UK’s best van? Most reliable vans to buy now

  • Mercedes Sprinter is once again the UK's most reliable van
  • But Volkswagen scoops the most reliable brand award...
  • ...and has all three of its vans in the top four rankings

What is the best van for reliability in 2022? Parkers has the answer, thanks to the FN50 survey - a hugely comprehensive UK van reliability survey. The results are based on actual usage among some of Britain's largest fleets, giving buyers a clear picture of which are the most reliable vans.

So if van reliability is a priority for your business, these are the best vans for you.

How does the FN50 determine the best vans for reliability?

Every year our colleagues at Fleet News asks 50 of the UK’s biggest leasing companies to rate their vehicles for warranty and breakdown issues. This generates a list of the most reliable vans – as well as the most highly-rated van manufacturers and the brands with the best-performing van dealers.

The latest data is from November 2021.

What's more, we have van reliability data from the previous six annual FN50 awards results to compare with. This means you can see which vans and van makers build the most consistently dependable models. Useful not only for buying a new van but also working out which are the best used vans, too.

Combine this data with the annual Parkers Awards, which include our reccomendations for the best small, medium and large vans, as well as best pickup and best electric van, and you'll find yourself with a best van list that's second to none.

>> Van and pickup winners in the Parkers Awards

Top 10 most reliable vans

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

10. Vauxhall Vivaro

Best van pick Vauxhall Vivaro 10th most reliable van

The Vivaro has fallen from fifth the previous year to 10th this year, but still holds a place in the most reliable vans top 10 - which is probably the most important thing. The latest model has massive payload capacity and is also available as the all-electric Vivaro-e, one of a quartet of Parkers award-winning electric vans from Stellantis.

Variants: four trim levels, two lengths, one roof height
Engines: 1.5-litre turbodiesel (100-120hp), 2.0-litre turbodiesel (120-180hp), electric (136hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 5.3-6.6 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,458kg
Maximum towing capacity: 2,500kg
Price from: £23,975*

>> Read our full Vauxhall Vivaro review

>> Find a Vauxhall Vivaro for sale near you

9. Renault Trafic

Best van pick Renault Trafic 9th most reliable van

The Renault Trafic has fallen back a bit compared with previous years, but is still an impressively reliable medium van. These are good vehicles to drive, with punchy and efficient engines, in both newer 2.0-litre models or the original 1.6-litre versions. A large load space also makes them especially practical for longer items - though payload is limited versus the best rivals.

Variants: three trim levels, two lengths, two roof heights
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (120-170hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 5.2-8.6 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,240kg
Maximum towing capacity: 2,000kg
Price from: £24,750*

>> Read our full Renault Trafic review

>> Find a Renault Trafic for sale near you

8. Nissan NV200

Best van pick Nissan NV200 8th most reliable van

An unexpected star of the latest FN50 van reliability survey is the humble Nissan NV200 - a van that's been around for well over a decade. The regular diesel versions were discontinued in 2019, but it lives on as the popular e-NV200 electric van. A pioneer of the electric van segment, this sells well and offers a reasonable driving range.

Variants: three trim levels, one length, one roof height
Engines: electric motor (109hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, automatic
Load volume: 4.2 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 705kg
Maximum towing capacity: 400kg
Price from: £23,305*

>> Read our full Nissan e-NV200 review

>> Find a Nissan NV200 for sale near you

7. Citroen Berlingo

Best van pick Citroen Berlingo 7th most reliable van

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 our choice achieving seventh in the 2021 FN50 van reliability survey. Exceptional payload and driving experience here, plus a load of clever tech as well. An e-Berlingo electric van is now available, too.

Variants: four trim levels, two lengths, one roof height
Engines: 1.5-litre turbodiesel (102-131hp), 1.2-litre turbo petrol (110hp), electric (136hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 3.3-4.4 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,009kg
Maximum towing capacity: 1,200kg
Price from: £17,855*

>> Read our full Citroen Berlingo review

>> Find a Citroen Berlingo for sale near you

6. Ford Transit Custom

Best van pick Ford Transit Custom 6th most reliable van

The UK's bestselling van has climbed the rankings from 10th to sixth in our latest 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 more dependable again - underlining its status as a great all-rounder. Which helped it to the overall Parkers Van of the Year title in our 2021 and 2022 awards.

Variants: six trim levels, two lengths, two roof heights
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (105-185hp), plug-in hybrid petrol (120hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 6.0-8.3 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,459kg
Maximum towing capacity: 2,800kg
Price from: £23,595*

>> Read our main Ford Transit Custom review

>> Find a Ford Transit Custom for sale near you

5. Ford Transit Connect

Best van pick Ford Transit Connect 5th most reliable van

Just beating its big brother in the reliability stakes to earn a top five finish, the Ford Transit Connect may be a much older model than many of the small vans on the market these days but it's continuing to prove a highly dependable one. Good to drive, it's also available in a wider range of models than all of its competitors, and offers attractive running costs and payload ratings.

Variants: five trim levels, two lengths, two roof heights
Engines: 1.5-litre turbodiesel (75-120hp), 1.0-litre turbo petrol (100hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 2.9-3.6 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 865kg
Maximum towing capacity: 1,300kg
Price from: £20,000*

>> Read our main Ford Transit Connect review

>> Find a Ford Transit Connect for sale near you

4. Volkswagen Crafter

Best van pick Volkswagen Crafter 4th most reliable van

The latest Crafter finishes in the top 10 best vans for reliability for the fourth year in a row. This fourth place is also its best performance yet - kicking off a bumper result for VW in this year's survey. The Crafter is a consistent winner in the Parkers Awards, too, being immensely well thought-out and easy to use, and the large van we like driving the most. Don't forget the MAN TGE is closely related.

