Top 10 most reliable vans 2020

  • Mercedes Sprinter best van for reliability yet again
  • Volkswagen ranked most reliable van manufacturer
  • Ford Transit and Transit Custom fail to make top 10

What is the UK’s most reliable van in 2020? Parkers Vans and Pickups has the answer – thanks to the 2019 FN50 reliability survey.

Every year our sister title Fleet News asks 50 of the UK’s biggest leasing companies to rate their vehicles on the basis of warranty and breakdown issues, and the result is one of the most comprehensive reliability surveys in the business.

Here we list the top 10 most reliable vans – as well as the most highly-rated van manufacturers and the brands with the best-performing van dealers in the survey.

You’ll also find reliability data from the previous six years to compare, so you can see which vans and van makers are the most consistent when it comes to avoiding unnecessary downtime; handy whether you're trying to find out about new vans or learn which used van is the most reliable.

Top 10 most reliable vans

In reverse order, these are the UK’s top 10 most reliable vans according to the 2019 FN50 van fleet reliability survey.

10) Volkswagen Crafter

VW Crafter - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

The latest Crafter secures a top 10 finish for the second year in a row, and has recently become the Parkers Van of the Year for the third consecutive time - we rate its blend of practicality and usability extremely highly, and it's good to see it's proving reliable, too.

>> Read the full VW Crafter review

>> Find a VW Crafter for sale near you: new and used

9) Peugeot Partner

Best vans for reliability - Peugeot Partner

The ever-popular Peugeot Partner drops a few places, but it's still one of the go-to small vans for reliable load lugging. The results cover both the new version that launched in 2019 and the previous model (pictured) above, on-sale 2008-2018.

>> Read the full Peugeot Partner review

>> Find a Peugeot Partner for sale near you: new and used

8) Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

The Transit Connect has recently received a big update, including new engines, but this change hasn't knocked its reliability performance too much as it finished only one place higher in 2018. This continues to be an excellent small van that shouldn't let you down.

>> Read the full Ford Transit Connect review

>> Find a Ford Transit Connect for sale near you: new and used

3) Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz Vito - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

Mercedes always performs strongly in the FN50 van reliability survey – even if the Vito has dropped from third spot in 2018 to seventh in 2019. With a choice of front- and rear-wheel drive, this is still one of the most versatile medium vans available.

>> Read the full Mercedes Vito review

>> Find a Mercedes Vito for sale near you: new and used

6) Citroen Berlingo

Citroen Berlingo - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

Sister van to the Peugeot Partner, the Citroen Berlingo has dropped just one place compared with 2018. Again the results here will be a mix of old and new models, but since the new van shares many parts with the old one the reliability should remain strong.

>> Read the full Citroen Berlingo review

>> Find a Citroen Berlingo for sale near you: new and used

5) Renault Trafic

Renault Trafic - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

The Trafic has recently received a mid-life refresh that includes new 2.0-litre engines - but it seems the older 1.6-litre models (which form the basis of this strong reliability result) are looking like a great used buy. Here's hoping the new motors can live up to these standards.

>> Read the full Renault Trafic review

>> Find a Renault Trafic for sale near you: new and used

4) Vauxhall Vivaro

Best vans for reliability - Vauxhall Vivaro

This Vauxhall Vivaro has recently been replaced by an all-new model, and the vast majority of vans surveyed will be the old one, which is related to the Renault Trafic. The new Vivaro is based on the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert, neither of which make this top 10...

>> Read the full Vauxhall Vivaro review

>> Find a Vauxhall Vivaro for sale near you: new and used

3) Volkswagen Caddy

VW Caddy - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

A return to the top three for the VW Caddy - which placed second in 2017 but dropped to tenth in 2018. This is a stylish small van that's car-like to drive, and recognised for being a bit pricier than the norm. Seems you get what you pay for when it comes to reliability.

>> Read the full Volkswagen Caddy review

>> Find a VW Caddy for sale near you: new and used

2) Volkswagen Transporter

Best vans for reliability - VW Transporter

Just missing out on top spot for the second year in a row is the VW Transporter. Combining a user-friendly design with bags of style and a vast variety, this is the sixth-generation model (known as the T6), and it continues to prove a dependable choice for fleet customers.

