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What Are The Best Vans for Builders to lease?

13 Dec 2021

It’s not uncommon to hear that there are no “bad vans'' and while this may be widely agreed upon, it doesn’t help builders or tradesmen narrow down their options. From short and long wheelbases to different load capacities, flatbeds to tippers, the choices can seem overwhelming.

 
With so many commercial vans available for business leasing, the introduction of clean air zone charges being implemented across major cities, it makes the challenge of finding a new van for your business even bigger. Alongside the clean air zone, new vehicle design legislation is being rolled out in 2022 that gives manufacturers the power to produce safer, fuel-efficient trucks, lorries and vans.
 
A typical domestic builder or commercial contractor in the UK needs a perfect combination of payload & body size. It needs to be economical for their business, reliable to avoid costly downtime & project a good first impression to potential customers. Some builders like to 'customise' the interior of their van to suit their own specific needs and storage requirements. This could include various van racking solutions available from companies specialising in this aspect.  This means that the van needs to be spacious enough for racks to be added yet durable enough for them to stay stable. 
 
From knowing which load capacity to choose, to decide whether you want a short or long wheelbase, to flatbeds and tippers, there’s a huge amount of jargon to sift through. This is why we’ve made our list of best vans for builders to lease. 
 

Ford Transit Custom

We couldn't start a list of top vans without starting with this one. At the top of our list is Britain's favourite model, the Ford Transit Custom. The Ford Transit is Britain’s most popular model and is available in a wide range of sizes and specs. The amount of choice that tradesmen have to choose from with the transit is huge - be it body styles, engines, trim levels or weights.
 
Since each job entails something different, it’s important to get the right-sized van for your needs. For the builder who needs a beast of a van, the Ford L2H2 offers over 2.9 metres of load length and a whopping 1400kgs of payload. The Ford Transit Custom is the mid-sized model in the Transit range and offers an impressive 2.0 litre TDCi Ford EcoBlue and 70-litre fuel tank. In fact, there are eight different engine power units available across the full range of Transit Customs. 
 
Inside the Custom, you will find that the details of this van’s interior are similar to that of the Ford Focus. Touches such as the tough plastic load floor and wall covers help to reduce wear and tear on the load space while running costs have been reduced on more recent models, which use the marque’s EcoBlue technology. Inside the Transit Custom, you will find impressive technology such as cruise control, an easy fuel capless refuelling system and front and rear parking sensors. Not to mention front fog lights, PAS, a trip computer, warning lights, a 2nd remote key, deadlocks, and remote central locking.
 
Not only is this van a great all-rounder for builders but the Ford Transit also offers unrivalled reliability, driver ease and security. Ford ensures that you can get to every job on time and with all your tools protected. 
 

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Similar to the Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a great example of perfection and performance in the full-sized van class. Packed to the gills with the latest technology, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has features such as a 7" touch screen that keeps you informed on live traffic information and a trip computer. You can also prepare for long work trips with a multimedia system and a USB connection. 
 
Due to the various options, size and versatility, this luxury commercial van is great for a wide range of projects and trades. Whether the Mercedes is empty or fully loaded with tools and kit, this van rides well and both petrol and diesel engines are fuel-efficient. The powerful 3-litre V6 engine can be found across all models. The Sprinter’s enhanced engine and smart tyres carbon emission, BlueEFFICIENCY technology, make the perfect van to drive in all weathers. 
 
The Sprinter also has a payload of up to 1,264-kg and additional options such as double cab and four-wheel drive. Builders will find the easily accessible rear and creature comforts in the cabin useful on the short wheelbase, panel version.
 
Although it has a higher price tag, it offers a lot to builders, having a large load space and the option for a double cab. It also has a four-wheel-drive version, which is handy if you travel to off-road construction sites regularly.
 

Volkswagen Transporter

As one of the most sought after commercial vans on the leasing market, you can’t get more desirable and attractive than a Volkswagen Transporter. This stylish van is not only filled with tech that helps with route planning and improves driver safety, but it is one of the most modern vans on the market.
 
Not only does it feature the marque’s BlueMotion kit as standard and comply with Euro 6 standards, it also has a 5-inch touchscreen DAB radio with Bluetooth in all models. Although it doesn’t quite compare with the loading capacity of the Ford, you can carry up to 1.2 tons, which is more than ample for most traders and builders. 
 
A double cab version of the Transporter is available, and the van’s load space and practicality are up there with the best. Of course, basic ply lining is essential with commercial vans to protect the van from those nasty 'dings' from the inside out and gives that extra layer of protection from your tools and other messy bits.