Best used vans

Thee best used vans will keep the business running while on a tight budget

Jul 24, 2018

There are more than three million vans on the UK roads at the moment. So it makes reasonable sense that there should be a fair few used vans for sale.

But it's never been that easy to legitimate bargains in the LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle Marketplace) because good stock isn't as widely available when compared to the car market.

But savvy buyers can still find good examples with some notable savings over the cost of buying factory fresh metal, simply due to the fact that a previous owner has already taken the deprecation hit.

Those looking to really pinch the pennies will likely have to focus on high-mileage examples, which throws up the issue of reliability. So it's well worth checking service history and enquiring about any valid warranties that may apply to well-used models.

This guide takes a look at some of the best used vans available on the market now, factoring in price, size, load space, reliability and of course, the savings to be had in comparison to buying new.

Choosing the right van

Private and business buyers will have a variety of needs, which include space in the rear for cargo, a comfortable drive, fuel economy and general running costs.

For this reason, it is a good idea to work out whether you'll need something large, small or medium-sized, come up with a budget for purchasing and running the vehicle, and decide the sort of creature comforts you expect.

Below are some examples of common use cases and the vans that we think are among the best for the job.

Best used vans

Best used small vans 

Peugeot Partner

Best small used van for fitting in tight spaces

Our pick Peugeot Partner 1.6 HDi diesel Professional 625 L1, 2016 (66), 45,000 miles
Price £6,695 ex VAT Monthly cost £128

This French model offers bags of features at a very reasonable price.

It's easy to find 2017 top spec Professional models with minimal miles on the clock for less than £9,000 plus VAT, while even basic S models come with electric windows and a radio with CD player inside. L1 is the standard wheelbase length that serves most users. Longer L2 versions are less popular, more expensive and harder to track down.

Available in both petrol and diesel variants, as well as those with all-terrain capability, the Partner makes a flexible small van that can often be found flaunting some very enticing savings over rivals from the likes of Volkswagen and Ford.

Loadspace 3,300 litres Payload Up to 850kg Fuel economy 56.5mpg

Fiat Fiorino

Best small used van for ultra-compact space

Our pick Fiat Fiorino 1.2 MultiiJetCargo, 2018 (18), 20 miles
Price £8,495 ex VAT Monthly cost £166

Its diminutive proportions and ultra tight turning circle make this little load-lugger the perfect companion for tight inner-city streets and will suit those owners that don't need masses of cargo space.

A fine selection of frugal petrol and diesel engines is offered, while a well-specified interior boasting the latest entertainment technology, hardwearing plastics and intuitive controls make it a tempting proposition.

The small Fiat represents excellent value on the used market, especially when 18-plate versions with as little as 20 miles on the clock can be snapped up for less than £9,000 plus VAT.

Loadspace 2,500 litres Payload 660kg Fuel economy 64.2mpg

Renault Kangoo

Best small used van for bargain hunters

Our pick Renault Kangoo 1.5 MLI Sport DCI , 2015 (15), 43,500 miles
Price £6,495 ex VAT Monthly cost £136

The Kangoo has long been popular with fleet buyers and private customers thanks to its no-frills exterior styling, efficient engine range and easy-to-use interior switchgear.

The benefit of such ubiquity is a buoyant used market that offers some seriously good steals to those who don't mind slightly older models or those with a few miles under their (fan) belts.

It's easy enough to find quality used examples for as little as £6,000 plus VAT, which is about as low as prices get for these workhorses.

Loadspace 3,000 litres Payload 650kg Fuel economy 61.4mpg

Ford Transit Connect 

Best small used van for style

Our pick Ford Transit Connect 1.5 TDCI 75PS L1 Trend 200 2016 (66), 18,000 miles
Price £9,995 ex VAT Monthly cost £201

When it comes to small, agile and stylishly designed small vans, very few rivals come close to the Ford Transit Connect, which fuses elements like alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and sharp body kits with myriad practical touches.

Expect to find Ford's latest touchscreen Sync 3 entertainment system inside more recent models, complete with AppLink, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and intuitive navigation, while an innovative 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine delivers impressive performance with far lower CO2 emissions than most other vans.

Used examples are plentiful and therefore can be found with some enticing savings. We found a well-specified 2018 1.5 TDCi 100PS L1 on BuyaCar with 9,000 miles on the clock for £12,000 plus VAT, a saving of around £3,000 on the base price, ex VAT, of the cheapest version the Connect, an L1 75PS.

Loadspace 2,900 litres Payload 580kg Fuel economy 61.4mpg

Best used medium vans 

Volkswagen Transporter

Best medium used van for medium sized panel van

Our pick VW Transporter T28 SWB 2.0 TDI 102PS Startline, 2015 (15), 35,500 miles
Price £13,000 ex VAT Monthly cost £260

Reliable, stylish, impressively efficient and easily customised into campers and day vans, the Volkswagen Transporter has long been one of the best light commercial vehicles money can buy, which means snaring large savings is a very difficult feat to achieve.

