Best van with windows

Searching for a used van with extra windows for carrying passengers or a camper conversion? You won’t find any cracks with these models

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 26, 2022

Vans with windows are growing in popularity, with sales fuelled by the demand for campervan conversions. While it’s possible to buy a motorhome or campervan straight from the factory, these are often incredibly expensive and many people prefer to create their own home from home, before posting photos of it on Instagram with the hashtag #VanLife.

The DVLA has strict rules for converting a vehicle to a motor caravan (motorhome), including the requirement for two or more windows on at least one side of the body to provide a reasonable amount of daylight into the living accommodation. This is in addition to the windows on the driver or passenger doors.

Carrying a crew is another reason why you might be considering a van with windows. A crew van is like a halfway house between a standard panel van and a minibus, with seating for up to six people and space for lots of gear, too.

Whatever the reason for buying a van with windows, here are six options to consider, which are far more affordable than the typical motorhome.

Vans with windows

1. Vauxhall Vivaro Doublecab

Our pick Vauxhall Vivaro Doublecab 2.0 Turbo D
Used deals Limited stock

The current Vauxhall Vivaro Doublecab, introduced in 2019, is designed to carry up to six people in two rows of seats. Most versions feature a fixed bulkhead with a rear bench for up to 4,000 litres of load space, but the Edition model offers a little more flexibility. Thanks to a folding steel-mesh bulkhead and folding rear bench, the load area can be expanded to 5,500 litres.

Edition is the entry-level trim, so don’t expect a long list of standard equipment, but it certainly covers the basics. All Doublecab models are powered by a punchy and efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine, with various power outputs available. If you can’t stretch to the current Vivaro, take a look at the more affordable previous model.

2. Renault Trafic Crew Van

Our pick Renault Trafic Crew Van 2.0 dCi
Used deals Limited stock

Thanks to having one of the longest load lengths of any medium van, the Renault Trafic is one of the most popular vans in Europe. Launched in 2014, the Trafic was updated in 2019 and again in 2022, when Renault revamped the styling, enhanced the safety tech and improved the interior.

In Business and Business+ trim, the Crew Van features a second row bench seat, glazed bulkhead, left and right side sliding doors with glazing and plastic side panels up to the windows. Upgrading to the Sport model adds individual rear seats with adjustable headrests and Isofix points for securely fitting child seats, two armrests, underseat storage and opening rear side windows.

3. Ford Transit Custom Double Cab-in-Van

Our pick Ford Transit Custom Double Cab-in-Van 2.0 EcoBlue
Used deals from £16,458
Monthly finance from £375*

The Ford Transit Custom is Britain’s most popular van, so you won’t be short of choice when you’re buying a used one. It’s also one of the most car-like, with the Double Cab-in-Van feeling more like a plush MPV than a commercial vehicle. It even gets tinted glass for the rear side windows.

You can choose between two or three seats up front, but all versions feature a second row of three seats separated from the load area by a fixed bulkhead. There’s also a choice of short- and long-wheelbase versions, but take a look at the Transit Custom Kombi if you require extra headroom or seating for up to eight passengers.

4. Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle

Our pick Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle 2.0 TDI DSG
Used deals from £31,495
Monthly finance from £687*

The Volkswagen Transporter Shuttle is essentially an executive minibus. It’s also a sister vehicle to the Caravelle people carrier and California campervan. There are short- and long-wheelbase versions available, along with a choice of seating configurations, from a five-seater with a huge boot to a nine-seater with a smaller but perfectly adequate load area.

There are Isofix points on the second row of seats for child seats and optionally on the third row, with all models featuring Volkswagen’s ‘easy-entry’ system. This comprises a pair of sliding doors and seats with entry assistance function, so reaching the third row isn’t a hassle.

5. Ford Transit Double Cab-in-Van

Our pick Ford Transit Double Cab-in-Van 2.0 EcoBlue
Used deals from £20,958
Monthly finance from £0*

The Double Cab-in-Van version of the full-size Ford Transit is essentially a larger version of the Transit Custom. While this brings advantages in terms of space and practicality, you might find it harder to manoeuvre and park. All of a sudden, those car park height restrictions are things you can no longer ignore.

With three seats in the front and four in the rear, the Double Cab-in-Van is a proper seven-seater, with the added bonus of a huge load area behind a fixed bulkhead. Choose from three wheelbase options, two heights and four trim levels.

6. Mercedes Sprinter Crew Van

Our pick Mercedes Sprinter Crew Van 2.1 CDI
Used deals Limited stock

Thanks to its size, quality and specification, the Mercedes Sprinter is a popular van for campervan conversions. Find a used Sprinter with the optional Crew Van upgrade for some additional glazing on the side panels.

The full upgrade costs around £3,500 when new and includes half-height load compartment panelling, fixed side windows in the sliding doors, panelling under the roof and additional rear seats. The same pack is available without a full-width partition at the C-pillar.

*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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