We want to find the best business vans, best van finance and best van service in the business.
Not for the big van fleet operators but for small businesses, the trades and SME small van fleet operators – you, our readers.
We know you want good value for money – but you also want smart and appealing.
So that’s what we’re after with the Business Van of the Year Awards.
“Our readers run their own businesses and not only need smart and cost effective vans to run, but operational support through dealers,” said editorial director Ralph Morton.
“We want to highlight the best vans on the market for the sectors in which they operate – whether they’re a plumber, electrician, builder or wine merchant – and where they can find the best finance and service packages to support their businesses.”
We’re asking van manufacturers to enter 12 categories
- Best Local Delivery Van Florists, wine shops, specialist delicatessens – they all need something smart and small. Open to car-derived vans, such as the MINI Clubvan.
- Best City Van Ideal for light deliveries and some trades work. Open to sub-1 tonne vans that can take a Europallet – for example, the Citroen Nemo
- Best Small Trades Van Electricians, painters and decoraters need a good compact van that’s manoeuvrable and good on costs. Open to vans below 2.5 tonnes such as the Vauxhall Combo
- Best Large Trades Van Big, spacious reliable vans that will do the job while plumbers and builders can get on with theirs. Open to 2.5-3.0t vans – vans like the Ford Transit Custom
- Best Heavy Van When you have big deliveries, you need beef. Qualifying vans will be in the 3.0-3.5t range – such as the Mercedes Sprinter and Vauxhall Movano
- Best Utility Pick Up The no-frills workhorse. For farmers, roofers, builders who want a utility truck that just gets on and does the job. Open to single and double cabs – pick ups such as the Toyota Hilux
- Best Double Cab These are the all-frills pick ups. For small business owners who want a smart, comfortable pick up that can double as both work and leisure vehicle. Open to all double cabs – such as the VW Amarok and Isuzu D-Max
- Best Builder’s Truck Tippers – the builders’ friend. But what’s the best? Open to Tippers, Dropsides and so on
- Best Green Van Environmentally focused small businesses want a van that reflects their green concerns – and promotes a sustainable image. This category is open to all vans that reduce their environmental presence on the road. This can be through technology – for example, electric vans – or through efficiency – vans like the Mercedes Sprinter Eco-Start, the Vauxhall Movano ecoFLEX and so on.
- Best Crew Van The van with room for five or six and a load area. This is a growing sector that cuts down operating costs for SME van fleets. Open to all double cab vans.
- Best finance package for van owners What do van dealers provide in terms of finance and finance packages that help local trades and small businesses finance their vans? We want to know who they are
- Best service package for van owners A van needs to earn its keep – if it’s off the road for too long or being expensive on service costs then that puts a dent in a trades’ earnings. So what are the service plans and packages that make owning a van an easier experience.
- Van of the Year Nominated by our judges from the entries.
Business Van of the Year Awards judges
We have a distinguished panel of judges led by chairman Keith Hawes, who is managing director of MAGMA Automotive Services. They are:
- Richard Bunn, managing director, White Hot Vans
- Mark Cartwright, project manager, Freight Transport Association
- Rod Lloyd, managing director, Low Cost Vans
- Eddie Parker, fleet LCV consultant, GE Capital Fleet Services (now part of Arval)
- Marcus Puddy, commercial vehicles director, Lex Autolease
Entries for the Business Van of the Year Awards close on 31October. Entry can be made here: Business Van Awards 2013. An awards luncheon will be held for winners on January 16 January, 2013 in a top London restaurant.