Save Money van

Published on October 8th, 2013 | by Pete


The hidden costs of commercial vans

Choosing a van for business use can be far more complicated than finding the right car for domestic reasons. With a personal vehicle there can be many subjective things that appeal, but a commercial vehicle needs to be a much more hard-headed and objective choice.

A simple ‘white van’ used to basically be all that was on offer, with the choice of manufacturer limited to a small number of specialists. Nowadays the commercial sales sector is big business and most of the major brands have a range of models to suit most needs.

This means that standards have gone up in every aspect of design and specifications and consequently it can be hard to work out what is a good deal and whether or not you might be paying for extras that you don’t really need.

Here’s a look at some of the hidden costs so you can make the best choice.

Build quality

Modern advanced construction methods mean that contemporary commercial vehicles are as reliable as any other type of automobile and should have an equally long life. Galvanised panels and rust-proofed frames all help towards low maintenance costs and greater longevity so the traditional image of the rusty van well past its sell by date should be a thing of the past if you choose carefully.

Different models

There is no simple one size fits all solution for commercial vans and today the range of options is wider than ever. Side loading, twin cabs, flatbed pickups – there is a solution for every problem and a model for every situation.

Depending on what line of work you are in and the uses you need a van for, choosing the right configuration at the start will save you time and money in the future.


Commercial vehicles are no strangers to added extras these days, with leather seats, high-end entertainment systems and add-ons such as Bluetooth connectivity becoming increasingly common.

Much the same as with domestic cars, these features are usually extras that add more to the cost and don’t come as standard. It is important to keep an overview of what you actually want a working vehicle to do and ask yourself if more extravagant options are really needed.


It is well worth looking into the tax situation for any commercial vehicle purchase because, unlike most things in life, in the UK a light commercial vehicle has tax benefits for businesses when it comes to accountancy.

Ask your accountant to explain any ‘Benefit in Kind’ liability that might apply.

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