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The best vans for tradespeople

The best vans for tradespeople

If you are a tradesman, one of the most important tools for the job is having the right vehicle. Whether you are a one-man band or form part of a wider team within a specific trade, it is important to select the right van type for you which meet the requirements of your industry.

Purchasing your next commercial van is a big commitment and one that should be considered carefully before making any final decision. To help, our experts here at Vanbase have compiled key considerations if you are looking to purchase a used van for trade.


Used vans for trade: what should you think about?

With so many van options available on the market, deciding on which one best suit your needs and the demands of your industry can be a challenge. Whether you're a plumber, courier or electrician, builder or decorator, the below considerations are key when it comes to selecting a used commercial van.   

Van types

Each trade has specific needs that a commercial van must meet. The most popular van types, sizes are specifications are:

  • Small vans
  • Medium vans
  • Large vans
  • Pickup & 4x4 vans
  • Combi & crew vans
  • Minibus & MPV vans
  • Luton & box vans
  • Tipper & Dropside vans
  • Camper conversion vans

Discover more about the array of van types available at Vanbase.

Van types and trades

To help break it down further, we've taken a selection of popular trades and mapped out which we envisage being the best used commercial van for the job. 

Couriers

When it comes to this trade, comfort is crucial due to the lengthy time frames that drivers spend on the road.

For large jobs, the Mercedes- Benz Sprinter offers high roof options together with plenty of space to transport bulky cargo. 

If you are looking for a used van more suited to smaller items, the Volkswagen Caddy, with its efficient miles per gallon and high manoeuvrability, makes getting from A-B comfortable and efficient. 

Plumbers

Whether you are transporting pipes, valves or other plumbing fixtures, large panel or box vans boasting a medium wheelbase offer the ideal van type for plumbers.

Makes and models such as the Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit offer the perfect solution. With plenty of high roof space and room to store a variety of tools, these van types are a tradesperson's dream when it comes to the plumbing trade. 

Builders and plasterers


An ideal van solution for these types of tradesmen is a medium panel van. These vehicles are well-suited to these trades, as they are highly robust and can typically carry around one tonne of cargo effectively.

They also make for easy access to materials, due to their sliding doors at the rear and side, allowing goods to be loaded and unloaded easily. The reliable Citroen Dispatch or popular Volkswagen Transporter are both great panel van options to meet a builder or plasterer's needs.

When it comes to transporting larger, bulkier goods, such as plasterboard, a pickup/tipper van, such as a Ford Transit Tipper offers a more rugged alternative.

Electricians

Electricians have to undertake lots of driving as part of their job, so finding a vehicle that provides the right balance between efficiency, reliability and storage space for tools and materials is key.

Economic vans which suit this type of trade include the Fiat Doblo. With its roomy storage space combined with more manoeuvrability compared to larger commercial vans, this vehicle provides a perfect solution for busy electricians on-the-move.  

Dog walkers and groomers 

Those who make a living putting our four-legged friends through their paces need a van that will comfortably and safely transport several dogs within crates at once, as well as being agile enough to negotiate residential areas for pick-ups and drop-offs. The Ford Transit Connect is spacious, offers side and rear access and remains easy to park, making it a dog walker's best friend.

If yours is a mobile grooming business, you'll need a van with enough room for a bath, brush and trim in the back. Try the Citroen Berlingo, which boasts plenty of space, sliding doors and an economical ride. 

Event entertainers 

Party entertainment providers, such as those who supply bouncy castles, ball ponds and soft play equipment need large vans capable of transporting kit for multiple jobs as their businesses grow. The ideal van should also have great suspension for transporting heavy, bulky items.

The Ford Transit with long wheel base and high roof provides room for cargo aplenty, and it's a great van to brand up too.

Gardeners

Gardeners and grounds maintenance teams need a lot of heavy and bulky tools, as well as garden improvements such as decking and patio to do their jobs, so a large van with a generous payload should be top of the list.

With its flatbed and trailer towing capacity, the Ford Ranger is a great contender.  

Caterers

As festivals and street markets continue to surge in popularity, the market for mobile caterers is booming. Catering vans may need customisation, such as refrigeration, but the kind of van that's best for your catering business will depend on what you're offering.

For example, if you're in the mobile coffee business, a medium-sized van like the Mercedes Vito could be ideal, while the traditional Volkswagen Camper makes a versatile and eye-catching food van.

Carrying cargo

Carrying your cargo safely and effectively is paramount when considering a commercial van purchase. As we are aware, every trade is unique and presents different challenges, priorities and items that need to be transported.

Maybe your current van is far too big and risks damaging your cargo by allowing it to slide around in the back, or perhaps you have been regularly frustrated trying to squeeze your materials into a restrictive loadspace.

To help, we've produced a useful table outlining cargo types, suitable vehicles and examples of the best van makes and models to offer the perfect solution. Find out more about which vans types are the right fit for your company cargo here

Find out more

If we've not featured your specific trade in our list, our team of experts are available to discuss your unique requirements and help you select the right used van to fully suit your trade.

If you would like to find out more about the extensive range of new used vans available at Vanbase, contact us today, or pop in and see us in person. Our passionate team of used van experts are available to discuss our wide range of vehicles and the right option for you and your industry.

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