Top 10 Vans To Consider That Won’t Let You Down


If reliability is an important factor when considering buying a car, it’s even more important when thinking about buying a van. Just as you would compare used cars in the UK and their potential misgivings, it’s good to check out a number of second hand vans too and know what to look for. 

After all, if a car breaks down you can probably make alternative arrangements, but if your van is unreliable it may prevent you from doing any work at all. The financial implications of this are potentially huge – not only in terms of the cost of the repair to the van but also the lost business while you wait for it to be fixed.

So how do you find a reliable van? Whatever size or shape of van you need, we have the answer, in the form of this top 10 list from the Fleet News FN50 van reliability survey. This uses data from some of the UK’s largest leasing firms, providing real-world info on the most reliable vans on the road.

The most reliable vans

  1. Vauxhall Vivaro

Vauxhall’s British-built Vivaro van is a medium-sized model that comes in two lengths and with a smooth and refined driving experience. The latest versions have some of the highest payload ratings of any medium van, making them very practical, though some may find the cab a touch cramped. 

  1. Renault Trafic

The Renault Trafic is also a medium van with an excellent, car-like driving experience. Its payload ratings aren’t very high, but it is available with two roof heights as well as two body lengths – which also give it the longest loading space in the sector. The engines are fuel efficient, too.

  1. Nissan NV200

The first small van on this list is the Nissan NV200. This is an old van now, and it’s not the best in terms of driving experience or modernity. But it has a large load area for its size and the e-NV200 electric version is a great choice if you want a proven zero emissions solution.

  1. Citroen Berlingo

By contrast, the Citroen Berlingo is one of the most modern small vans on sale. It has the joint-highest payload ratings in its market sector and a fine choice of petrol and diesel engines – plus an e-Berlingo electric model as of 2021. It’s good to drive and available with plenty of high-tech features.

  1. Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Custom out-sells every other van on sale in the UK by a considerable margin. This isn’t just because it’s reliable – though it is – it’s also because it’s available in a wider choice of trim levels than any rival, is packed with modern features, and really good to drive. Owners love them.

  1. Ford Transit Connect

If the Transit Custom is too big for you but you like the idea of lots of choice and access to the UK’s largest van dealer network, then the smaller Ford Transit Connect could be ideal. This is also good to drive, has plenty of modern connectivity and has recently been upgraded to carry higher payload.

  1. Volkswagen Crafter

Not quite the most reliable large van on this list, but very close, the Volkswagen Crafter excels at putting the driver first. It has a first-class cab design that’s super practical as well as beautifully made, and is somehow as easy to drive as a Volkswagen Golf. A remarkable achievement.

  1. Volkswagen Caddy

If you’re after a small van that won’t let you down, the Volkswagen Caddy is consistently it. These stylish little vans offer the kind of quality construction we’re used to from VW’s cars, and are fitted with efficient petrol and diesel engines. The latest versions are very high-tech inside as well.

  1. Volkswagen Transporter

After six generations, Volkswagen knows what it’s doing when it comes to medium-sized vans. Not only is the Transport the most reliable van of its type, it has a top class image and unmatched performance. Just don’t bother with the all-electric e-Transporter; it has a super-short driving range.

  1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

If reliability is your number one priority, forget all the other vans on this list – the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the undisputed king of the hill. This large van has not only come top in the FN50 survey seven times in a row, it has a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and up to 30 years of road-side assistance. What a champ.