Good hygiene is part of life - on a personal & professional level - but for cleaning companies, hygiene is big business. Vanarama Van Expert Tom Roberts takes a look at the top 3 vans for cleaning companies available to lease right now.
Cleaning companies are a key part of the backbone of the British economy - van-driving businesses. Today, more than 32,000 cleaning companies in the UK contribute over £24b to the UK economy with more than 70,000 employees providing a huge number of services including (but definitely not limited to) cleaning building interiors, vehicles, shops, food premises & window cleaning*.
The one thing all cleaning companies have in common is needing to be highly mobile, which is why commercial vehicles - especially vans - are so important to this industry.
When it comes to vans, however, there's a huge choice on the market. While leasing them makes the best sense - because businesses pay fixed monthly payments for brand-new vans covered by manufacturer warranties - where do you start with choosing the right van?
Well, take a look at the 3 vans below as a starting point:
Volkswagen Caddy - The Classiest Small Van
For a cleaning company, a small van has got to be car-sized, comfortable to drive & let users pack a load of kit in the back. The VW Caddy, Volkswagen's very own small van, ticks ALL of those boxes.
Apart from looking really classy, the Caddy's 1.8m long loading bay is perfect for cleaning companies looking for a small van for single-person cleaning jobs. Back door width is nearly 1.2m & back door height is nearly 1.1m allowing for easy access to up to 700kg of cleaning equipment - or a water tank, which can be installed on a lease vehicle providing it is removed before it goes back to the finance company.
The overall width of the Caddy's loading bay is also a major plus at over 1.5m, nearly 1.2m between the arches & a height all the way through to over 1.2m. Side access is also really easy thanks to the 0.7m-wide & nearly 1.1m-high door.
Drive quality is also high thanks to the 2.0-litre Turbo Diesel Injection Engine which is Euro6D Temp emission standard & in its powerful version outputs 150PS allowing you to go 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds!
The 6-speed auto gearbox on top trim level models is also excellent & there's a range of driver convenience functions to take advantage of, including hill hold assist, regenerative braking & - if you want it - radar cruise control.
People often complain that you pay a premium for the VW badge, but they're wrong. When you lease it, the VW Caddy is sensibly-priced, offers excellent ROI, looks great, drives great & is a key contender in the small van sector.
It's unafraid to wear its heritage on its sleeve, & yet it's not shy about putting a fair bit of distance between itself & the competition with its many options. That alone, has convinced me of its value as a perfect small van for cleaning companies.
Renault Trafic - The Perfect Middle Ground
When you're on the road, you see a lot of traffic… & if you're lucky you'll also see a lot of Renault Trafic medium panel vans. Cleaning companies looking for a great medium van with strong practicality & reliability should take a look.
The new Renault Trafic is a facelift of the previous version that platform shared with the Vauxhall Vivaro, before Vauxhall was bought by the PSA Group & began platform sharing with Citroen, Peugeot & Toyota. Against that backdrop, the Trafic still feels modern, relevant & a prime choice for van drivers looking for an overall bigger medium van than those offered by the PSA Group.
The loading bay is where the Trafic offers cleaning companies a lot to think about. The rear-door width is 1.4m wide by 1.3m high, & the bay itself is 1.6m wide (slimming to 1.2m between the arches).
It maintains an average height of 1.3m down its nearly 3m length - which you can extend to nearly 3.5m thanks to the load-through under the passenger seat. Access is increased thanks to the side sliding door which is 1m wide & 1.2m high.
Payload is incredibly high at 1200kg… can you imagine the amount of cleaning supplies or size of the water tank this van could heft? You can even get a powered tow bar fitted allowing you to pull braked towage of up to 2000kg & unbraked towage of up to 750kg.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre diesel engine & I'd recommend going for a model with the 6-speed manual gearbox - it lets you put the power exactly where you need it & makes the Trafic a really great vehicle to drive.
To sum up, the Renault Trafic's payload is very nearly class leading & at the SPORT trim level it packs all the bells & whistles I know drivers look for today. Cleaning companies looking for a vehicle that bridges the gap between a small van & something larger should seriously consider this excellent van.
Ford Transit - The UK's Best-Selling Large Van
The Transit name is iconic – not only is it the name of Ford's biggest panel van – it's often used to describe any large van. Ford have a legacy & the Transit name is now attributed to ALL their LCVs from the compact Courier, small Connect, medium Transit & the Ford TransitLarge Panel Van, which is a prime pick for cleaning companies looking to carry well over a tonne of supplies.
The L4H3 version is the biggest Transit in the range & thanks to the excellent Euro 6 2.0-litre Eco Blue engines that deliver amazing running costs, this van truly shows why Ford's vehicles are considered the benchmark in the sector!
The loading bay height in the H3 model is 2m & in the longest version nearly 4m long and capable of carrying 1100kg of weight in a cavernous 15 cubic metres of space! Inside, the van's loading area is just under 1.8m wide - narrowing only slightly between the arches to 1.4 - standard pallets and Euro pallets are no problem for this behemoth.
The loading bay is accessible through its huge rear doors that open to reveal a 1.5m-wide loading aperture that's nearly 1.9m high. Side access is also excellent thanks to the 1.3m-wide and 1.6m-high side slider.
Drive-wise, the Euro 6 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine is a major plus point in the Transit's corner providing a blend of power & efficiency, perfectly demonstrating that this van is built to be worked hard & return great running costs - exactly what a cleaning company will be looking for in a large van.
How To Choose The Right Cleaning Company Van
The major factors that should influence your choice of van for a cleaning company are as follows with my recommendations:
How much do you need to carry in terms of supplies? If you're a small company deploying small teams, a small or medium van will suit you down to the ground. Small vans have enough space in the back to fit a water tank - either in a cage or on a mount - and still have room left over for tools such as mops, buckets and cleaning fluids suitable for single-stop jobs. If you need more room for more supplies for multiple jobs in a day, go for a medium van.
Will you need a water tank fitted? Water tanks can be fitted to most vans - either in a cage (which needs securing to the loading bay floor) or by a purpose-built mount (which will usually need to be secured to the metal work of the loading bay). Your own water tank allows you pre-mix large volumes of cleaning solutions right there in your van - they are also an obvious solution for window cleaners who might have customers with hard-to-access water supplies.
How many people do you need to send out on jobs? If you have a small team, any one of the vans above will let you deploy crews of between 2 or 3 employees with 1 van, but if you need to send out more people, the Renault Trafic & Ford Transit (& many other vans) come in Crew Cab models with an extra row of seats behind the driver and passenger seats - medium and large vans in Crew Cab configuration will still provide plenty of storage space for tools and even water tanks.
If you have any questions about leasing a van for your cleaning company, head to our Van Leasing Explained section on Vanarama.com, or give us a call on 01442 838195.