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Top 10 Best Vans for Builders in 2021

Top 10 Best Vans for Builders in 2021

Tools, bags of cement and bricks weigh an absolute ton! Not only do you want to strike up a lasting impression with your clients, but having a vehicle that can carry all of your gear is all part of the deal.

Kitting yourself out with the most reliable and practical van on the market should be at the top of your list. If you’re a typical domestic builder, you want to look out for a healthy balance of payload and body size matched with eye-catching appeal for your prospective customers.

Not sure where to start? Here are our top ten best vans for builders in 2021.

Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom has been a runaway hit in the UK ever since it debuted in 2012. Not only does it tick all the boxes for comfort and driveability, but it is available in every possible permutation you could want! Knocking on the doors of a hefty 1.5 ton payload capacity and ability to carry much larger volumes than most of its peers, you’d be hard pressed to find a better van on the market.

Since upgrading to the Euro-6d engines and offering the maximum fuel efficiency with the MHEV version, you’ll be saving yourself more than just money at the petrol station. Van finance options are available.

Volkswagen Transporter

As one of the most sought after medium vans on the market, you can’t get more desirable and attractive than a Volkswagen Transporter. Bursting with a whole heap of sophisticated safety features and packing a 2-liter engine that can be paired with a superb 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox, there’s a lot to like.

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. What’s more, if you fancy an upgrade, Volkswagen’s are notorious for holding their resale value!

Mercedes-Benz Vito

Reputable and certainly packs a punch, the newer Mercedes-Benz Vito model is not to be missed. Offering front-wheel drive, the Vito has become more versatile and delivers a more competitive payload than its predecessors.

With the upgraded 1.6-liter engine meeting the Euro 6 emissions standards paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, you can sit back and relax as you enjoy the driving experience alone. If you want to go further, there’s a seven-speed automatic version available.

Despite being available in compact, long, and extra-long body lengths, there is not a high-roof option. So make sure you book in a test drive before signing on the dotted line!

Renault Trafic

No list of best vans would be complete without the Renault Trafic. It has stood at the forefront of the industry for over forty years and has never shied away from adapting to the times, and Renault’s latest offering is no exception.

You’ll notice LED headlights, a more defined grill, and other design features like chrome inserts. Then there’s the 2.0-liter Euro-6d diesel engine that comes in a broad range of power options, including dCi 120 and dCi 145. What’s more, fuel consumption is cut despite having a larger capacity engine than its predecessors.

Nissan NV300

What is essentially the Renault Trafic’s long lost brother, the Nissan NV300, offers a similar capacity but with a few of the extra bonus features skimmed off. You’ll find a decent 1.6-liter diesel engine that is available in four different outputs: 94bhp and 119nhp for the single-turbo, and 123bhp and 143bhp for the twin-turbo edition.

If you’re looking for an automatic gearbox, then you’ll need to wait a couple of years. But if a double cab that can carry 4m3 worth of load space tickles your fancy, then this is the van for you. With a five year warranty that includes roadside assistance on the cards, the NV300 hits the spot.

Vauxhall Vivaro

Battling it out with the Ford, you’ll find one of the UK’s other best-selling vans, the Vauxhall Vivaro. It comes with an extraordinary turbocharged diesel engine, two different lengths, and the payload offers 200kg more than some of the previous models.

You’ll find the Vivaro is better value than ever with its exceptional safety features and updated trim levels ranging from Edition and Sportive to the new Elite option.

Peugeot Expert

A contender for the top spot, the French-made Peugeot Expert, offers cleaner engines, smart interiors, and ample cab space. There’s a lot to get excited about, from the 100bhp 1.5-liter entry model to the powerful 120bhp, 147nhp or 174bhp 2.0-liter engines. Throw in the optional eight-speed automatic version with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles as standard, and you won’t want to look elsewhere!

Whatever variant you opt for from the Blue HDi range (100, 120, 150 or 180), your van will come with fuel-saving engine stop-start technology as standard issue. With various trim levels available and three length options, the Expert tips the scales with its design approach.

Citroen Dispatch

Shouldering up with the Expert, you’ll find the highly competitive Citroen Dispatch. Under the bonnet, you’ll find an entry-level 1.6-liter 94bhp diesel engine partnered with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard.

If you want a bit more power, then the 2.0-liter engine (available as 121bhp, 148bhp or 174bhp) is the one to go for. At the top end, the Dispatch comes with an automatic gearbox and steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Then there are all the extra custom options to toy with; three lengths, three trim levels, plus all the different models from the X to the Enterprise Plus!

Volkswagen Crafter

Want more space? Like the Transporter, the Volkswagen Crafter has earned its well-built reputation over the years. Available as a panel van with single or double-cab chassis platforms, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

There’s something for everyone with multiple custom specs available, including two wheelbase lengths, three vehicle lengths, three roof heights, and three different gross vehicle weights (3.0, 3.5 and 5.0 tons).

Throw in the optional front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive capabilities, and a choice of gearboxes and an upcoming electric model, the Crafter is well worth the investment.


Smart, attractive, and bursting with every safety feature you could want, the Man TGE is a large van that cannot be ignored. Hugely flexible and offering substantial height, length, and chassis platform options, you get a lot for your money. As well as carrying payloads up to 5.0 tons with the largest version and an extra 3.5 tons towing capacity, you can definitely get the work done in a THE.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Buying the right van for your business is all part of your success story. Which one will you go for?

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.