Different Types Of Vans Explained

Even if you’ve noticed a few different types of vans on the roads yourself, you’ll probably be surprised at the range of van types there are out there. You may ask, ‘why are there so many types of vans?’ and the answer is straightforward. The term van is synonymous with so many forms of utility transportation. Any motor that is used to perform a commercial function is usually a van. That makes up a wide range of specialisms that can be accounted for, and different types of vans pop up to fill each niche. Larger vans are more suited to tradesmen with lost of room for storage of tools and building materials. The small vans tend to be used more by courier drivers.  Buying too large a van can result in paying more for van courier insurance than necessary, as lager vans will normally fall into the high risk van groups

Box Van

Does what it says on the tin. It’s a van with a large box attached behind the driver, instead of the regular bodywork of a normal van. The box is especially useful for couriers, delivery drivers and truckers, as the cargo is easy to store and there’s lots of space.

Panel Van

The most popular of all vans, especially among commercial trades, such as builders and plumbers, the panel van comes in different sizes and is distinguished by its 3 door design with large metal panels where other doors would be on a regular car or people carrier. This type of van is usually kitted out inside with the tradie’s tools, but can also be great courier vehicles.

Chassis Van

This term is used to describe any conversion van that has the chassis intact with an alternative back end, such as box vans, dropsides, tippers, or flat beds.

Car Derived Van

These are cars turned into vans. They often start from a car with a large boot, or long middle section, before the innards are ripped out and replaced with tools or goods. Popular car derived vans include the Vauxhall Astra, Corsa, and Ford Fiesta.

4x4 Van

These vans are a little more hardy and are used by lots of large delivery companies that have to go out into the sticks to reach their customers, such as Amazon and their Mercedes sprinter vans. The four-wheel drive, thick tyres and suspension aid in harsh conditions where mud, snow, and pot-holes could otherwise cause upset.

City Van

These are characterised by both a compact size, and a practical urban design. They are perfect for small cargos but will always fit pallets in the back.

Crew Van

This can be a type of panel van, or other type of van, but will come with a few rows of seats for crew to sit in the back and usually space for equipment too.

Electric Van

A final new addition is the electric van. EVs hit the scene not long ago, and these all electric vans are new and quickly causing a stir. Many of these vans are able to travel over 200 miles on a single charge and are revolutionising the courier game forever, as well as powering many tradesmen on their way to work. These options will often only be differentiated by a green number plate and a hatch on the front for the electric plug socket. They are most commonly panel vans, but soon there will be all variations of these EVs.

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