Whether you use your van for nothing but fun weekend jaunts or you’re on the look out for cheap commercial van insurance, it can be a minefield with such a huge number of vehicles on offer.
So, to help you on the road to van bliss, we’ve looked at Admiral Van Insurance customers’ (aged over 31) average premiums over the past three months (Oct – Dec 2020) to help you grab that budget van insurance policy you’re looking for.
The long-awaited replacement for the iconic Land Rover Defender is a revelation. Boasting all the latest tech, plus supreme off-road agility, it's the most capable and connected Land Rover ever.
Available as a three-door 90 or longer five-door 110 (which can seat six), its design pays homage to the original, but with a modern twist. Buyers can choose between petrol, mild hybrid petrol and diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid to follow.
What's more, Land Rover and Autohome have developed a state-of-the-art roof tent for the new Defender which can be put up in seconds with one simple movement. It sleeps two adults and includes a full-size luxury mattress, pillows, interior LED light, rear canopy and compact aluminium ladder.
Price new: Around £44,000.
Maximum payload: 1130kg
In 2016 the last Land Rover Defender left the assembly line at Solihull. If you count the Defender alongside its predecessors, the Series I, II and III Land Rovers, it was in continuous production for 68 years.
The ‘90’ reflects the length of the wheelbase. The 90 had three doors compared to its close relative the 110, which has five.
Highly collectable, arguably no other car matches the Land Rover in all-terrain capability and practicality. The reality is they can feel big and unwieldy compared to modern SUVs, and can be quite heavy to drive, especially in town.
That said, the Defender is an icon. Well looked after, it probably won't let you down and may even increase in value.
Price new(ish): Around £40,000.
Maximum payload: 875kg
Designed for in town driving, the Nissan N200 essentially feels like a big car – in the best of ways. Steering feels feather-light, with a tight turning circle that is perfect for when you’re working in the city.
There’s plentiful space on the inside too for your cargo needs. The van floor is over two metres long and the van can carry nearly 800kg – the only styling for this vehicle is the panel van option, making it predominately a work van, and ideally suited for it.
You can choose between a five or six speed gearbox, both of which do give plenty of oomph on the road but it’s clear that this van is built for the city – regular motorway drivers will definitely notice a lack of power over long distances
Price new: around £16,000.
Maximum payload: 795kg
The Nissan Navara had a life span of over 10 years, with several iterations during that time. There’s a reason why it became such a staple during that time – the engine and steering turning this pickup into a powerful workhorse, and one that was never out of place on the work site, or hauling loads.
As a vehicle designed for working life, there’s a clear trade off in the comfort you’ll find in the Navara – the suspension can feel a little rough when the vehicle is unloaded, and the back of the vehicle can feel a little cramped. The pros definitely outweigh the cons for this kind of vehicle however – look past the comfort compromises and you’ll find a vehicle ready to take on any challenge you throw at it.
Price new: around £22,350.
Maximum payload: 1120kg
The van form of the ford fiesta is a staple of the between van – the car-without-seats – the vehicle for those who need the extra space in the back but without committing to the full van size and shape. And the Fiesta comes with the same EcoBoost engine as found in the car model, which has an excellent reputation and really delivers when you choose the more powerful model.
The drive is comfortable both when the van is and is not loaded, paired with excellent handling that really reflects the strengths of the more car orientated van As you’d expect, the Fiesta struggles when compared to other vans when it comes to load and interior space – the limited boot hatch opening makes filling the space a difficult challenge
Price new: Around £20,000.
Maximum payload: 515kg
First produced in 1981, the Astra van has an extremely similar chassis to the Astra Estate, but with tweaks to the rear of the vehicle that have allowed for extended flat floor space and additional load room. The tailgate opens low and wide to give full access to load the vehicle – meaning the Astravan strikes an amazing balance between driving experience and load haulage
As is common with vans based on cars, a balance is exactly what you’ll find with the Astravan – it doesn’t have sliding doors that can be a necessity for rear access, and the haul load is smaller than some of its competitors. However, the driver’s cab interior has levels of comfort above what you’ll see in other vans, and it offers a much niftier driving experience than others in its class
Price new: Around £18,000.
Maximum payload: 675kg
The D-Max has always been sold as a work vehicle – a heavy duty machine to be used alongside your tools and your workwear. The style and robustness of the D-Max is a testament to that; this is a no-nonsense pick up with an admittedly basic interior, but with the ability to tow 3.5 tonnes and carry upwards of 1100 kilograms – it is a workhorse in every sense.
The six speed gearbox gives the D-Max the oomph to both cruise on the motorway or pull away from the lights adequately, with the suspension providing a good grounding to the wheels that translates to accurate steering and a decent enough turning circle that allows for some defter manoeuvres
Price new: around £16,000
Maximum payload: 1136kg
The current sixth-generation T6 came along in 2016 and is currently the third biggest-selling van in the UK. Winner of the Used Van of the Year title at the What Van? Awards 2019, the Transporter is a class act with superb comfort, high build quality, a fine range of efficient engines and top tech. It's available with a smooth seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox, just like VW passenger cars.
Price new: Around £27,000.
Maximum payload: 1,309kg
The Fiat Doblo has won two International Van of the Year awards, which may come as a surprise for this seeming underrated compact van. With the largest iteration of the Doblo which can hold just over 1,000 kilograms and as the Fiat comes with several door and internal storage options, this is a perfect compact van for carrying, loading and storing.
The fully independent rear suspension on the Doblo offers an excellent driving experience, as it spares the driver from the standard discomfort one may expect from driving a van – and is specialised to carry heavy loads. It also allows for better handling on lower speeds – great for city driving. The Fiat offers a wide range of engine options, with enough range depending on your needs for town or motorway driving
Price new: around £17,000.
Max payload: 1,050kg
The Ford Transit Connect is another staple in the Transit range of vans, and one that has been around since 2002. Benefitting from Ford’s extended history in passenger cars, the T200 offers a uniquely satisfying driving experience on the road. The suspension can feel firm when the vehicle is unloaded, but it makes up for this with a gutsy engine and a excellently accurate steering
In terms of loading, the van comes with a sliding door as standard, with barn-style rear doors offering plenty of access to the rear space which will take objects as long as three metres loaded diagonally. The width is exceptional too, the Connect designed to provide as much space as possible – there’s even a reasonable amount of space in the cab too, if you take the two seater option.
Price new: around £18,000
Max payload: 865kg