A Guide to the best vans

If your set of wheels has seen better days and there are more coughs and splutters than roars, don’t despair, 2009 is the year of the van.

Manufacturers are working harder than ever to produce cleaner, more attractive and better-equipped vans – that are also decent to drive.

Best van for insurance

The Citroen C2 Enterprise, Vauxhall Corsavan and Combo are all insurance group 1E. But it’s the Peugeot Partner that’s out in front. It’s one size up from these contenders, yet still in the lowest insurance group – perfect for small trades such as locksmiths and gas fitters.

If you need something bigger, the Nissan Primastar, Vauxhall Vivaro or Renault Trafic are all worth a look. They’re all in either group 4 or 4E, which for a panel van is pretty impressive. Once you’ve made your choice, compare van insurance quotes for the best deal.

Best van for looks

Gone are the days of ugly, brick-shaped vans – 2009’s crop has style and personality. The car-derived models tend to look a little sharper, but the true style icon of the van world has to be the Peugeot Bipper. Its endearing looks and cheeky demeanour are a welcome change from the bland appearance you normally expect.

Best van for a low budget

If the bottom line is the be all and end all of your van purchasing plan, test drive the Axiam Mega. You may not have heard of it, but you’d certainly recognise it.

Classed as a microvan, the Axiam Mega is technically a quadricycle, which means you only need a bike licence to drive one. Just over £6,000 will buy this little number and with a tin two-cylinder diesel powering the lightweight plastic body, you’ll get over 60mpg!

Best van for the environment

Expanding the handful of electric vans out there, Ford has recently unveiled its ECOnetic versions of its vans.

The green award goes to the Fiesta ECOnetic, which like its car counterpart, can clock up a spectacular 76.4mpg combined and emit just 98g/km of C02. There’s even an ECOnetic Transit that offers similar improvements over the standard machine.

Best all-round van

When choosing a van, there are a number of things to consider, so a good all-rounder often comes up trumps.

For a small car-derived van, the new Ford Fiesta is an impressive piece of kit, with a smart cabin, decent space, good engine and lots of fun to drive.

If you need a big van, look no further than the Iveco Daily. With a wide range of engine and transmission options, it squeezes every last inch of space into its distinctive exterior.

And before you purchase your van for 2009, compare van insurance quotes.

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