small van

6 key qualities to look out for in the best small vans

The compact size and economical nature of small vans means they have a wide range of benefits for businesses and fleet owners, especially SMEs or sole traders looking for cheap van deals. Those operating in towns or dense cities normally find small vans are the perfect choice for short-range and last-mile deliveries; that’s partially because their nimble builds mean they can easily navigate themselves through more narrow streets, making tight corners and fitting themselves into more compact parking spaces.

These reasons, plus the inherent versatility and cost-effectiveness of most small vans, means that the majority of business fleets tend to have at least one small van at their disposal. They’re also handy for one-man bands too, like plumbers, electricians and other sole traders, who might find themselves regularly making house calls in all kinds of urban and rural environments, and providing a useful place to store their tools without wasting the larger load spaces that bigger vans provide.

Now, while these are all useful qualities, they’re all very basic characteristics of almost every small van, whatever their individual features or price points. If you’re searching through our best van deals for the best small van for your business, it’s worth being a little more specific in the qualities you’re looking for. Here are the key qualities we’d recommend considering first!

Decent storage and hefty payload allowance

This will probably be first on your list of priorities, given that one of the main reasons for buying almost any van is to fulfil the need to transport payloads of a certain size. While the payload capacities of certain small vans were much smaller in years gone by, they’ve expanded significantly in recent decades, and now modern small vans can often carry payloads in excess of £1000kg – much the same as a pickup truck.

Obviously, one of the first things you’ll need to do is ensure that the available payload will be able to meet your requirements for the van. What’s more though, it’s not just the weight of your cargo that matters, but its physical size too. Some small vans can carry a sizeable payload, but may not be able to accommodate physically bulky items. So, it’s worth thinking about not just the actual payload, but also the actual load volume, and the loading options. Most small vans offer twin rear doors and a single side door, which is often more than sufficient – but if it isn’t, now’s the time to decide!

Small vans

A powerful and efficient engine, and an automatic gearbox

Even if you’re not planning on having your van fully loaded for the majority of the time, it’s still useful to have a reasonably powerful engine with plenty of torque, as it’ll help you pull off from the line more easily, ensuring that the van maintains its speed and acceleration in dense urban spaces, where a few seconds can make all the difference to successfully (and safely) escaping being caught in another line of traffic.

The running costs of the van are likely to be another major consideration. Almost all small vans have low running costs, especially compared to their larger counterparts, but some have even better running costs than others – so it’s always worth a look!

And while we’re talking about propulsion and mobility, an automatic gearbox isn’t necessarily an essential – but it’s certainly good at making life easier, particularly for navigating stop-start city traffic.

A comfortable interior, and great accessibility

It’s not unusual for small van drivers to find themselves frequently stuck in traffic, whether that’s within the confines of city centres, or waiting in miles-long queues out on major motorways, so for that reason alone it’s worth taking a look inside the small van you’re considering, and finding out how comfortable the interior is. If you’re the one who’ll be driving it, chances are that you’ll be spending a good amount of time in there, so you’ll want to ensure that it meets your standards!

Modern small vans increasingly come packaged with infotainment systems, which are always welcome additions for drivers. Not only can they help you pass time while out on the roads, but they also provide a useful way to stay in touch with colleagues at the office, who can give you live updates on what to do or where to go next – saving everyone considerable amounts of effort and time.

And of course, there’s the matter of price. We know that whatever van you’re planning on purchasing – whether that’s a small van, medium van or large van, you’ll always want the very best price. Happily, that’s exactly what we provide here at Van Discount. Drawing on our decades of expertise and network of personal contacts, we actually save our customers an average of 40% off the recommended retail price of a new van – often translating to thousands of pounds.

So whether you’re eyeing up a Renault Kangoo, or you’ve got your heart set on a Peugeot Partner, or even something else entirely, you can rest assured you’ll find it for the very best price right here at Van Discount. Give us a call on 01282 872 530, or take a look around our site, and see what you can find!