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The Best Refrigerated Vans To Buy In 2024

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The Best Refrigerated Vans To Buy In 2024

A refrigerated van can transform your business, allowing you to reach customers further afield by keeping your products under temperature controlled conditions until their arrival. 

In some industries – like pharmaceuticals and chemical manufacturing – the use of a refrigerated van is non-negotiable. Other sectors like food delivery and floristry can enjoy greater flexibility by introducing a refrigerated van into their fleet.

The process of choosing a van for your business is certainly a daunting one. While your budget will ultimately determine the scope of your choice, there are so many factors to consider before making a final decision.

In this guide, we’re exploring some of the factors that will influence your decision making and offer some suggestions on the best vans for your money in 2024.

Electric Vs Hybrid

Electric Vs Hybrid

If you’re purchasing a new van, the choice will likely be between a fully electric and a hybrid vehicle. If you’re buying used, you might have to choose between petrol and diesel, but bear in mind the long-term implications of choosing a diesel vehicle, as this ultimately has an expiration date of 2035.

A fully electric vehicle could be ideal for a city-centre business that makes multiple stops, but ultimately doesn’t cover a lot of distance in a day. A hybrid vehicle will help to keep costs down on longer trips, while still offering peace of mind that you won’t be wasting time waiting for your vehicle to charge.

It’s worth exploring if your company is eligible for any grants or schemes to make a fully electric vehicle more affordable.

Bespoke Vs Conversion

The next step is to decide if you will purchase a ready-made refrigerated vehicle or if you will purchase a regular van and then have this converted to your specifications. A converted van offers some benefits, as it will allow you to customise the configuration exactly to your specifications. That said, a bespoke refrigerated van is also likely to offer some customisation options.

New vs Used Vans

New Vs Used

Even if a new van is well within your budget, you might still choose to save money on a used van. Choosing a new van will give you the peace of mind knowing that it’s less likely that something will go wrong, and you’ll be covered by the warranty if it does. However, bear in mind that a new van will instantly depreciate in value the moment you drive it away. You could save money by purchasing a used van with minimal mileage.

Size Matters

It’s vital to choose the right sized van for your current business operations, while still leaving some room for growth. If your van is too large, you’ll be wasting energy keeping the whole thing chilled when only a small portion is used. And obviously, if the van is too small, you’ll risk overloading it, which will make the refrigeration function less effective.

Best Refrigerated Vans

The Best Refrigerated Vans To Buy In 2024

With these factors in mind, let’s look at some of the best vans to consider in 2024 and beyond. These are industry leaders in a range of sizes, so you’ll be able to find the ideal size and configuration for your needs. 

Citroen Berlingo

The Berlingo from Citroen is a smaller van that packs an impressive punch. It’s reliable and nippy, making it an ideal choice for a business making multiple city centre drops throughout the day. The handling is similar to a car, so you won’t feel the burden of trying to navigate smaller streets and find parking in a larger vehicle. 

The smaller payload will impose some limitations on your operations, but this won’t be an issue for a growing company that is ready to make the switch from a non-refrigerated vehicle to one with a reliable chiller unit. The smaller loading bay is best suited to a single temperature zone, making it ideal for florists and food delivery.

Also consider: Mercedes Citan

Ford Transit

Ford Transit

An iconic vehicle in every industry, the classic Transit van from Ford ticks all of the boxes for a growing business. The larger, boxy loading area will enable you to maximise the space. You’ll also enjoy easy access with the sliding panel door and double rear loading doors.

One of the biggest selling points of the Ford Transit is its reliability. You can further customise your van with an electric standby power socket, so you can keep your unit chilled without relying on the engine while you’re parked. This could allow you to use your van as additional storage.

Also consider: Mercedes Vito 

Nissan Townstar

The Townstar from Nissan is fully electric and incredibly efficient. It’s slightly larger than the Berlingo, but still offers the same car-like handling. This van will take city-centre drops and longer trips in its stride. From a driving perspective, this van offers many mod cons you’d expect from a high end vehicle, including the latest safety systems and connectivity to make your drive smoother and more entertaining.

Also consider: Vauxhall Combo

Peugeot Expert refrigerated van

Peugeot Expert

Another mid-sized vehicle that is enduringly popular. The latest Expert vans from Peugeot offer the ideal mix of fuel economy to larger payload, allowing you to maximise the space in your van. Thanks to the emphasis on driver comfort, this van is perfect for longer trips. Choose between fully electric or diesel models according to your needs.

Also consider: Maxus E-Deliver

Mercedes Sprinter

If it’s space you’re after, the MWB or LWB Mercedes Sprinter is an ideal choice. This is one of the largest vans you can choose before you head into the realm of rear tail-lift trucks. While bulky, it’s still highly manoeuvrable for a skilled driver. It’s also built for comfort on long drives, with a roomy driver’s cabin. 

If you’re looking for a split zone refrigerated van, this could be an excellent choice, as you can split the large loading bay into two parts, allowing more flexibility over your van temperature control. This van is also renowned for its security, so you’ll feel comfortable leaving it overnight.

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