Published on Monday 16 May 2016 in Van News
Internet shopping has changed the way we purchase goods and at the same time created a boom in jobs for couriers and delivery drivers. Here we're going to look at the best vans for couriers and what you need to consider if you're thinking about setting up your own delivery business.
What are you going to be carrying?
Naturally the size of your parcels will depend on which van you need. If your drops will be small items such as passports or mobile phones - a Citroen Berlingo or a Ford Transit Connect would be ideal.
The Berlingo is a sturdy workhorse with a host of great features - all included on the standard package. There's air conditioning, Bluetooth, sat nav, rear parking sensors and remote central locking.
Secure features with the Citroen Berlingo to protect your van
A real stand out aspect of the Berlingo is the side loading doors which also come as standard. If you need to load or unload in tight areas - you'll love these. They're one of the reasons why the Berlingo is so popular with couriers.
When it comes to security, you'll be pleased to know that the Berlingo includes an immobiliser and vehicle tracking. No one's taking your Berlingo without a fight!
Vanarama customer and courier Stephen Coleman said: "The Berlingo is a great little van. Excellent value for money, especially the driver convenience of parking sensors, a touch screen monitor and sat nav."
The Ford Transit Connect delivers on long journeys
If you're going to be covering long distances and racking up the miles, the Ford Transit Connect would be a wise choice. It's economical on fuel. The 1.6-litre TDCi diesel engine achieves in the region of 57.6mpg to 70.6mpg. As well as the Berlingo, the Transit Connect is great for parking in small spaces. This is a priority when you're constantly stopping and delivering goods.
Security is vital for all couriers and you won't be disappointed with the Connect. All models have central locking with auto relocking, so if the doors are unlocked and haven't been opened after 45 seconds, they'll automatically relock. Powered dead-locks and an immobiliser come as standard too.
Car like quality puts a smile on the face of a Vanarama customer
Delivery driver Lorraine Airth said: "I absolutely love my Transit Connect. I have to keep reminding myself I'm in a van and not a car because it's so comfortable to drive. It handles like a dream and doesn't sound like a tin can van when you shut the doors. How did I cope without rear parking sensors before? I'm showing this van off to anyone who will take a look with a great big smile on my face!"
The Citroen Relay is big on space and payload
With a payload of nearly two tonnes, the lowest loading height in class, impressive load space and sat nav included as standard - the Citroen Relay is a fantastic choice if you need to deliver large items.
Martin Aldridge of Medical World said: "We had a Ford before which was a lot more money. You do get a much better spec for your money with the Relay. Our drivers love it." The suppliers of pharmaceutical goods run deliveries nationwide. Martin continued: "It was important to have a van capable of travelling long distances and providing comfort. The sat nav system is fantastic, especially the live traffic updates."
For your comfort there's three seats with generous amounts of legroom space. The driver's seat is fully adjustable. The cabin is noise insulated and the dashboard has a number of neat features, such as a document clipboard and a foldable panel in the back of the front passenger. A laptop can be stowed safely in one of two lockable glove compartments.
What do you need to consider before starting up your own courier business?
Once you know what you'll be delivering, you'll need to work out how many miles you're likely to do in a year. You'll need to work this out as it'll help to keep your costs down. There's an option to go for unlimited mileage when you lease through Vanarama, but it'll be cheaper if you select a predetermined amount and keep to it.
Security is key for courier drivers
Do you need to add additional security features to your van? The Berlingo and Connect come with a host of these already, however you may wish to include slam-locks for extra safety. For fleet customers, speed limiters could be useful to ensure safer driving and this will assist with reducing the chances of getting speeding tickets.
Providing a service for the nation
The delivery industry has changed in recent years and the desire for next day delivery is on the rise. Large companies are now offering this service such as Amazon to its Prime subscribers and Argos with their Fast Track option. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become established days in the national calendar and a further indication how the country relies on couriers and delivery drivers.
If you're thinking about setting up your own delivery business or looking at getting a new van, you can call Vanarama on 01442 838 195.