Most reliable vans 2021

  • Double victory for Mercedes-Benz in latest FN50 van reliability survey
  • Results show Volkswagen has the best van dealer network
  • Top 10 most reliable vans in the UK listed

What is the most reliable van? Parkers has the answer, thanks to the FN50 reliability survey - one of the most comprehensive reliability surveys in the business, based on actual usage among some of the largest fleets in the UK.

Every year our partner title Fleet News asks 50 of the UK’s biggest leasing companies to rate their vehicles on the basis of warranty and breakdown issues. Here we list the top 10 most reliable vans according to the results of this FN50 survey – as well as the most highly-rated van manufacturers and the brands with the best-performing van dealers.

What's more, 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 2020 FN50 van fleet reliability survey.

10) Ford Transit Custom

Most reliable vans, 2020, Ford Transit Custom

Finally! For the first time since 2016, the UK's bestselling van has cracked the top 10 in our list of the most reliable vans in the UK. Despite a period of particularly problematic issues with fuel injectors, it seems fleets are finding the popular Ford is becoming more dependable again - underlining its status as a great all-rounder.

>> Read our main Ford Transit Custom review

>> Find a Ford Transit Custom for sale near you

9) Volkswagen Crafter

Most reliable vans, 2020, Volkswagen Crafter

The latest Crafter secures a top 10 finish for the third year in a row. As you'll see, this puts all of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' van models in this shortlist - which is quite the achievement. The Crafter is a consistent winner in the Parkers Awards, too, and the large van we like driving the most.

>> Read our full Volkswagen Crafter review

>> Find a VW Crafter for sale near you

8) Mercedes-Benz Vito

Most reliable vans, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Vito

While Mercedes always performs strongly in the FN50 van reliability survey, the Vito has dropped from third spot in 2018 to sixth in 2019 and eighth in 2020. With a choice of front- and rear-wheel drive, this is one of the most versatile medium vans around, though the facelifted version on sale now has new (unproven) engines.

>> Read our full Mercedes-Benz Vito review

>> Find a Mercedes Vito for sale near you

7) Peugeot Boxer

Most reliable vans, 2020, Peugeot Boxer

A new entrant in the top 10 this year, with Peugeot's aged Boxer shooting up from 13th in 2019 to seventh in 2020. This is a great result if you're looking for a reliable large van with particularly generous payload capacity. The latest versions have bigger than average 2.2-litre engines, too, great for real-world performance and mpg.

>> Read our full Peugeot Boxer review

>> Find a Peugeot Boxer for sale near you

= 5) Citroen Berlingo

Most reliable vans, 2020, Citroen Berlingo

The Citroen Berlingo is a two-time winner of the Parkers Small Van of the Year award (along with its close-relations the Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo Cargo), and reinforces its choice by creeping up to equal fifth in the 2020 FN50 reliability survey. Exceptional payload and driving experience here.

>> Read our full Citroen Berlingo review

>> Find a Citroen Berlingo for sale near you

= 5) Vauxhall Vivaro

Most reliable vans, 2020, Vauxhall Vivaro

The arrival of an all-new Vauxhall Vivaro in 2019 doesn't seem to have done this medium van's reliability much harm - it's dropped one spot from fourth to joint fifth in the 2020 FN50 survey but still finds itself in the top five. The new model has massive payload capacity and is even available as the all-electric Vivaro-e.

>> Read our full Vauxhall Vivaro review

>> Find a Vauxhall Vivaro for sale near you

4) Renault Trafic

Most reliable vans, 2020, Renault Trafic

The Renault Trafic has been steadily climbing the FN50 reliability rankings over the last three years, and now finds itself ranked a highly impressive fourth. These are good vans to drive, with lengthy load space and efficient engines, whether the newer 2.0-litre models or the original 1.6-litre versions.

>> Read our full Renault Trafic review

>> Find a Renault Trafic for sale near you

3) Volkswagen Transporter

Most reliable vans, 2020, Volkswagen Transporter

Having finished second in 2019 and 2018, the 2020 FN50 survey sees the Transporter dropping to a still creditably third - perhaps a little teething trouble with the revised Transporter 6.1 facelift model? Regardless, this is still rated as a hugely reliable van, top of the pile for medium-sized models.

