BUSINESS VANS went ahead with its annual awards last night albeit as a virtual event.
Coronavirus may have meant the cancellation of our glittering evening at The Brewery in London, but we were still able to announce our winners.
This year produced a record number of entries to 12 Business Vans Awards, handed out to those businesses and cars that best serve the SME market.
The awards are judged by an independent jury of experts who involved in the fleet and SME markets.
And the winners?
Best van leasing – LEASEPLAN UK
You can’t rest on your laurels with an award-winning business – you need to keep innovating to stay at the top of your game.
Leaseplan has added and improved features over the past 12 months with a solution designed for all types of business van users.
Its products and services cover every aspect of the van leasing lifecycle from pre-order fleet audits, competitively priced procurement and custom build/conversion, through in-life management – including downtime reduction, bespoke consultancy and FTA Van Excellence accreditation – to transparent and fair end-of-contract management.
It is also helping businesses transition to electric vehicles.
Best used van programme – NORTHGATE VEHICLE HIRE’S VAN MONSTER
This business has been selling quality, low-mileage, used commercial vehicles direct to businesses and individuals since 1994 and is now the largest independent retailer of used vans in the UK.
It offers customers a used with a known history and a comprehensive after sales service with all vehicles put through stringent checks, to make sure they are roadworthy and reliable.
Working through a nationwide network, it has around 1,000 commercial vehicles in stock at any one time, meaning that any van can typically be sourced within a few days.
Best small trades van – CITROEN BERLINGO
When launched in 2018 the Berlingo straight away won the International Van of the Year trophy, at the Hanover CV Show
It features some of the lowest fuel consumption in its class and the latest Euro 6.3 petrol and Euro 6.2 diesel engines.
There are high levels of standard equipment and higher spec versions feature innovative Surround Rear Vision system as standard, using rear and side cameras to provide a rear view even for those models the standard unglazed rear doors.
Best Van Rental – NORTHGATE VEHICLE HIRE
A company with more than 35 years of experience in providing an all-encompassing van rental solution that offers customers both value for money and peace of mind.
It supports customers at every stage of the van rental journey, from initial vehicle hire to roadside assistance, providing vehicles at the right time and in the right place; rain or shine.
All its vehicles come with full service and maintenance packages while providing flexibility that allows businesses to scale up or down, so that they can match their changing requirements.
Large Trades Van – CITROEN DISPATCH
The Dispatch category made its world debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show at the NEC in 2016 and has won a steady stream of awards since.
Its versatile range features low fuel consumption and an impressive list of standard equipment.
Van operators benefit from a range of services offered to business customers with tailored services for SMEs and larger fleet fleets.
Best Small Delivery Van – VAUXHALL COMBO CARGO
Practical, comfortable, economical and packed with all latest driver assistance and connectivity technology, the Vauxhall is a small van for big business.
It outshines most of its major rivals with a load volume of up to 4.4m3, a payload of up to 1,000kg and a loading length of up to 3,440mm.
Drivers can be sure that the vehicle is not overloaded by pressing a sensor-based overload indicator while a range of technologies and driver assistance systems make driving and manoeuvring easier.
Best heavy van – MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER
The winner of more than 80 major awards since its introduction in 1995 and has a range extending to more than 1,700 variants.
It’s available as a panel van, crew van, chassis cab, chassis crew cab or Tourer minibus, as well as a Tractor Head chassis for motorhomes.
It comes in three wheelbases, four lengths and three roof heights and now, for the first time, there is a front-wheel drive option.
Best Van Recovery – MERCEDES-BENZ VANS
Mercedes provides emergency breakdown cover, anywhere in the UK, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What’s more, it’s free of charge to the customer, and available for up to 30 years from the date of registration – provided the van is maintained within the official Retail Network.
Roadside attendance is by a fully trained technician, in a comprehensively equipped and stocked van.
Resolution times are impressively rapid with more than three out of every four breakdowns are repaired at the roadside within the target time of just 135 minutes.
Best Pick-Up – MITSUBISHI L200 BARBARIAN
The L200 has been around for a while and is now in its sixth generation.
Mitsubishi is recognised as an innovator of technology, with proven reliability and renowned 4WD ability.
This pick-up comes with a comprehensive five-year warranty and three-year assistance package come with every new vehicle.
In a recent real-world test, the latest version recorded 52mpg on the 218-mile test route.
Best van fleet management – NORTHGATE VEHICLE HIRE
THIS year’s winner provides bespoke services to customers who operate LCVs, acquired in a combination of ways including purchased, leased and rented.
The company provides an outsourced supply service which provides access to virtually any type of vehicle through its managed third-party supply chain.
Whatever a business needs for their fleet – whether it’s maintaining existing vehicles, to the more complex challenges of running a fleet day-to-day, this company’s cradle-to-grave service helps clients identify fleet efficiencies and cost savings.
Best Van Conversion Programme – VOLKSWAGEN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
VW offers buyers a matched warranty, aftersales support and type approval on all conversions bought through 17 partners.
It makes the buying process much easier for customers, with servicing and aftersales support now available in one place. Its the Converter Recognition programme guarantees the quality of products available directly through a dedicated Van Centre network.
Available conversions include: access platforms, car transporters, cranes, minibuses and mobile workshops, as well as racking, refrigeration, welfare and wheelchair access vehicles, on top of standard Lutons, dropsides and tippers.
Best Van Funding – VOLKSWAGEN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
For SMEs, choosing and finding vans in the right way can have a huge impact on cash flow and business finances.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s website provides simple explanations, a finance calculator and details of 70 Van Centres with dedicated finance managers who can advice and support.
Once the deal is done, there is a series of servicing options to keep everything running smoothly.
Latest addition to the site is an easy-to-use finance offer which can be calculated on the brand’s website to give customers an early indication of finance costs and options at any time of day.