registered vehicles regarding the depreciation value, ownership, wear & tear, and mileage accumulation. To put it into simple terms, pre-registered vans are brand new vans with one registered owner on the V5 document (usually the dealer).

Dealers may register these vehicles due to contractual or fulfilment purposes with their manufacturer terms, which means the immediate ‘depreciation’ value of the van is taken on at dealer level, and in turn offering it’s end user a significant financial saving.

These types of vans are generally more affordable than brand new vans making them an ideal choice for consumers shopping on a budget. Pre-registered vans are typically less than six months old, accumulating a small amount of mileage from delivery to the dealership.

Despite the additional ownership on the V5 document which would normally suggest some wear and tear has occurred to the vehicle, you won’t have to compromise on cosmetic quality, mechanical defects, or functionality features.

Choosing this route to vehicle ownership instead of purchasing directly from the van’s manufacturer will allow you to drive what is effectively a brand-new model – without paying full price!

Overall, pre-registered vehicles are a great option for consumers who are looking for a brand-new van at a discounted price; usually between 5-25%. Most pre-registered vehicles are readily available, eliminating long delivery timescales helping you to get on the road in no time!

Things to mention

Whilst the cost savings of a pre-registered vehicle are an attractive prospect, there are some key points to take into consideration before purchasing this type of vehicle:

Registered Keepers As mentioned, pre-registered vans are technically ‘second-hand’ vehicles due to the initial registration on the logbook. So naturally, when it comes to selling the vehicle or part-exchanging it against a new purchase the trade-in-value will have depreciated slightly in comparison to a brand-new van due to the additional ownership.

Additional Extras – Pre-registered vehicles come ‘as seen’ which means there can’t be any modifications made or factory-fitted extras at the time of purchase. However, Vanaways can easily coordinate the retrofitted of parts, extras, and conversions post-delivery of the van, thanks to our industry connections and UK network.

Warranty & Breakdown Cover – Another point to consider is the reduced warranty on the vehicle. Warranty and breakdown cover is triggered upon registration of the vehicle; therefore, you will only benefit from the remaining balance of the warranty term from the point it was registered at the dealership.

Insurance – It won’t cost you anymore to insure a pre-registered vehicle, however as you won’t be the first owner of the vehicle you aren’t eligible for ‘new for old’ cover which price protects brand new vehicles offering a like-for-like replacement if it is written off within the first year. GAP insurance is a good alternative to consider as is protects the difference between the original value and the current market value of the vehicle.

Part Exchange

Here at Vanaways we have a simple 3 step process to part exchange your current vehicle when looking to purchase a new van.

We remove the element of hassle from advertising your van online, selling fees and time wasters engaging with your adverts.

Based on the information you provide us we can supply you with a no obligation quote and will settle any outstanding finance at the point of order. We always aim to be competitive on price, compared to other valuation websites – giving you more money to put towards a new van!


Panel Vans

Panel vans are the most common type of van you will encounter on the roads due to their versatility, adaptability, and extended capabilities to serve multiple professions and small businesses.  Most manufacturers construct different types and sizes of panel vans to cater to your business needs and desired functionality. These vans are designed ‘windowless’ excluding the windscreen and passenger/driver side windows, to allow for an enclosed loading area and large sliding door; providing ultimate privacy for the storing of goods and materials.

Moreover, these vans boast maximum fuel efficiency, reducing operational costs for professionals who frequently commute between job sites. They are easily adaptable, allowing for trade-specific customisation, such as shelves, racks, or compartments tailored to their specific needs; optimising organisation and accessibility of tools and materials.

Furthermore, the security features of these vans make them an attractive choice for trades that involve transporting valuable equipment. Many models offer enhanced security systems, ensuring peace of mind for tradespeople leaving their tools unattended.

Different variations of Panel Vans

Most panel vans are categorised into small, medium, and long wheelbases. The relative length of vans is indicated using ‘L’ codes; for example, L1 (short), L2 (medium), L3 (long) and L4 (extra-long). A similar rule is applied for the height of the van; H1 (regular roof), H2 (high roof) and H3 (super-high roof). However, the exacting height/length of a van will depend on the manufacturing body.

See the below examples of SWB, MWB and LWB panel vans:

Small Wheelbase Vans

Typical Load Space Dimensions:

  • Length: 1.7 metres
  • Width: 1.5 metres
  • Height: 1.2 metres
  • Payload: 500kg to 1000kg


Medium Wheelbase Vans

Typical Load Space Dimensions:

  • Length: 2.4 metres
  • Width: 1.7 metres
  • Height: 1.4 metres
  • Payload: 750kg to 1600kg

Long Wheelbase Vans

Typical Load Space Dimensions:

  • Length: 3.2-4.2 metres
  • Width: 1.7 metres
  • Height: 1.8-2.2 metres
  • Payload: 1000kg to 1600kg

Bespoke Builds

What is a converted LCV?