>> Read our full Volkswagen Transporter review

>> Find a VW Transporter for sale near you

2) Volkswagen Caddy

Most reliable vans, 2020, Volkswagen Caddy

In 2019 the Caddy finished third, in 2020 it's made it to second, pushing it's big brother down the podium in the process. A smart, easy to drive, and clearly the most reliable small van according to the FN50, it's supported by an excellent dealer network - although it is replaced by an all-new model called the Caddy Cargo in 2021.

>> Read our full Volkswagen Caddy review

>> Find a VW Caddy for sale near you

1) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Most reliable vans, 2020, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is once again the most reliable van in the FN50 survey. This marks six years in a row that the big Mercedes has claimed the top spot - and that with a generation change to a new van in 2018. An outstanding achievement. With up to 30 years of free roadside recovery as well, it really is an outstanding choice for hassle-free use.

>> Read our full Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

>> Find a Mercedes Sprinter for sale near you

2020 van model reliability versus 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014

For further reassurance and comparison, these are the top 10 most reliable vans for the past six years as well, giving you seven years of data to consider.

  2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Ford Transit
2 VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Transporter
3 VW Transporter VW Caddy Mercedes Vito VW Transporter Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit Connect
4 Renault Trafic Vauxhalll Vivaro Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit VW Caddy Mercedes Vito
5 Vauxhall Vivaro (joint 5th) Renault Trafic Citroen Berlingo Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy
6 Citroen Berlingo (joint 5th) Mercedes Vito VW Crafter Mercedes Vito Ford Transit Custom Mercedes Vito Citroen Berlingo
7 Peugeot Boxer Citroen Berlingo
Ford Transit Connect Renault Trafic Mercedes Vito Mitsubishi L200 Mercedes Sprinter
8 Mercedes Vito VW Crafter Peugeot Partner Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Connect Ford Transit Custom Vauxhall Vivaro
9 VW Crafter Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Citroen Berlingo Mitsubishi L200 Citroen Berlingo Ford Transit Custom
10 Ford Transit Custom Ford Transit Connect
VW Caddy Vauxhall Combo Peugeot Partner VW Crafter Toyota Hilux

 

Most reliable van manufacturers

Mercedes-Benz Vans has secured a double victory in the 2020 survey, topping the most reliable van manufacturers chart as well, pushing Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles back to second.

Great result for Nissan, which takes third, but not so good news for Ford, which slips further from sixth to eighth.

  2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 Mercedes VW Mercedes Mercedes Ford VW Ford
2 VW Mercedes VW Ford VW Mercedes VW
3 Nissan Citroen Ford VW Mercedes Ford Mercedes
4 Renault Nissan Peugeot Vauxhall Renault Vauxhall Vauxhall
5 Citroen Vauxhall Citroen Renault Vauxhall Nissan Citroen
6 Vauxhall Ford Vauxhall Citroen Citroen Citroen Peugeot
7 Peugeot Renault Nissan Peugeot Peugeot Renault Nissan
8 Ford Peugeot Renault Fiat Nissan Peugeot Renault
9 Fiat Fiat Fiat Nissan Fiat Toyota Toyota
10 Mitsubishi 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 results six years (data stops at 2015 for this one). After losing out to Mercedes-Benz in 2019, Volkswagen has regained top spot this year, while Ford returns to the top three, pushing Vauxhall back down to fourth.

Worth noting Renault's performance consistency, as it's been ranked fifth every year. Which suggests regular customers won't be in for any surprises. Isuzu, meanwhile, has made it into the top 10 for the first time - at the expense of Fiat.

  2020  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
1 VW Mercedes VW Ford Ford VW
2 Mercedes VW Ford VW Vauxhall Ford
3 Ford Vauxhall Mercedes Vauxhall VW Mercedes
4 Vauxhall Ford Vauxhall Mercedes Mercedes Vauxhall
5 Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault
6 Peugeot Citroen Citroen Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot
7 Citroen Peugeot Peugeot Citroen Citroen Citroen
8 Nissan Nissan Nissan Toyota Fiat Iveco
9 Isuzu Fiat Fiat Iveco Toyota Fiat
10 Iveco 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