Best used vans

Grab a bargain and keep the business running on a tight budget with these pre-loved load-luggers

Apr 26, 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.

Peugeot Partner

Best used van for fitting in tight spaces

List price: £18,328 2017 vans typically:£12,000
Loadspace Up to 4,100 litres Payload Up to 860kg Fuel economy Up to 68.9mpg

Seeing as Peugeot no longer offers the quirky but extremely practical Bipper in the UK anymore, it falls to the Partner to take up the slack, and the 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 £12,000, while even basic S models come with electric windows and a radio with CD player inside.

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.


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Panel Van

Best used van for comfort 

List price: From £29,840 2017 vans typically: £20,000
Loadspace Up to 17,000 litres Payload Up to 2253kg Fuel economy Up to 35.3mpg

The infinitely customisable Mercedes-Benz 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-Benz craftsmanship and engineering have been applied, meaning it's generally quiet, refined, yet powerful on the open road.

Cutting edge systems, such as Parktronic and reversing cameras, are available across the range, while ergonomically designed seats with almost endless amounts of adjustability ensure all drivers feel at ease behind the wheel. 

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.


Volkswagen Transporter

Best used van: medium sized panel van

Manufacturer price: From £24,877 2017 vans typically: £20,500
Loadspace: Up to 9,300 litres Payload: Up to 1301kg Fuel economy: Up to 51.4mpg

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 some low mileage examples on Buy a car for as little as £18,990, which represents a saving of around £5,000 on the recommended retail price of a new vehicle. 


Ford Transit Connect L1

Best used van for style 

Manufacturer price: From £17,771 2017 vans typically: £13,200
Loadspace Up to 3,700 litres Payload Up to 806kg Fuel economy Up to 72.4mpg

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 infotainment 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 model on Buy a Car with just 200 miles on the clock, which presented a saving of around £3,000 compared to brand new prices.


Nissan e-NV200

Best used van for zero emissions

Manufacturer price: From £17,256 2017 vans typically: £15,000
Loadspace Up to 3,474 litres Payload Up to 703kg Fuel economy 106-mile all-electric range

Thanks to a lack of engine and other oily parts, the battery-powered Nissan e-NV200 features a best in class 3,474-litre load space in the rear, which is large enough behind the front seats to store two Euro pallets.

On top of this, customers benefit from the savings of zero emissions motoring and quiet and refined ride that comes with an electric drivetrain.

Granted, the 106-mile range won't suit everyone, but for those with easy access to charging points and plenty of short hops to complete, it could make the perfect companion.

However, there isn't a huge amount of stock available, so these eco-friendly Nissans tend to retain a large percentage of their original value on the used market.

Relatively low mileage models can be picked up with around £4,000 slashed off the list price and customers get the peace of mind that comes with Nissan's five-year/60,000-mile battery guarantee.


Vauxhall Movano Panel Van

Best used van for large loads 

Manufacturer price: From £25,523 2017 vans typically: £16,500
Loadspace Up to 17,000 litres Payload Up to 2,200kg Fuel economy Up to 42.8mpg

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 a used bargain slightly difficult but large vans with a well run-in mid-range 110hp 2.3-litre diesel can be found for around £16,500.


Fiat Fiorino 

Best used van for ultra-compact space 

Manufacturer price: From £12,065 2017 vans typically: £8,995
Loadspace Up to 2,800 litres Payload Up to 660kg Fuel economy Up to 74.3mpg

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 infotainment technology, hardwearing plastics and intuitive controls make it a tempting proposition.

The small Fiat represents excellent value on the used market. Even now, 18-plate versions with as littles as 20 miles on the clock can be snapped up for less than £9,000.

Renault Kangoo Van

Best used van for bargain hunters 

Manufacturer price: From £15,530 2017 vans typically: £10,000
Loadspace Up to 3,600 litres Payload Up to 650kg Fuel economy Up to 65.7mpg

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, which is about as low as prices get for these workhorses.


Toyota Proace

Best used van for reliability

Manufacturer price: From £20,037 2017 vans typically: £16,000
Loadspace Up to 6,600 litres Payload Up to 1400kg Fuel economy Up to 54.3mpg

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.


Mercedes-Benz Citan Tourer

Best used van for moving people 

Manufacturer price: From £14,950 2017 vans typically: £11,000
Loadspace Up to 3,500 litres Payload Up to 715kg Fuel economy Up to 65.7mpg

With the option of both long and extra-long body styles, the nimble and flexible Mercedes-Benz Citan Tourer can comfortably seat up to seven people, with easy access via the sliding side door and wide access step.

The seating arrangement can be split and folded in all manner of combinations, meaning it's possible to transport people and bulky items without compromising on practicality.

Load securing rings in the rear make it easy to secure cargo, while plenty of driver assistance packages and optional styling packs make it less van-like and more akin to a daily drive.

Used Citan panel vans are more commonplace than their people carrying counterparts but deals can be secured if a little research is invested. 



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