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Most popular used vans on Auto Trader

Which vans are used buyers most keen on? These are the models that come top of searchers’ wish lists when hunting down their new second-hand purchase.

Words by: First published: 31st July 2018
The used van market is a demanding one, with buyers wanting a high level of quality in different areas. They want a full service history on a well maintained vehicle with a decent level of specification and a sensible mileage. The vans that are not up to scratch will struggle to attract a buyer, but those that match those demands will often go for a much higher price.

When it comes to makes and models, though, these are the ones buyers hanker after the most.
Volkswagen Transporter
The VW Transporter might not top the UK van sales charts, but it is by far the most searched for model on Auto Trader.

This is likely to be down to the model’s wide-ranging appeal – it is popular with tradespeople and retail buyers alike. The latter are drawn in by a number of factors. Volkswagen’s long history of making camper vans is one such reason, with people looking to create their own, while others appreciate the car-like cabin of higher-spec models. The people-carrying version is popular with larger families and those that want a minibus, too.

The decent payloads, range of body sizes and strong engines are just three reasons why companies like the Transporter, though, so it really is a model that has something for everyone.

Find VW Transporter vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Ford Transit
For many people, the Transit is the first name that comes to mind when they think of vans. It’s been around for more than 50 years, with the first one going on sale in 1965, and around eight million have been sold ever since.

Ford tweaked its naming approach in 2012, and now the Transit range is divided into the smallest model (the Transit Courier), the Transit Connect, the medium Transit Custom and the full-fat Transit. Even though many might want something smaller, the strength of the Transit brand might well see many simply searching for that alone.

Find Ford Transit vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Ford Transit Custom
When it comes to the sales charts, the Ford Transit Custom is king in the UK, sitting atop of the new sales list with almost twice as many registrations as the number two – its bigger brother, the standard Transit.

With it proving that popular with new buyers, it’s no surprise it is equally popular with those looking for a used van. Around 40% of buyers go for the base option with no frills at all, and another 40% go for the Limited (or Sportvan, which is based on the Limited trim) with all the bells and whistles, which means there are as many posh vans on the used market as there are basic load luggers. Whichever you need, there should be plenty out there to choose from.

Find Ford Transit Custom vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Ford Transit Connect
The compact Transit Connect is the third most popular Ford on Auto Trader by search, and the fourth most popular van overall, which about reflects its standings in the new model sales charts.

This small van shares its underpinnings with the popular Focus hatchback, which makes it very entertaining to drive for a light commercial vehicle. Despite that, it is still grown up when it needs to be, with a choice between diesel and petrol engine options, with the latter offering cylinder deactivation to boost fuel economy.

There’s choice on the size and shape front, too, with short and long wheelbase options and panel van, kombi and double-cab bodystyles.

Find Ford Transit Connect vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Vauxhall Vivaro
The van market loves a bit of technology sharing, with manufacturers working together to share the cost of developing a vehicle before taking it away for the last stage and popping their twist on the cabin and styling. The Vauxhall Vivaro is one prominent example of this, with the underpinnings of the Brit-built van also found under the Renault Trafic, Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300.

The Vauxhall enjoys a fair degree more popularity than its siblings, though, with the fact it is built in Luton likely to account for at least some of that goodwill.

Home-country loyalty isn’t enough to keep buyers coming back time and again, though, but there is plenty to recommend the Vivaro beyond where it is built. The solid cabin with enough frills to lift it from the workmanlike, excellent engine range, and fantastic ride and handling all work in its favour.

Find Vauxhall Vivaro vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The Mercedes Sprinter is a big deal in many ways: it proves wonderfully popular throughout Europe. In the UK it is the benchmark for many who are considering a large van. The latest model boasts a staggering array of technology and equipment, with the same huge infotainment screens on offer as those available in Mercedes’ passenger car range, and a range of connected services to help fleet managers and drivers alike.

The previous version makes for an excellent used buy, too, and was a popular choice with buyers throughout its life. The strong engines, excellent payload and practical loading bay are all reasons to buy.

Find Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Mercedes-Benz Vito
The Vito is the first anomaly on the list of most searched for light commercial vehicles on Auto Trader, in that it doesn’t generally feature in the brand-new best sellers list. Its badge appeal, fuel efficiency and range of options are all plus points when it comes to tempting those in the used market, though.

There is slightly less in the way of choice when it comes to Vito body styles versus rivals – there are three lengths to pick from, but only one height. However, it does offer something many others don’t in the form of an excellent and smooth seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Those who are after a slightly smarter alternative to the mainstream won’t be disappointed, but those who need a degree of hardiness will also get what they need from the Vito.

Find Mercedes-Benz Vito vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Volkswagen Caddy
Volkswagen’s compact Ford Transit Connect rival – the Caddy – is another model that is higher up the list of models that used searchers hunt down on Auto Trader than it is on the list of models bought new in the UK.

The Caddy’s range is relatively simple, with the standard Caddy and the Caddy Maxi joined by the five-seater Kombi model.

The engine range offers something many others don’t, however, as the Caddy is one of the few vans that has a petrol model. Petrols might not have the fuel economy of a diesel equivalent, but they tend to work out a bit cheaper to buy in the first place.

Find VW Caddy vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Renault Trafic
Ford and Volkswagen dominate the light commercial vehicle market in the UK, but in Europe, Renault is a much bigger name. The Trafic is at the heart of its range, sitting below the Master and above the Kangoo.

With lots shared with the Vauxhall Vivaro, Fiat Talento and Nissan NV300, the Trafic needs to stand out, but it does a good job. Fuel economy is a big draw for many, with the diesel engines offering an impressive return that is better than many of its rivals. An extra-long warranty means it might well still have cover if you are picking one up that is a couple of years old, which is another bonus.

It does the van basics pretty well, too, with simple, big and boxy dimensions in the loading bay keeping buyers who need to lug hefty amounts around happy.

Find Renault Trafic vans for sale on Auto Trader.
Citroen Berlingo
The Citroen Berlingo has been around since 1996, with only the one major update in 2008, but it has remained popular in that time so Citroen hasn’t rushed to change it.

This popularity means there should be a fair few to choose from on the used market. It’s pretty much identical to its sister van, the Peugeot Partner, but Auto Trader users are much more interested in the Citroen, with the Berlingo accounting for almost two thirds more searches than the Peugeot.

There are two different lengths on offer, but both sit on the same wheelbase, so it is just a case of getting a bit more space. This does also mean it’s actually the shorter one that has the ability to carry a bit more weight, if that is your priority.

Find Citroen Berlingo vans for sale on Auto Trader.