New study: Vauxhall and Ford take the lead as best vans for young drivers

New study: Vauxhall and Ford take the lead as best vans for young drivers
  • The Vauxhall Combo revealed as the cheapest van to run, costing just £2,041 per year – the equivalent to 10% of the average apprentice salary
  • The Ford Transit Connect revealed as the cheapest van to buy outright, costing £16,183, with a yearly running cost of £2,071
  • Meanwhile, van drivers looking for storage space might opt for a MAN TGE or Mercedes Sprinter – both of which offer 14 cubic metres in space expert guide analyses the best vans based on affordability and practical features to help younger drivers overcome the overwhelming decision of buying their first van.

August 2020: The Vauxhall Combo is revealed to be the best van for younger drivers starting out a new career in a trade or making their first purchase, according to a new study. analysed 15 of the highest-rated small, medium and large vans across 10 metrics to determine which ranked best in terms of affordability and practicality, to determine which is the best model for young drivers to purchase.

Looking at factors such as the initial cost of the van, annual tax(4) and insurance(5), load capacity and fuel consumption(6), created an index score to rank the vans. You can view the results here:

The 10 best vans for young drivers

These are the top 10 vans for young drivers in 2020:

The Vauxhall Combo takes the crown as the best van for young drivers overall, due to being the most affordable – a key consideration for younger drivers when investing in their first van. This is followed very closely by the Ford Transit Connect – a smaller version of the trusty Ford Transit van.

Both vans scored highly due to the low annual running costs and an affordable price tag. For drivers looking for a small run-around van that is cheap to run, and are less reliant on space, these could be the perfect solution.

Meanwhile, those looking for a little more space may opt for the Peugeot Expert, which ranked the highest of the medium vans. Of all medium-sized vans, the Peugeot Expert has the lowest annual fuel cost by over £100, at just £788. The Ford Transit is the second cheapest for fuel at £906.28. The Peugeot Expert also sits at a reasonable initial cost of £23,820, which is over £3,000 less than the Ford Transit at £27,106.

Within the top 10 list, Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot are the most featured car manufacturers, with Peugeot holding two of its vans in the top five

Cheapest vans to run as a young driver

As a young driver, it is important to choose a van that is not only reliable and big enough to cater for your needs but also one that doesn’t stretch your budget too much.

These are the five cheapest vans to run annually:

According to the research, the Vauxhall Combo ranked top for affordability. Van drivers opting for this model can expect to pay £2,041 in total, on average. This is just 10% of an average apprentice salary. It’s also the most efficient van when it comes to fuel consumption, costing just £56 to fill up the 50L tank, and £620 over the course of the year. (13)

However, those who are more concerned about the initial price tag might look to invest in the Ford Transit Connect, which costs just £16,183 to buy outright. This is more than £10,000 cheaper than Ford Transit, which will set drivers back £27,106 in initial costs.

For apprentices on a budget, the Vauxhall Combo may be the first choice, but drivers may also consider the Citroen Berlingo and Ford Transit Connect. Each of these vans cost around 10% of the average UK apprenticeship salary to run each year.

The vans that cost the most to run and that make up the highest percentage of an apprenticeship salary are the Vauxhall Movano (14%), Mercedes Sprinter (13%) and Volkswagen Crafter (12%).

The best small, medium and large vans for young drivers

The study also highlights the best vans from the index by size; small, medium and large.

The best small van for young drivers: Vauxhall Combo

With a 1.6 litre engine and a load capacity of 3.6 cubic metres, the Vauxhall Combo has ranked the best in the small van category. The average cost is £17,515.83 in the UK.

The best medium van for young drivers: Peugeot Expert

For something slightly bigger, the Peugeot Expert is the best medium-sized van. Its load capacity is 1.5 times bigger than the Vauxhall Combo at 5.5 cubic metres – perfect for those who need to carry larger loads. (14)

The best large van for young drivers: MAN TGe

With the biggest load capacity in the overall index at 14 cubic metres, the MAN TGe is our best large van. The average purchase price is £31,939 and it costs £2,481 to run each year. (15)

Best vans for each metric

The report looks at 10 metrics in order to give a well-rounded view and score for the best vans. Whether you’re looking for a high-rated van with the cheapest fuel, the cheapest purchase price or the biggest load capacity, the study outlines these too:

Biggest load capacity: MAN TGe & Mercedes Sprinter (14 cu. m. Each)

Cheapest to purchase: Ford Transit Connect (£16,182.50)

Cheapest cost of petrol annually: Ford Transit Connect (£619.71)

Cheapest for total annual running costs: Vauxhall Combo (£2,041.14)

Lowest % of apprenticeship salary to run: Vauxhall Combo, Citroen Berlingo & Ford Transit Connect (10% of apprentice salary each)

Dan McCulloch, van insurance expert at comments:

”Choosing your van is an exciting step when starting out in a new trade or job. But now with so many different types of van available, making the right choice can be overwhelming.

“For most young van drivers, choosing one that is affordable, especially if you’re starting on an apprentice wage, is a key consideration. But also making sure you have the right size van for what you need is important.

“To help you make the right decision, our expert guide on the best vans for young drivers will point you in the right direction for the best van for your needs, and how much you can expect to pay to run it each year.”

For more information on the Best Vans for Young Drivers study, please visit

Related posts