Used Van Market Overview
It stands to reason that buying one of the more popular used vans will mean that there are more spare parts around and people trained to repair them.
The Ford Transit rules supreme in terms of market leadership. As a manufacturer, Ford enjoys some 31% of the UK new van market (YTD, Jan-May 2016) – that means that almost one in three of every new van sold has the blue oval on the front. This is not a recent phenomenon, as Ford has held the top spot for commercial vehicle sales in the UK for the last fifty years. So plenty of Transit parts in the market.
That is not to say that Ford has no competition – far from it. Over the years, Vauxhall have competed hard and are by no means out of the picture. But it is Volkswagen who now hold second place in the van market share stakes with nearly 12% of the market.
Despite suffering setbacks in the wake of the ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal, the German manufacturer has gone from strength to strength, particularly with their ubiquitous Transporter range and more recently the successful Amarok pick up.
Other van brands are renowned in certain areas. Want to cover high motorway miles in a 3.5 tonner? Got to have a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Need a high payload? Opt for the 7 tonne GVW Iveco Daily. Want a ready-bodied chassis? Head over to Citroen – their ‘Ready to Run’ range has won many awards over the years.
Which Used Van to Buy?
It is often said by many commercial vehicle journalists that nobody makes a bad van any more. What is important is the availability of quality servicing and spare parts in your region. Increasingly the van makers are recognising that out-of-hours servicing is vital to support the needs of a van operator. Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Volkswagen are all offering extended opening and some even 24-hour operation.
We recommend you read through our model reviews and overviews of each van manufacturer to decide the make, model and model year to buy.
Bear in mind that if you opt for an older van and you want to go into London you may find you are replacing it sooner than you might want to.
Prior to the commencement of the 2020 Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), a van should have been registered prior to January 2002, meaning you could drive an eighteen-year-old van into the zone in 2019. After 2020, you will need a Euro 6 van to enter the zone which have only been available in quantities since the end of 2015. This means that the oldest used van that can be taken into the zone without and extra charge will be five years old or less. These vans will be more fuel efficient and cleaner on emissions than older vans, but need to be filled with a chemical called Adblue - the substance that helps the vans clean up their act. This adds cost and complexity to commercial vehicle operation.