LCVs are vehicles that are generally used for the carriage of goods of up to 3.5 tonnes. Converted LCVs are becoming more popular due to their individuality and versatility in design. Depending on the build, they can be crafted to suit all industries making them an essential component in your businesses operational efficiency. Most converted LCV’s are built onto either a single or double chassis and are built to order, however some manufacturers will have a small supply of converted LCV’s to certain sizes and specifications.

Depending on your business needs, there are endless conversion options to suit your exacting needs. Investing in a converted van or van fleet creates new opportunities for your business, subsequently unlocking new potential for success. The most recognised conversions you will see on the roads are:

  • Luton Vans.
  • Low Loaders.
  • Curtain Siders.
  • Tippers & Dropsides.

Alongside the structural build of the van, there are further additional extras that can be fitted to each vehicle for maximum personalisation, such as:

  • Refrigeration units.
  • Toolpods.
  • Cages for tippers.
  • Tail Lifts.

Looking for a bespoke build? Check out our Bespoke Builds guide to explore the best options available for your business.



Luton Van Deals Bespoke Builds Curtainside Van Deals Bespoke Builds Low Loader Van Deals Bespoke Builds Tipper and Dropside Van Deals Bespoke Builds


The design of a pick-up truck is universally recognised van due to it’s distinct shape and load bed. These vehicles blend practicality with rugged design, featuring an open cargo bed perfect for transporting goods, tools, or equipment. Their powerful engines and sturdy build make them ideal for various professions.

Builders and tradespeople can utilise these vehicles for hauling construction materials, while landscapers benefit from their ability to carry bulky garden supplies. Moreover, emergency responders find pickups invaluable for reaching remote locations swiftly. Pickup trucks are indispensable for those requiring durability, flexibility, and ample cargo space.

There are various cab types available to suit your exact needs and requirements of the vehicle, from varying seat numbers to different load bed measurements:

Single Cab:

Offered by certain manufacturers in a 2×4 and a 4×4 version, these pickups consist of one row of seats and two doors which allows for a bigger and longer cab space, which is ideal for carrying larger and bulkier items and equipment.

Double Cab:

These types of pickups come as a 4×4 model and support 4 full-size doors, two rows of seats, allowing for up to 5 passengers in the vehicle. The load bed size will depend on the manufacturing brand, however the standard size of a load bed for a double cab pick-up is around 6ft 5in.


Buying Guide Pick Ups - Ford Ranger Buying Guide Pick Ups - Toyota Hilux Buying Guide Pick Ups - Maxus T90 EV Buying Guide Pick Ups - VW Amarok

Extended Cab:

This type of pick up is supported by most manufacturers, and accommodates two row’s of seats for up to 5 passengers like the double cab, however it only supports two full size doors and with a set of smaller rear doors; designed to be practical and compact. It’s design encompasses fold down rear seats, creating additional space for tools and equipment in the load space.

Payload & Towing Capacity

To determine your vehicle’s maximum payload, you first need to know the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The GVWR is your car’s maximum total weight, including cargo and passengers. It is important to establish your van’s GVW (gross vehicle weight) to avoid any long-lasting damage to the vehicle and to ensure it satisfies the legal requirement for payload limits.

In order to work out your vehicles payload capacity, you will need to subtract the kerbweight of the vehicle from the GVW; the kerbweight refers to how much weight the vehicle can handle when its’s empty. The remaining figure is the weight amount your vehicle can legally carry.

Overloaded vehicles oppose a serious hazard to the safety of drivers on the road due to braking times and handling ability. You may be pulled over and fined if caught on the road driving an overweight vehicle. The DVSA outlines state the following fines are in place for vehicle overloading offences:

  • 5-9% overloaded – £100
  • 10-14% overloaded – £200
  • 15% and above overloaded – £300

Lets have a look at some basic examples of payload capacities for some of the most popular vans, please note that depending on the exact model and spec payloads may vary.

Buying Guide Payloads (3) - Van Sales UK
Buying Guide Payloads (1) - Van Sales UK
Buying Guide Payloads (2) - Van Sales UK
Buying Guide Payloads - Van Sales UK

Fuel Vs Electric

With the importation and new sale ban on diesel and petrol vans coming into effect in 2035 alongside further clean air zones being rolled out across the UK more consumers are looking to switch to electric vehicles and more manufacturers are diversifying their EV range.

This follows the government movement to work within the decision made by the European Commission to help achieve their climate commitments. The change was due to come into effect in 2030, however the UK government have pushed this back to 2035 to allow for the implementation of further funding schemes and infrastructure improvement.

The choice between diesel and electric vans has become a critical decision for commercial van fleet managers. Both options offer unique advantages and challenges, making it important to weigh the factors that impact leasing vans for business.

But are these newer technologies the right choice for everyone? Here we will outline the advantages and pitfalls of electric and fuel-powered vehicles to help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing your new van.

EV’s and PHEVs explained:

EV’s (electric vehicles) are powered entirely by an all-electric battery, meaning it doesn’t run off petrol or diesel. PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) is a hybrid between an EV and a traditional combustion engine which operates off both an electric battery and either petrol or diesel. Meaning you have the option to switch between the benefits of both electric and fuel.