The modern range of panel vans come fitted with excellent Euro 6 diesel engines - ranging from 84hp to 204hp outputs - as well as some efficient and quiet petrol units with either 150hp or 204hp power outputs. Inside, expect typical Volkswagen levels of refinement and technology, with one of the most car-like interiors found in the world of vans today, while a silky smooth DSG automatic gearbox makes life on the road easier.

We found examples on BuyaCar for as little as £9,495 plus VAT, which represents a saving of around 50% on the base price, excluding VAT, of the cheapest new model.

Loadspace 5,800 litres Payload 952kg Fuel economy 37.7mpg

Toyota Proace

Best medium used van for reliability

Our pick Toyota Proace L1 Comfort , 2016 (66), 20,000 miles
Price £16,794 ex VAT Monthly cost £336

An impressive five-year/100,000-mile warranty comes with all Toyota vehicles, such is the marque's confidence in its products, while Toyota has long been ranked as one of the most reliable manufacturers around.

The Proace might be a Peugeot Expert with a slightly different badge on the front but it benefits from Toyota's excellent range of engines that have been proven to go the distance.

Available in everything from a compact panel van to and extra-long crew cab, the Proace is a versatile and reliable choice.

Loadspace 5,300 litres Payload 1,487kg Fuel economy 53.5mpg

Ford Transit Custom

Best medium used van for array of choice

Our pick Ford Transit Custom 2.2 290, 2015 (65), 51,000 miles
Price £9,495 ex VAT Monthly cost £232

Where once there was the Transit, the go-to van for many tradespeople, now there is this mid-size Transit Custom and below it the smaller Transit Courier and Transit Connect, and the larger Transit that now competes with rivals such as the Vauxhall Movano.

Whatever, the Transit Custom is what most people imagine when they think of a Ford van and its typical qualities including ease of driving and maintenance, tough construction, and roomy and practical body.

The cheapest examples on BuyaCar start from around £11,500 plus VAT, or half the price of the cheapest new Transit Custom.

Loadspace 5,950 litres Payload 1,090kg Fuel economy 40.4mpg

Best used large vans

Mercedes Sprinter 

Best used large van for comfort

Our pick Mercedes Sprinter 313 CDI LWB, 2015 (65), 60,000 miles
Price £14,984 ex VAT Monthly cost £365

The infinitely customisable Mercedes Sprinter could also feature on this list as one of the largest and most capable vans currently available to buy, but it's also happens to be one of the most comfortable.

Typical Mercedes craftsmanship and engineering have been applied, meaning it's generally quiet, refined, yet powerful on the open road.

Due to its popularity, used Sprinters are generally easy to pick up with massive savings from the list price, so long as you're open to at least 40,000 miles on the clock and models that are at least two years old.

Loadspace 6,900 litres Payload 1116kg Fuel economy 34.9

Vauxhall Movano

Best used large van for large loads

Our pick Vauxhall Movano 35 L2 2.3 CDTI H2 130PS, 2018 (18), 20 miles
Price £17,110 ex VAT Monthly cost £340

These Goliaths of the road share the same basic platform as the Renault Master and Nissan NV400, meaning choice of brand will largely come down to the specification and engine spread offered by each manufacturer.

Vauxhall's biggest selling point is the level of choice in the Movano range. Customers can opt four body lengths and three roof heights, while four engines, front and rear-wheel-drive options and an optional automatic gearbox add further flexibility.

A distinct lack of stock makes picking up an older used bargain slightly difficult but low-mileage, pre-registered examples abound offering savings of around £5,000.

Loadspace 10,800 litres Payload 1,491kg Fuel economy 36.2mpg

Peugeot Boxer

Best used van for large loads

Our pick Peugeot Boxer 2.2 HDI 335 L3H2 Professional, 2016 (16), 13,500 miles
Price £12,995 ex VAT Monthly cost £261

We’ve gone for one of the biggest of the large vans here. The Boxer is already a giant van but in extra long wheelbase and high roof form as here, it has a 13,000-litre load capacity. Move up to L4H3 and that capacity increases to 17,000.

If the Boxer doesn't quite tick all the boxes you, you’ll find there are related models in the shape of the Fiat Ducato and Citroen Relay which will at least widen the net in terms of searching for specific ages and mileages.

Back to this Boxer, though, and our example is great value given that the base price ex VAT of the cheapest new Boxer is £19,900.

Loadspace 13,000 litres Payload 1,525kg Fuel economy 38.2mpg

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