For many businesses, a van is as much of an essential as an accountant or a uniform. These vehicles are the lifeblood of the country, delivering goods and services all over the place. However, new models can be expensive.
So why not save some pennies and go used instead? There are undoubtedly some drawbacks – a potentially hard life with previous owners, the lack of the most sophisticated safety and emissions equipment and possible repercussions in the future regarding pollution being some of the most pressing. However, the savings in cost can be substantial, and many owners or operators actually prefer the simplicity of the older models.
Here are five of the best you can pick up for under £10,000 – without VAT, assuming this is a business purchase.
Ford Transit Custom
This list wouldn’t be complete without the Transit – the best-selling commercial vehicle in the UK and a real institution among British businesses. The range was split into the larger Transit and mid-sized Transit Custom – both of which are brilliant vans.
The Transit Custom is fantastic to drive – perhaps the best-driving mid-sized van out there – yet retains a superbly square and practical load bay and a vast number of potential configurations. Opt for the mid-spec 123bhp engine and you’ll have plenty of shunt for heavy loads too.
This British-built van has been a competitor to the Transit for many years. The current incarnation can be had for well under our budget, and uses a range of superbly smooth 1.6-litre diesel engines – with some pretty beefy power outputs if you opt for the top-end models.
The Vivaro also features a really solidly-built, no-nonsense interior – and as the current model’s internal dimensions are identical to the old model, there’s a vast array of racking and storage solutions available for the load area.
For some businesses, the allure of a three-pointed star is a little too hard to discount. Luckily, Mercedes’ range of vans is well-respected and well-proven, and the large Sprinter is perhaps the best of the lot.
Known for tight driving dynamics, superb build quality and good reliability, plus the premium allure that that badge gives you, the Sprinter is a great and versatile choice for any business looking to move a little bit upmarket.
From large back down to little. The Citroen Berlingo is another nameplate that’s been around for a long time, but such is the longevity of the model that it’s only in its third generation. We’re looking at the second-gen model, however, which benefited from a range of super-efficient engines and a car-like driving ambiance.
Maintenance costs for these dinky vans tend to be pretty low, and for those with big families the Multispace passenger models are some of the most practical vehicles on the market in terms of passenger space on a small platform.
Often considered as the classy alternative to the Ford Transit, Volkswagen’s Transporter can trace its lineage back to the iconic Microbus of the 1960s. Not that the current model – or its predecessor, the T5 (that we’ll be focusing on here) share anything with the air-cooled originals, but the spirit is still there – as evidenced by the vast numbers of people who recreate the past by turning them into campervans.
As a working van, though, the boxy Transporter is still up there with the best. Its premium image and car-like cabin are some of the best in the business, and a range of typically strong VW diesel engines also helps.