If you’re considering the switch to an electric van or fleet, there are several aspects to consider. We’ve compiled a brief list of examples of things to weigh up to help you make an informed decision.

Cost Considerations

It’s widely known that electric vehicles have a higher upfront cost in comparison to their fuel counterparts. However, despite the initial cost upon investment there are significant savings to be had with an EV when it comes to service, maintenance and running costs.

Electricity as a power source is generally cheaper than diesel/petrol which are subject to inflation costs as seen in 2023. This ultimately creates substantial money savings over time as they are less costly to operate.

Another aspect to consider is their resale value which will affect new van owners who purchased their vehicle outright or are planning to sell their van upon the end of their finance terms.

Buying Guide - Electric Vans

Electric vehicles command a higher price point compared to fuel-based alternatives, which reflects in their residual value. On average a 3-year-old electric vans residual value stands at 73.3% in comparison to diesel vans which stands at 52.9%. This significant difference means that EV van owners will have more flexibility and choice when it comes to selling or trading in for a new van.

Range & Charging

The most common concerns with electric vehicles is their range capabilities and accessibility to charging points when on the road.  One of the significant advantages of driving a diesel van is the extended range they offer compared to electric vans.

Diesel fuel has a higher energy density, allowing diesel vans to travel longer distances on a single tank. This attribute proves advantageous for businesses that frequently undertake long-haul journeys or operate in regions where charging infrastructure is limited. The ability to cover more miles without needing to refuel can enhance productivity and flexibility for your business operations.

Due to the increase in popularity of electric vehicles, the technology of batteries has subsequently improved significantly. Most electric vans can achieve 150-200 miles on average and can be fully charged to get back on the road in 40 minutes. The reliability of these vans are sustained via enhanced safety integration features, intelligent energy management systems, and improved powertrain efficiency.

Access to a reliable and widespread charging network is crucial for electric van fleets. Fleet managers need to consider the availability and accessibility of charging stations, both at their operational base and along their routes, to avoid unnecessary downtime and delays.

With the surge in consumer interest and the increase in EV market sales electric vans are becoming a more attractive investment,

Check out Zapmap’s Electric charging stations map to see what’s available in your area:

Performance & Driving Experience

Diesel engines are renowned for their high torque output, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The robust power of a diesel van allows you to confidently transport substantial loads and tow trailers without sacrificing performance. Whether you’re delivering goods, hauling equipment, or operating in industries that require frequent heavy lifting, a diesel van provides the necessary muscle to get the job done efficiently.

Unlike diesel engines, electric motors create maximum torque from standstill resulting in increased acceleration, making them an ideal choice of vehicle to keep up with urban traffic and city driving. Regenerative braking facilitates the charging of an EV whilst on the move, for maximum efficiency it is best to reduce the amount of regenerative braking whilst on a motorway or dual carriageway.

Electric vans benefit from an almost silent engine when running, opposed to their diesel counterparts. The offer smooth handling and high maneuverability 

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Based on 396 reviews
Very good service and quick to sort any issues out.Good communication through out. 5 star service from Hannah as always, very quick to reply and get us good deals and even help us source cheaper deals.Thank you
Collin M.
I couldn’t find the make and model of van I wanted until I phoned Vanaways. Sales adviser Steve Barnett found what I was looking for within a day and the deal was finalised by Reece Chapman. Both really great guys to do business with, they kept me updated from initial order to delivery. It was a pleasure buying from Vanaways and I will certainly be getting our next vehicle from them. Excellent thanks.
We would like to express our appreciation for Hannah Pearson and the Vanaways team, whose exceptional expertise have been instrumental in helping our business invest in a new fleet this year. From the very beginning, Hannah took the time to understand our needs and goals, guiding us through the complex process with remarkable ease and efficiency.Her keen insights and comprehensive knowledge of the industry were evident as she meticulously assessed our requirements and provided tailored solutions that perfectly aligned with our budget and operational objectives.
Andrew R.
Great experience dealing with Liam and his team on numerous occasions. Always recommend vanaways when asked by customers or fellow trades!
Ben M.
We needed vans for a customer so we contacted Hannah Pearson after being referred to her. She was very professional, quick to get back and found the stock we were looking for at a great price. I would highly recommend Vanaways and Hannah Pearson to anyone looking for vans.
Jon R.
Outstanding service from Start to Finish from Hannah at Vanaways, very informative and Always at the end of the phone if I needed a question answered. Can't fault Vanaways. It been a pleasure doing business 👏👏👏
Darren W.
Nothing is too much trouble for Vanaways... helpful and educated to the very end.Once tried, forever used.Why go anywhere else.
Adam B.
Liam and all the crew are a pleasure to work with, flawless customer service! Supplied trinity surfacing with a complete new fleet of vans , trucks and specialists units.Evan delievring fleet packs with the vans , which is a really nice touch for the drivers. Not to forget the seat covers and relevant floor matts!Look forward to working with the guys in the future, can't recommend enough for anyone needing to expand there fleet. 5*
regy P.
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