>> Read the full Volkswagen Transporter review

>> Find a VW Transporter for sale near you: new and used

1) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - find out where it ranks among the most reliable vans

The most reliable van in the FN50 survey is the Mercedes Sprinter. Which should be no real surprise as it’s topped the chart for the four previous years as well – making 2019 its fifth top spot on the bounce. An incredible performance.

Especially given that a brand new generation launched in 2018; though using the same engines has probably helped, there can be no doubt that Mercedes builds an amazingly reliable large van. No wonder it feels confident enough to offer 30 years of roadside assistance with every one.

>> Read the full Mercedes Sprinter review

>> Find a Mercedes Sprinter for sale near you: new and used

Notable absentees: Ford Transit and Ford Transit Custom

Ford Transit Custom and Ford Transit - find out where they rank among the most reliable vans

The Transit Custom is the UK’s bestselling van – and usually by some margin; with nearly 60,000 sold in 2018 it was the third-bestselling vehicle of any kind. But for the third year in a row it's failed to make the FN50 top 10 for reliability.

It seems things are improving, though, as it did finish in 12th in 2019, one place higher than 2018 and a considerable improvement over 2017 when it didn't even make the top 15.

More of a worry for Ford may be the full-size Transit, as this has steadily fallen backwards through the top 10 over the last few years, finishing in 11th in 2019.

Both Ford vans have been plagued with oil service and injector issues since the introduction of new 2.0-litre engines in 2017. Hopefully improvements are on the way.

>> Read the full Ford Transit Custom review

>> Read the full Ford Transit review

2019 van model reliability versus 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014

For further reassurance and comparison, these are the top 10 most reliable vans for the past five years as well:

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Ford Transit
2 VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Transporter
3 VW Caddy Mercedes Vito VW Transporter Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit Connect
4 Vauxhalll Vivaro Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit VW Caddy Mercedes Vito
5 Renault Trafic Citroen Berlingo Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy
6 Citroen Berlingo VW Crafter Mercedes Vito Ford Transit Custom Mercedes Vito Citroen Berlingo
7 Mercedes Vito Ford Transit Connect Renault Trafic Mercedes Vito Mitsubishi L200 Mercedes Sprinter
8 Ford Transit Connect Peugeot Partner Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Connect Ford Transit Custom Vauxhall Vivaro
9 Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Citroen Berlingo Mitsubishi L200 Citroen Berlingo Ford Transit Custom
10 VW Crafter VW Caddy Vauxhall Combo Peugeot Partner VW Crafter Toyota Hilux

 

Most reliable van manufacturers

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is rated the most reliable van manufacturer overall in the 2019 FN50 survey, taking the title away from Mercedes, which has won the honour for the previous two years.

Great result for Citroen, which takes third, but not so good news for Ford, which slips from the top three for the first time in six years to finish sixth.

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz Ford Volkswagen Ford
2 Mercedes-Benz Volkswagen Ford Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz Volkswagen
3 Citroen Ford Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz Ford Mercedes-Benz
4 Nissan Peugeot Vauxhall Renault Vauxhall Vauxhall
5 Vauxhall Citroen Renault Vauxhall Nissan Citroen
6 Ford Vauxhall Citroen Citroen Citroen Peugeot
7 Renault Nissan Peugeot Peugeot Renault Nissan
8 Peugeot Renault Fiat Nissan Peugeot Renault
9 Fiat Fiat Nissan Fiat Toyota Toyota
10 Mitsubishi Toyota Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Mitsubishi

 

Best van dealers

The fleets that complete the FN50 survey are also asked to rank dealers for performance, and here we have the results for the past five years (data stops at 2015 for this one). For the first time Mercedes has secured top spot here, pushing last year's winner VW back down into second.

Ford again falls out of the top three as Vauxall sweeps in for the final podium spot.

  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
1 Mercedes-Benz Volkswagen Ford Ford Volkswagen
2 Volkswagen Ford Volkswagen Vauxhall Ford
3 Vauxhall Mercedes-Benz Vauxhall Volkswagen Mercedes-Benz
4 Ford Vauxhall Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz Vauxhall
5 Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault
6 Citroen Citroen Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot
7 Peugeot Peugeot Citroen Citroen Citroen
8 Nissan Nissan Toyota Fiat Iveco
9 Fiat Fiat Iveco Toyota Fiat
10 Iveco Toyota Nissan Nissan Nissan

 

Also read:

>> The UK’s bestselling vans and pickups

>> Best small vans

>> Best medium vans

>> Best large vans

>> The Parkers pickup group test