Best large 3.5t vans for payload

  • Heaviest vans you can drive on a car licence ranked by payload
  • Fully updated with latest Euro 6 info - which makes a difference
  • All large 3.5-tonne vans currently on sale compared

Large 3.5-tonne vans are the heaviest vans you can drive on a regular UK car licence - and on this page you'll find them ranked in order of maximum payload.

Examples of the large vans included in this list are the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Fiat Ducato. The 3.5-tonne part - also shown as 3.5t or 3,500kg - refers to the gross vehicle weight.

Size versus weight

Gross vehicle weight (GVW - also known as gross vehicle mass or GVM), is the absolute total legal weight of the vehicle including everything on board. This is important not just because you want to stay on the right side of the law, but also because the weight of the van itself - the kerbweight - effects how much payload you can carry in the back.

Large vans come in different sizes, so if want you want to carry is heavy rather than bulky, you probably want to aim for the smallest 3.5t van it can fit in.

For this reason, you'll find most of the maximum payloads listed below apply to the smallest body sizes - but this still clues you into which vans have greater weight-carrying capacity in general.

Every model in this list has a Euro 6 engine, though we're expecting more changes before the end of 2019 when the more stringent Euro 6D Temp regulations come into force.

Keep reading for the full list of the best large vans for payload.

12) Iveco Daily max payload: 1,364kg (35S12 H1)

Iveco Daily - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

Iveco has always built the Daily tough, but this brings a hefty kerbweight with it. This means payload at 3.5 tonnes is never going to be particularly high. With GVW ratings up to 7.2 tonnes, however, if you're looking for a van that can carry as much as a small truck there's nothing better.

>> Iveco Daily full review

>> Find an Iveco Daily for sale near you – new, used and lease

> Get an insurance quote on an Iveco Daily via mustard.co.uk

11) MAN TGE max payload: 1,399kg (standard length FWD 2.0 TDI 102)

MAN TGE - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

Even with 75kg added to the default maximum payload of 1,324kg to account for MAN quoting kerbweight including a driver, the TGE still comes in near the bottom of this list. One of the newest large vans on the market, but perhaps not the best for heavy transport. FWD versions carry far more then RWD and 4WD, too.

>> MAN TGE full review

>> Find a MAN TGE for sale near you – newused and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a MAN TGE via mustard.co.uk

10) LDV V80 max payload: 1,419kg (medium roof)

LDV V80 - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

The basic design of the LDV V80 dates back all the way to 2004. This is good news for the price – it’s the cheapest large van on the market – but not so good news for engineering sophistication. Which leaves little room for payload, unfortunately. There are only three panel van variants, too.

>> LDV V80 full review

>> Find an LDV for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on an LDV V80 via mustard.co.uk

9) Ford Transit max payload: 1,445kg (350 FWD L2 H2)

Ford Transit - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

The Ford Transit used to have the lowest payload of any 3.5t van, but the transition to Euro 6 includes the introduction of a lighter (and more powerful) 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engine, which helps offset the negative impact of the 21-litre AdBlue tank. Another update is coming in 2019 promising further gains.

>> Ford Transit full review

>> Find a Ford Transit for sale near you – newused and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Ford Transit via mustard.co.uk

8) Mercedes-Benz Sprinter max payload: 1,462kg (311 and 314 CDI L1)

Mercedes Sprinter - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

The Sprinter is the newest large van on the market, and it's packed with tech. It won't necessarily be packed with your gear, however, as even the shortest front-wheel drive version can't even crack 1,500kg payload. The above figure is adjusted by 75kg, as Mercedes also includes a driver in its kerbweights.

>> Mercedes Sprinter full review

>> Find a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter via mustard.co.uk

7) VW Crafter max payload: 1,531kg (CR35 Startline 2.0 TDI 102)

VW Crafter - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

As if conscious this isn't the Crafter's strongest area, VW now has an absolute maximum payload rating that's only achieved by removing standard items of equipment. Is this cheating? Perhaps, but it is an official figure, and does tell you what's possible. The mimimum payload for the same model is 1,376kg.

>> Volkswagen Crafter full review

>> Find a VW Crafter for sale near you – newused and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a VW Crafter via mustard.co.uk

6) Nissan NV400 max payload: 1,566kg (3500 FWD L2 H2)

Nissan NV400 - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

The NV400 is sister van to the Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano, but Nissan has reduced the range of models available in the UK, meaning you can only get a 3.5t variant in a larger L2H2 bodysize, meaning its maximum payload fails to match up with its close relations. Euro 6 has had a hefty impact, too.

>> Nissan NV400 full review

>> Find a Nissan NV400 for sale near you – newused and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Nissan NV400 via mustard.co.uk

= 4) Citroen Relay / Peugeot Boxer max payload: 1,570kg 

(L2 H1 BlueHDi 140)

Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer - find out where they rank among large vans for payload

The Boxer and Relay are the same van in slightly different suits, and they've recently returned to using 2.2-litre engines ahead of Euro 6D Temp becoming law in September 2019. This has knocked 30kg off their maximum payload ratings, but they're still impressively heavyweight lifters.

>> Peugeot Boxer full review

>> Citroen Relay full review

>> Find a Peugoet Boxer for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Find a Citroen Relay for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Get a van insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

3) Fiat Ducato max payload: 1,605kg (SH1 35)

 Fiat Ducato - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

Former payload champion of the 3.5t class, the Ducato now meets Euro 6D Temp emissions regulations and has ditched the entry-level 2.0-litre engine in favour of 2.3-litre engines across the range, costing it 50kg. We'd sacrifice a little more payload and go for the nine-speed automatic gearbox as well.

>> Fiat Ducato full review

>> Find a Fiat Ducato for sale near you – newused and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Fiat Ducato via mustard.co.uk

2) Renault Master max payload: 1,610kg (FWD SM35 dCi 130)

Renault Master - find out where it ranks among large vans for payload

Looks good for the Master at the moment, but in September 2019 Renault plans to reduce the number of models available, in the UK, and this will see maximum payload drop to 1,551kg - much less impressive. The figure above is for a medium roof van, though, so more spacious than some on this list.

>> Renault Master full review

>> Find a Renault Master for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Renault Master via mustard.co.uk

1) Vauxhall Movano max payload: 1,620kg (3500 FWD L1 H1)

Vauxhall Master - the best large van for payload 2019

Winner, winner, chicken dinner - if you're after maximum payload in a large van, the Vauxhall Movano is the top choice. Though it does have a lower roof than the Renault, this figure applies to the entry-level Edition version already updated for Euro 6D Temp, so it shoudl stay champ for a while now.

>> Vauxhall Movano full review

>> Find a Vauxhall Movano for sale near you – new, used and lease

>> Get an insurance quote on a Vauxhall Movano via mustard.co.uk

Also read:

>> Best small vans for payload

>> Best medium vans for payload

>> Best large vans for fuel economy