Tradespeople rely on their tools, and investment in the correct equipment is vital so that the jobs can be completed on time and efficiently. For an electrician, possibly the biggest investment will be your van lease, so it’s vital to make the right choice. You need one the right size, for it to be economical to run, and you might have decided that now is the time to move to an electric van now that payloads and ranges have drastically improved.
You’re going to want one that is comfortable to drive, and you might even want to consider a dual purpose crew van - this will offer an additional row of passenger seats allowing you to take the family out at the weekend, while keeping a decent-sized load area for the weekday job.
Gone are the days where the van was a bland thing that no one looked twice at. There are some very smart vans out there and you’ll probably want one that will not only look fabulous outside your house, but will also project a great image for your business, perhaps with some nice graphics on the side to make you look even more professional.
What Size Van Is Best For An Electrician?
There’s no definitive answer, which is why we’ve listed our thoughts on the best vans for electricians in 3 different sizes. You probably won’t want one that is too big, which would make parking in towns and cities a nightmare, and not too small which could mean you fighting for space in the load area and spending lots of time moving things around to make them fit (or even trying to find items that have become buried).
You probably won’t want a van that is too high. Although standing room in the loadspace is great, you’ll have difficulty in accessing ladders mounted on a roof rack, and there’s no chance of gaining access to height restricted car parks.
Best Small Van For Electricians
Voted the International Van of the Year 2022, the latest Renault Kangoo is new from the ground up. You’ve a choice of 2 lengths, 2 trim levels and 3 engines, plus, there’s a superb all-electric version. The loadbay is nice and square, with hardly any intrusion from wheel arches to get in the way. You can even specify the optional but ingenious ‘Easy Inside’ rack. Two brackets can be lowered from the roof inside the loadspace, and 2.5-metre long articles can be fed through them into a cavity above the driver. This saves you having to put them outside on the roof, and these items won’t be damaged by other things kept in the van. It's an ideal small van to lease.
Best Medium Van For Electricians
Big enough for tools and equipment, but small enough to be practical - this great medium van from Citroen will tick all the boxes for most electricians. There’s the load through bulkhead, allowing for up to four metre-lengths of conduit to be carried in the XL model, and an aftermarket ladder rack can be used to store access equipment on the roof, which is low enough to allow easy loading and removal.
Need to take colleagues out with you on a job? No problem, the dual passenger seat means that the Dispatch can carry manpower at the same time as tools and equipment.
Best Large Van For Electricians
For those involved in major contracts and need a large van with extra space to carry supplies out onto site, the Vauxhall Movano takes some beating.
The straight sides in the loadspace are the perfect base for racking, but as the van has an internal width of 1870mm there's still an enormous amount of room for cable reels and all the tools needed for the job. With the L4 version taking a load length of over 4 metres, it’s unlikely you’ll need to carry anything on the outside of the van.
What Van Security Features Should Electricians Look For?
There’s no hiding the fact that vans are increasingly targeted by thieves, often not for the vehicle, but for the contents. Apart from the financial impact of replacing the stolen items and having any damage on the van repaired, there’s the cost of lost business while things are put right.
Many new vans now have Thatcham-approved alarms, which add a decent layer of security, but while manufacturers are constantly improving the locks used on vans, it might be worth investing in additional aftermarket equipment such as deadlocks, A common method of breaking into vans is nicknamed ‘peel and steal’, where the side door is torn open from the corner to gain access to the loadspace. Locking systems are available to add security to the top and bottom of these doors, deterring attacks of this type which cause extensive damage to the vehicle. Check out our top 5 security tips for vans for more help.
Electrician Van Racking And Storage
If you want to build out the inside of your van with racking or other storage solutions, ply lining the load space of a van is where to start, mainly because it's an affordable and sensible way to keep your leased van's interior damage-free, but also because ply wood is a great base to build on.
And there are huge amounts of storage solutions to choose from including modular stacked solutions, self-built wooden storage, slide-in form-fitted draws, door-hung storage, and more. Some of these are designed specifically with the electrician in mind, with racks for bins of multiple sizes, keeping those small items in order and easy to locate.
Financial Advantages Of Leasing A Van
One of the main advantages to leasing a van can often include claiming up to 100% of the VAT back on your monthly payments – if your business is VAT-registered and based on the proviso that the van is only for business use. It's also just like buying a van in that sense, because you can claim the cost of a van lease as an expense when you get around to filling in and filing your tax return.
You're probably aware of the major differences between buying and leasing – buying outright gives you an asset, but leasing gives you a lot more freedom to upgrade every 2-5 years and is often far more affordable. You’ll drive away in a new van, paying affordable fixed monthly payments with no hidden costs or fees. You can choose to pay a lower initial rental payment for your lease, making it easier to access a new van rather than saving up a lump sum. You’ll decide your contract length, annual mileage, and model, so you can tailor your deal to exactly what you need. Servicing and maintenance can also be added to your plan as an optional extra. Plus, you don’t need to worry about depreciation and selling your van for a lower cost – just hand the vehicle back to us and potentially get an even newer van on another deal.
If you're new to leasing and would like to know more, take a look at our easy to understand van leasing guides.
Benefits Of Signwriting For Promoting Your Business
Having your van sign-written is an incredibly powerful and cost-effective way to promote yourself, your trade and your business (you don't even have to drive the van to advertise yourself, it could just be sat on a customer's driveway). If you really want to make an impact, you could even have your new van completely wrapped to display graphics.
There are no restrictions on what you can put on your van (within the boundaries of taste) and the publicity is great value for money. Did you know that a recent study shows 3,000 people an hour will see your van when you drive in a city? One of our customers even told us that sign-writing their van got them £10,000 worth of business in just ONE WEEK! Food for thought.
And you shouldn’t need to worry about end of lease charges - modern vinyl lettering can be removed easily (with care) leaving no residue on the van. The days of painted lettering are almost completely gone.
Best Van For Electricians FAQs
What other vehicles can electricians use?
For some electricians, an estate car may well have enough space for the tools and supplies needed for the day's work. Usually, the rear passenger seats can be folded down, giving a substantial loadspace, but allowing the car to be used outside of working hours for leisure purposes.
Some electricians prefer to use a pickup truck, especially those working in remote areas or who have to access sites away from normal roads. A canopy or cover over the load area will protect items from weather, and from prying eyes.
Are there any electric vans which are useful to electricians?
The Ford E-Transit all-electric large van has an option called ‘Pro Power Onboard’. This provides up to 2.3 kilowatts of electricity which can be used to power all manner of things such as external lighting, workshop tools, compressors, etc, without having to rely on accessing power from elsewhere - perfect for working on construction sites or indeed anywhere that mains power isn’t available.