Best nine-seater vans

Some of the best vehicles for carrying a lot of passengers are nine-seater vans, and we’ve picked out the best ones below

Sam Naylor
May 20, 2022

If you need to carry as many passengers as possible, short of buying an actual bus, you probably need to get your hands on a nine-seater van or as they’re often called, a minibus.

As these models are based on van bodies, they are sometimes called vans and sometimes cars, since the line is blurred between work vehicles and passenger cars. Whatever you call them, they offer the most amount of people-carrying ability in a package that remains easy to drive and cheap to run.

The general layout for nine-seater vans is that there are two rows of three seats in the back, with one separate driver's seat and then a twin passenger seat in the front of cabin. This totals to nine seats, of course, but often you’ll find that there are versions of the same vehicles with different numbers of seats.

While many standard vans have two or three seats, with the rest of the space dedicated to cargo, there are a number of five- and six-seater models that are more suited to carrying passengers, but as a result, offer less luggage room.

However, if your priorities are even more focused on carrying more passengers and less luggage, then a seven- or eight-seater van might fit the bill. These can't carry as many people as the nine-seater models featured below, but they offer benefits in other areas.

8-seater vans

Eight-seater vans tend to have the same layout as nine-seater vans but have just a single passenger seat up front next to the driver. It’s useful sometimes to have the extra space in the front, and you can often walk through from the rear area to the front, which can be useful. You can read more about eight-seater vans and cars here.

7-seater vans

Seven-seater vans will most likely have a seat missing from the rear area as well, to aid access or to create extra space in the cabin. These models are often more like cars than vans, with the same layout as the typical seven-seater people carrier: two seats up front, then a row of three and a final row of two. You can read more about seven-seater cars and vans here.

Best vans with nine seats

Read on to find out more about all the best nine-seater vans and minibuses, and then you can head to BuyaCar’s van section to find your perfect model at a great price.

Large and sophisticated brand new vans can be pricey, but if you're on a budget, you could be surprised by how far your money will stretch if you go for a used model.

1. Ford Tourneo Custom

Best nine-seater van for driving

Used deals Limited stock

The Ford Tourneo Custom is based on the Transit Custom, and while it’s not taxed as a van, it certainly looks like one. The side windows are the most obvious sign it’s a Tourneo, not a Transit, and the nine interior seats would be the second giveaway.

Like the Transit Custom, the Tourneo Custom is very good to drive, with car-like handling, comfortable seats, lots of technology and a pleasant interior. It’s good value too, and has a range of efficient engines to choose from.

The Ford’s ninth seat is small and not much cop for long trips, but this is the case in a lot of nine-seater models. There’s also the option of a hybrid model, which uses an electric motor to boost efficiency, which is really high-tech and adds a lot of appeal - albeit at a high price.

2. Citroen SpaceTourer

Best nine-seater van for comfort

Used deals Limited stock

The Citroen SpaceTourer is the nine-seater version of the Citroen Dispatch van, and it’s a car rather than a van - but that’s more of a technicality, since it uses the same engines and body as the Dispatch van, it just happens to have more seats and windows.

It’s very car-like to drive, though, with a comfortable ride and a roomy interior. It has lots of technology including a touchscreen media system with sat-nav, and there’s plenty of interior storage for passengers, too.

You get a range of strong but economical engines as well, and you can fold away the seats for extra storage if needed. It’s the XL model you’ll need if you want nine seats, as it has a longer wheelbase and more interior room as a result.

3. Vauxhall Vivaro/Vivaro Life

Best nine-seater van for value

Used deals Limited stock

The Vauxhall Vivaro Life is a good-value van-based people carrier that is available with nine seats, and the Vivaro Combi van is available as a minibus as well. It’s well priced, so you should be able to find a bargain if you’re looking for a used model - but even when new it’s pretty good value for businesses.

The Vivaro has a good range of efficient engines, is comfortable and easy to drive, has a seven-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav and a comfy set of seats (there’s a choice of seven, eight or nine seats).

