citroen berlingo
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If you’re running a small business and need a small delivery van to run around town, there’s plenty of choice but what should you be looking for?

You might be delivering parcels, cakes or flowers, then again you might be carrying around tools.

The ideal van for you is quite obviously the one that best fits your business needs: What is your activity, where do you need to go, how often will it be used and by whom?

For city based businesses it’s likely you will be operating in traffic congestion and narrow roads so car-derived vans are best provided you are not regularly transporting large or bulky cargo.

Car-derived vans are nice and compact while providing comfort and manoeuvrability. A maximum laden weight of two tonnes is also unlikely to be a significant problem for a city-based business.

In the city why not think electric? An electric van doesn’t just get you the benefit of zero-emissions driving: it can also profit from being exempt from road tax and congestion charges so  could have a significant impact on your overheads budget.

If you’re a small business owner and are looking to buy or lease new, you want to keep an eye out for the best small van deals. You’ll want a van that looks smart to promote your business, is reliable and economical.

It will need to comfortably handle your loads but the good thing about car-derived vans is they often come with all the creature comforts and refinement that you will find in a family car. you intend to place within it.

Don’t discount panel vans, however – they don’t have to be that big. Versatile, panel vans come in a range of body shapes, with a choice of short, medium or long wheelbase and different roof heights, making them suitable for a wide variety of needs.

A lot of people find a panel van is the best choice for a small business van, from public utilities to trade specialists such as electricians, plumbers and decorators.

When buying a van it’s always best to buy the right size for your needs. For many, a small van is the best choice.

Not only do small vans usually give you better fuel efficiency, but they often come under lower priced insurance groups as well. So they’re a smart choice if you don’t require the space and load capacity of a larger van.

But which is the best small van to buy?

There are many options to choose from and your own personal preference will definitely play a part. But to help get your search started, we’ve listed some of our top picks below.

Citroen Berlingo

New Berlingo Van builds on the solid reputation of the previous model, which established a strong reputation for reliability.

It features some of the lowest fuel consumption in its class and will feature new downsized Euro 6.2 petrol and diesel engines later this year.

New Berlingo Van is available in two lengths, M and XL and with payloads between 667kg and 1,050kg, depending

on model. Load volume ranges from 3.3m3 and 3.8m3 for M and XL models respectively and can be extended further with the EXTENSO folding passenger seat.

Standard equipment including remote central locking with deadlocks, full steel bulkhead, electric front windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors, automatic headlights, DAB radio, Bluetooth handsfree,

Citroën Connect Box with Emergency and Assistance system, unglazed rear asymmetric doors, six tie-down hooks in the load area and an overhead storage shelf in the cab.

Among the innovations available with New Berlingo Van are features such as the Surround Rear Vision technology,

colour Head-Up Display, Active Safety Brake, Blind Spot Monitoring system, Overload Indicator and Front, Rear and Side parking sensors.

Volkswagen Caddy

Volkswagen’s small van remains a top choice for many when it comes to buying a small van. It’s possible to around 70 mpg from the Caddy and a maximum payload of 857kg.

Front Assist technology can also help you maintain safe distances from other vehicles and objects, which can help keep your van insurance down. Coupled to Volkswagen’s usual high build quality and finish this is definitely a contender for best small van to buy.

Fiat Fiorino

If your work is mostly based in cities and you have to deal with tight parking and loading spaces, then the Fiat Fiorini might be the one for you.

It’s built for those narrow Italian streets and you can expect the diesel version to give you around 65 mpg.

It’s among the smallest at just 3.8m long but there’s plenty of room  inside with up to 2.8 cubic metres of space and has a payload of 660kg, which is better than some of its rivals.

Renault Kangoo

The Kangoo comes in standard and long-wheelbase formats and you can get plenty of cargo into its 3 cubic metres of load space while the long-wheelbase increases this up to 4 cubic metres. Payload varies from 650kg to 800kg depending on the wheelbase.

Ford Transit Connect

Transit is a familiar enough name with a strong reputation and it is a popular choice among small van buyers.

Diesel models will return anything up to 70 mpg depending on the  energy efficiency options you choose.

Starting with a payload of 630kg, different options in the range mean this small van can carry in excess of 1,000kg.

Equipment includes Emergency Break Assist and optional Active City Stop, parking sensors and rear-view cameras.


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Chris Wright
Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com

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