Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - News -

COM­MER­CIAL vans are the lifeblood of the econ­omy – they al­low small and medium-sized busi­nesses a de­gree of flex­i­bil­ity that would be im­pos­si­ble with­out them.

The van sec­tor is cur­rently in rude good health: in terms of price, tech­nol­ogy, comfort and load-lug­ging abil­ity things have never been bet­ter.

There is huge com­pe­ti­tion be­tween man­u­fac­tur­ers for your van busi­ness – small, medium or large – and this means ex­cel­lent ve­hi­cles and good prices.

But the key thing is to iden­tify which type of van you need for your busi­ness, whether you be a sole trader or lim­ited com­pany.

Let’s go from large to small. At the larger end of the sec­tor are com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles, of­ten called panel vans.

There are two cat­e­gories here: the larger is the tra­di­tional panel van typ­i­fied by the all-con­quer­ing Ford Tran­sit and im­pos­ing ve­hi­cles like the Mercedes-benz Sprinter (although Mercedes also make small and medium-sized vans as well).

As a rule you get a high driv­ing po­si­tion and a prodi­gious load area on the back while the larger mod­els are usu­ally of­fered in a be­wil­der­ing ar­ray of de­riv­a­tives with short and long-wheel­base, vary­ing pay­loads and nu­mer­ous cab or load bed op­tions. Spec­ify the com­bi­na­tion that best suits you. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer large vans, also in­clud­ing Re­nault, Volk­swa­gen, Citroen, Peu­geot and many more.

Next down is the pick-up truck class; these four-wheel-drive load-lug­gers have ex­pe­ri­enced a dra­matic surge in pop­u­lar­ity re­cently with busi­ness users tak­ing a shine to their ver­sa­til­ity.

A pick-up can be a rugged work­horse dur­ing the week and thor­ough­bred fam­ily trans­porta­tion on week­ends.

Com­mon pick-ups in­clude the Ford Ranger, Nis­san Navara, Toy­ota Hilux, Mit­subishi L200. All have strong load-bear­ing at­tributes, are very com­fort­able and many can be specced with dou­ble or sin­gle cabs.

The small­est com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles is the car-de­rived van sec­tor. As the ti­tle sug­gests, these are vans that share their un­der­pin­nings with cars.

There are those that closely re­sem­ble their peo­ple car­ry­ing cousins, with the back seat bench com­bined with the boot to form the load area, and then there’s the more van-like ‘ hi-cube’ ver­sions, with wider, higher load bays.

Ex­am­ples in­clude the Fiat Doblo Cargo, Ford Tran­sit Con­nect, Citroen Ber­lingo, Vaux­hall Combo or Volk­swa­gen Caddy. All of­fer car-style driv­ing po­si­tions and han­dling, with com­pact di­men­sions mak­ing them ideal for lim­ited-load ur­ban us­age. There are also con­verted cars that have had some changes to make them qual­ify as small vans, for ex­am­ple the Ford Fi­esta Sport van.

So, choice isn’t a prob­lem in this mar­ket place. Don’t, how­ever, be over­awed by the lev­els of choice.

Your lo­cal dealer will make short work of ex­plain­ing the ins and outs of the prod­uct ranges while of­fer­ing com­pre­hen­sive af­ter-sales back-up. All of which leaves you free to keep on truck­ing.

The Fi­esta Sport Van (left) has a spa­cious, high qual­ity in­te­rior; The Ford Tran­sit (above) and Ford Tran­sit Cus­tom are the num­ber 1 and 2 best-sell­ing CVS in the UK; Vaux­hall’s Combo van (be­low) is the per­fect so­lu­tion for light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tors.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.