There’s also a choice of wheelbases, so you can choose a smaller model if you don’t need that much space, but the roomier XL model is certainly going to be the more attractive option for anyone looking for a nine-seater van.

4. Mercedes Vito Tourer

Best nine-seater van for prestige

Used deals Limited stock

The Mercedes Vito Tourer comes with nine seats as standard, so you don’t have to worry about finding a model with the right combination of options to get a nine-seater van. It’s also one of the most luxurious models with this many seats.

It’s not as plush as the V-Class passenger car, but it still comes with a high-quality interior and smart exterior looks. There’s a choice of L1, L2 and L3 wheelbase lengths too, with L2 and L3 versions increasing the amount of luggage and passenger space available inside over the shorter L1 models.

The Vito is easy to drive, comfortable and the engines available are smooth, efficient and punchy. There are both manual and automatic versions available, with the latter offering an even more relaxing driving experience, especially in traffic.

5. Peugeot Traveller

Best nine-seater van for versatility

Used deals Limited stock

The Peugeot Traveller is related to the Citroen SpaceTourer, so it has the same excellent engine range, comfortable ride, roomy interior and easy going nature out on the road. It’s car-like to drive, with good visibility and plenty of interior tech as well.

The Traveller is available with nine seats in Business form, as the other versions have seven or eight seats only. Yet there’s still plenty of choice, as you can pick the wheelbase length and the engine options are good.

The diesels are great for those doing longer trips but if you do a lot of short-range journeys, you could even consider the electric e-Traveller model. This version has a decent 143-mile range, so could be worth a look for drivers who want the lowest possible running costs.

6. Renault Trafic Passenger

Best nine-seater van for space

Used deals Limited stock

The Renault Trafic is one of the most spacious vans around, and the passenger version is great for carrying a lot of people at once. The ninth seat is up front in the cab, as you’d expect, but it’s not the roomiest seat and will mainly be suitable for shorter trips, especially in manual models since it’s right behind the gear lever.

The Trafic was updated fairly recently, which means it feels more up-to-date inside than some other vans of its size, and it has plenty of technology. There are different body lengths to choose from, with manual and automatic gearboxes available.

The Trafic is comfortable, which passengers will be grateful for, and is available with strong but efficient diesel engines. Higher-spec models have extra comforts for passengers in the back, and since the Trafic is good value, it’s worth going for one of these versions.

7. Toyota Proace Verso Shuttle

Best nine-seater van for ownership

Used deals Limited stock

The Toyota Proace Verso Shuttle is a nine-seater model aimed mainly at businesses that specialise in carrying people, such as taxi firms. That’s not to say it won’t work as a family vehicle, though, because it’s good to drive and strong value as well.

It’s based on the same parts as the Citroen SpaceTourer and the Peugeot Traveller, so it’s well-equipped and has a great range of engines. There’s also a choice of wheelbases, and interesting in-car tech such as a head-up display on some models, which beams driving information onto the windscreen in front of the driver.

The Proace Verso has a big selling point and that’s the five-year warranty you get from Toyota, plus the brand’s dealers have an excellent reputation for customer service, so if the ownership experience is important to you, this nine-seater van is a great choice.

8. Nissan NV300 Combi

Best nine-seater van for patient buyers

Here’s a final option if you are patient, as it’s so new that you may have to wait a bit to find one for sale nearly new or second-hand. The Nissan NV300 has just been updated, so this nine-seater van is the most modern and up-to-date model at the moment.

It has a new look and upgraded technology in the cabin, but retains its nine-seater layout. It has new alloy wheels, LED lights and other equipment that wasn’t available before, so should be well worth a look. It’s based on the Renault Trafic (above), so it will still be spacious and comfortable for all nine people aboard.

Extra storage, including under the seats, is included in the new NV300, plus you now get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and extra safety equipment for peace of mind. The engines have also been updated to comply with stricter emissions rules, so will be a bit more efficient too. It looks like it’ll be worth waiting for if you aren’t in a hurry to get a van.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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