Choosing the right van as a tradesman

A van is a tradesperson’s most important tool, enabling them to work from anywhere and ensure they have the equipment and materials available to complete the job at hand efficiently. There are many different light commercial vehicles (LCVs) on the market, which makes choosing the right one a potentially daunting task. Here are just a few tips to help you to pick a van that suits your needs.

Choosing the right van as a tradesman

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Ownership or rental

Buying a van either requires an upfront investment of cash or taking out a loan to cover the cost of the vehicle, which for some people is the best option. You should be aware that other responsibilities befall van owners, including paying tax and keeping up with maintenance tasks.

In recent years, leasing a van has become a more popular option, meaning that you effectively rent rather than own it outright. This lets you avoid steep upfront expenses; instead, you make regular payments that include key running costs and upkeep.

The limitations of leasing tend to relate to mileage caps put in place by manufacturers, so keep this in mind when making a choice. With van sales continuing to grow, leasing is proving to be a major catalyst in the market.

Van size

Vans come in all shapes and sizes, from compact car-based models to high-roofed panel vans with large internal load volumes and weight capacities. Weigh up the options and select a van that is the right size to accommodate the items you need to store on board.

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The length of the wheelbase is an important part of this consideration; in addition, consider the maximum load length and whether the van has a full height bulkhead to get a good idea of its appropriateness.


Some vans will come with specialised body types that are already adapted to your specific purposes. Others will need to be customised after you purchase them; for example, companies such as offer van plylining services to improve the durability of the interior.

You will also want to deck out the van’s exterior with the logo of your business, along with your contact information, to help build your brand in the local area. This means a number of additional costs need to be factored in when choosing which of the many available vans to buy.

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