For an independent courier driver, the single most important investment you'll ever make in your business is the purchase of your vehicle. Your van is your office, meeting room, despatch, depot and sometimes even your lunchroom, so being able to rely on it to be both comfortable and functional is vital to the smooth running of your business and your peace of mind. |
If you work on owner driver jobs delivering in an urban area, a smaller type 'city van' that does well in tight spaces is probably appropriate for your needs. So if you're just starting out, or business is good and you're thinking of upgrading, here are some of the best small vans on the market at the moment.
The Volkswagen brand barely needs introduction and the Caddy consistently makes it onto the 'best of' lists all over Europe. This solid little mover is considered one of the most comfortable small vans available in the UK. It looks and feels quite luxurious and there are lots of extras that come as standard even in the starter models – making it functional as well as fancy! The Caddy comes in a long and short wheelbase and there's even a five-seater model available. It's got a load length of almost 1800mm and handy rear and side access.
A perfect van for anyone just starting out doing owner driver jobs, the Kangoo is without a doubt excellent value for money. As well as handling like a dream in tight spaces, it offers superb fuel efficiency (up to 60mpg) and its nippy size makes it perfect for urban delivery. It's been around since 1997 so they must be doing something right, but the latest updated 2016 model also meets the Euro 6 emissions standards. This is one of Europe's best selling diesel vans, not just for its lower price point, but also for its performance. (It shares many features and engineering of the Mercedes Citan.)
Not a name you might have expected to see on a list like this! If hipsters decided to take on owner driver jobs this is the vehicle they'd choose. Fashion trends aside, the Clubman is a fantastic alternative to a straight commercial van if you're looking for something a little different – and it certainly would add a point of difference to your delivery business. It's based on the same funky body shape as the Mini Clubman Estate, so not only does it look good it also handles really well (virtually like a car). As a bonus the interiors have that inimitable Mini style and comfort, so you'll barely feel like you're driving a van – but the space in the back will tell you different!
It's an oldie but a goodie. The Berlingo is renowned as one of the most low emission, fuel-efficient small vans on the market – it does up to 62.8mpg with emissions of just 118g/km. Its spacious interiors can facilitate a range of load heights and lengths and it comes in a variety of body styles, bulkhead options and seat configurations, including the unusual choice of twin front seats. For those concentrating on smaller urban territories, the fully electric model (with a range of 106 miles from a 12-hour charge) makes for a very economical option.
Driving the Market
For anyone doing owner driver jobs in the urban environment, practicalities like load space, manoeuvrability, fuel efficiency and emissions all need to be taken into account when choosing a vehicle. These are just four of the models that come up trumps when reviewed by experts in the industry.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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