How to buy the right van

Investing in the right vehicles can help to ensure the smooth running of a business, but there are lots of things to consider and potential pitfalls. Sarah Cox, head of marketing for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles provides some guidance.

Establishing the right size van is a critical decision, and one many businesses get wrong.

Give careful consideration to the size, weight and type of equipment you deal with, as well as the teams you carry, average mileage and where you operate.

Matching a van to your bespoke needs is a lot easier and more cost-effective in the long run that choosing a van and then trying to adapt your business to fit it.

So, consider whether a small load carrying car-based van is enough for your day-to-day business or if a sturdy long wheel base model, that will comfortably help you shuttle goods and people across the country, is better.

As well as fuel efficiency, you also need to consider the running costs and safety requirements that come with keeping a van on the road. These factors can increase the time and money that you have to spend to stay on the road.
It’s not only miles per gallon that need to be considered, but also miles between services, tyre and brake wear, and longevity alongside other maintenance costs. The most critical factor in any ‘whole-life cost’ is depreciation, so look for a van that is likely to retain more of its value after a couple of years than the competition.

If your business involves shuttling teams across the country, you must consider a service provider who proactively deals with the maintenance of your fleet without affecting your business activities.

Most window installers today need racking or shelving in vans to best transport products. Identifying whether this is steel, aluminium or another material depends on each individual company but find an expert who can supply and fit it for you to avoid damaging the van and denting its residual value in the long term.

A smart finance solution is an essential step when buying your van and it is crucial to understand the different ways to pay for a van. This will depend on your business, your balance sheet, how long you want to run the vehicles for, among other factors.

With the constantly changing road rules, evolving vans and the demands of different businesses, choosing the best vehicle for glazing can be a challenge.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a range of vans and aftersales services that are ideal for the glass and glazing industry.
The Volkswagen Crafter van is capable of moving loads of up to 2.9 tonnes and carrying items up to 4.7m long, creating a safer environment for tools and equipment. The Caddy has been a market favourite for decades and features a range of storage areas that will make your work easier and more organised. With sleek lines and striking features, the Transporter is a great place to be for any driver doing long distances, particularly with the improved storage and a dash-mounted gear-lever. These van ranges are functional, comfortable and have an enviable build.

Case study

SolarFrame Direct was looking for vehicles that would support its ever-professional, experienced team in the delivery of products and services across the county.

Eight new Crafter panel vans and five Caddy panel vans with flexible load areas and high-load bearings were delivered.

The fleet will be used by the Solar Frame team to transport new conservatory parts and tools safely and securely to customers’ homes.
The flexibility, size and storage space means the team can head out in the morning without the worry of returning back to HQ to pick up different sets of tools between jobs.