What van should I buy?


Are you nearing the end of your electrical course with us? Maybe you are a newly registered electrician on the lookout for a new or used van or commercial vehicle in 2021? If this is you, we hope that this guide can help you navigate through the many choices, brands and models available on the market. Recently we asked our social media followers to tell us what van they would recommend for tradespeople and the results have been summarised further down this page.

Before making your choice, it is worth asking yourself the following questions:

Do you need a van?

Easy question but an important one to ask. Fuelling, maintaining and the general upkeep of a large commercial vehicle can be expensive and may not be the suitable options for everybody. There are several options to consider:

  • Commercial car

Commercial cars might be the solution for smaller electrical firms or self-employed tradespeople looking to have a reliable yet economical vehicle. Our top choice is shown below:

Ford Fiesta Van – OTR from £16,000 ex VAT (used from £6,000)

Small but mighty and with a generous rear load space of 0.96 cubic meters. It’s the ideal choice for electricians looking for a practical vehicle which is easy to park and manoeuvre around cities and towns.


  • Small Vans

Need a bit more load space? A small van is what you need. There are so many to choose from and, unlike commercial cars, used options are easy to come by and you can pick a decent used van without breaking the bank. Our top brand choice is, without a doubt, VW which offer a wide range of specs, sizes and features to suit everyone. Here is our top small van choice:

VW Caddy Cargo – OTR £22,448 (used from £7,995)

Our top small van choice is the VW Caddy. The new version which launched in 2020 features Driver Assistant, varied infotainment system and ergonomic driver’s station. The load compartment can be fitted with an LED light for those dark winter jobs helping you find the equipment and tools you need. The load space is impressive – from 3,200 litres up to 4,300 litres with a max payload of between 639-734kg.

  • Large Van

Designed for maximum load capacity, nothing beats a large van. Ideal if you have apprentices or colleagues working with you, a large van is the ideal multi-people transportation solution for electricians and tradespeople. Our top choice – it has to be the Ford Transit Custom.

Ford Transit Custom – OTR from £22,809 (plug-in hybrid model also available) 


Our top choice for the best electrician’s van is the Ford Transit Custom and a brand new plug-in hybrid model is currently available with lease deals starting from £342 per month. For a more modest budget why not consider an older used version of the Transit Custom? Used Transit Custom vans start from as little as £7,500 from sites such as AutoTrader. Not only is the Ford Transit Custom our top choice, but it is also the winner of our social media poll with 50% of participants recommending it!

Petrol, Diesel, Hybrid or Electric?

The UK Government have announced a ban on sales of new petrol & diesel cars from 2030 and all plug-in hybrid car sales from 2035. Electric car sales increased in market share to 23.4% in December 2020 (up from 6.6% in December 2019). Investing in a hybrid or electric van might be just what your electrical business needs to make it future proof!

Need some more incentive? The UK Government is offering “Low Emission” vehicle grants up to a maximum of £3,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans. The following list of vans are eligible for the Government grant which will pay 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £8,000 per van (more information can be found on the Gov.uk website):

  • BD Auto eTraffic
  • BD Auto eDucato (3.5 tonnes)
  • Citroen e-Dispatch
  • Ford Transit Custom PHEV
  • LEVC VN5
  • MAN eTGE
  • Maxus eDeliver 3
  • Maxus eDeliver 9
  • Mercedes-Benz eVito
  • Mercedes eSprinter
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial
  • Nissan e-NV200 (cargo van)
  • Peugeot e-Expert
  • Renault Kangoo ZE
  • Renault Master ZE
  • Renault Trucks Master ZE
  • Vauxhall Vivaro-e
  • Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter
  • LDV EV80

Leasing vs Buying a commercial vehicle for business

There are many ways in which you can finance your new or used commercial vehicle and all come with their advantages & disadvantages. The easiest option is, if you have the cash, to fund the vehicle yourself however this may not be an option for many. Below we’ve summarised the key points about lease & purchase deals but we must stress, before entering into any finance agreement, make sure you do your own research and make sure you can afford the repayments. Seeking financial advice and speaking to the dealers directly will be your best option!

Leasing a commercial vehicle

Key advantages

  • Warranty & Maintenance are included in the monthly price of the lease often for the duration of the lease deals (worth checking with the dealer exactly what is covered under their warranty pack)
  • Leasing a new commercial vehicle will you give you access to the latest technology and safety feature keeping you and your equipment safe.
  • Tax-deductible payments. Unlike traditional vehicle loan, the business portion of your leased vehicle repayments can be claimed as an expense during your Self Assessment.


  • Mileage limits apply and you often negotiate this before signing the lease deals. If you go over your mileage allowance you will be charged a price-per-mile once your final payment is due at the end of the lease.
  • No trade-in value.
  • High lease ending costs. At the end of the lease deals, you may face high costs if you have gone over your mileage allowance or for excessive wear and tear

Buying a commercial vehicle

Key advantages

  • Owned property. When you buy a commercial vehicle it is yours and you are free to customise it and drive it as little or as much as you want.
  • Trade-in value. When you are ready to upgrade, you can often use your old van as a deposit or sell it to buy a new one.
  • Once the loan is paid off you owe nothing to the dealer and the vehicle is yours.


  • Time-limited warranty. Often used cars come with no or little warranty meaning all repairs and maintenance will have to come out of your own pocket.
  • High upfront costs
  • Outdated features. This is particularly true when you buy a used vehicle


We asked our social media followers what van they drive for work and below we have summarised the top 3 most popular van make & models:

WINNER: Ford Transit Custom

2nd PLACE: VW Caddy

3rd PLACE: Citroen Berlingo Van