Variants: two trim levels, three lengths, three roof heights
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (102-177hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, RWD, AWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 9.3-18.4 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,261kg (at 3.5 tonnes)
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500kg
Price from: £28,845*

>> Read our full Volkswagen Crafter review

>> Find a VW Crafter for sale near you

3. Volkswagen Caddy

Best van pick Volkswagen Caddy 3rd most reliable van

A smart, easy to drive, and clearly the most reliable small van according to the FN50, the Volkswagen Caddy is supported by an excellent dealer network. What's more, the arrival of all-new Caddy Cargo in 2021 seems to have done little damage to its reputation for dependability. With five generations of experience behind it, this is the top choice if you don't need masses of space.

Variants: three trim levels, two lengths, one roof height
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (110-204hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, AWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 5.8-9.3 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,278kg
Maximum towing capacity: 2,500kg
Price from: £23,715*

>> Read our full Volkswagen Caddy review

>> Find a VW Caddy for sale near you

2. Volkswagen Transporter

Best van pick Volkswagen Transporter 2nd most reliable van

This is the third second-place finish for the Transporter in four years, once again making it the most reliable medium van you can buy. The latest T6.1 version has sharp looks, a versatile interior and some very powerful engines. The Transporter also comes in a range of models, plus there's an electric version, called the ABT e-Transporter.

Variants: two trim levels, two lengths, two roof heights
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (110-204hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, AWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 5.8-9.3 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,278kg
Maximum towing capacity: 2,500kg
Price from: £23,715*

>> Read our full Volkswagen Transporter review

>> Find a VW Transporter for sale near you

1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Best van pick Mercedes Sprinter the most reliable van

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is once again the most reliable van in the FN50 survey, making it the best van you buy if reliability is your main priority. This marks seven 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 exceptional achievement. With a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and up to 30 years of free roadside recovery, it really is an outstanding choice for hassle-free use.

Variants: three trim levels, four lengths, three roof heights
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel (143-190hp)
Drivetrain: FWD, AWD, manual and automatic
Load volume: 7.8-17.0 cubic metres
Maximum payload: 1,404kg (at 3.5 tonnes)
Maximum towing capacity: 3,500kg
Price from: £27,345*

>> Read our full Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

>> Find a Mercedes Sprinter for sale near you

What's the Parkers verdict?

In many respects, reliability is the ultimate measure for any vehicle - but for vans it is especially important. While a broken-down car might make it inconvenient to get to work, for example, a broken-down van could prevent you from doing any work at all. The most reliable vans are also some of the very best vans.

To this end, as well as celebrating the long-term success of the incredible Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is undoubtedly not only the most reliable van you can buy but also one of the best, we are very pleased to see the Ford Transit Custom continuing to improve its reputation for reliability.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is THE most reliable van

The reigning Parkers Van of the Year is a big hit with buyers, consistently outselling every other van in the UK - not to mention most cars - by a considerable margin. It's a winner for us due to its enormous breadth of talent, but to see that some of its reliability woes are also behind it is very good news indeed.

It's also important to recognise Volkswagen's achievements here. With all three of its van models making it into the top four most reliable vans, VW would appear to be a van maker you can certainly rely on.

Finally, well done to every van that appears on this best list. Given how hard these vehicles work, any ranking here is a considerable achievement.

Best vans for reliability over time

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.

  2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Mercedes Sprinter Ford Transit
2 VW Transporter VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Transporter VW Transporter
3 VW Caddy VW Transporter VW Caddy Mercedes Vito VW Transporter Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit Connect
4 VW Crafter Renault Trafic Vauxhall Vivaro Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Ford Transit VW Caddy Mercedes Vito
5 Ford Transit Connect Vauxhall Vivaro Renault Trafic Citroen Berlingo Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy Vauxhall Vivaro VW Caddy
6 Ford Transit Custom Citroen Berlingo Mercedes Vito VW Crafter Mercedes Vito Ford Transit Custom Mercedes Vito Citroen Berlingo
7 Citroen Berlingo Peugeot Boxer Citroen Berlingo
Ford Transit Connect Renault Trafic Mercedes Vito Mitsubishi L200 Mercedes Sprinter
8 Nissan NV200 Mercedes Vito VW Crafter Peugeot Partner Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Connect Ford Transit Custom Vauxhall Vivaro
9 Renault Trafic VW Crafter Peugeot Partner Ford Transit Citroen Berlingo Mitsubishi L200 Citroen Berlingo Ford Transit Custom
10 Vauxhall Vivaro Ford Transit Custom Ford Transit Connect
VW Caddy Vauxhall Combo Peugeot Partner VW Crafter Toyota Hilux

 

Most reliable van manufacturers

As well as having all three of its vans in the top four, Volkswagen has been rated the most reliable van maker overall in the latest FN50 survey, pushing Mercedes into second.

Great result for Ford, which takes third, recovering from a couple of years of poorer performance.

  2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
1 VW Mercedes VW Mercedes Mercedes Ford VW Ford
2 Mercedes VW Mercedes VW Ford VW Mercedes VW
3 Ford Nissan Citroen Ford VW Mercedes Ford Mercedes
4 Renault Renault Nissan Peugeot Vauxhall Renault Vauxhall Vauxhall
5 Vauxhall Citroen Vauxhall Citroen Renault Vauxhall Nissan Citroen
6 Citroen Vauxhall Ford Vauxhall Citroen Citroen Citroen Peugeot
7 Nissan Peugeot Renault Nissan Peugeot Peugeot Renault Nissan
8 Peugeot Ford Peugeot Renault Fiat Nissan Peugeot Renault
9 Toyota Fiat Fiat Fiat Nissan Fiat Toyota Toyota
10 Mitsubishi 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 Volkswagen in 2020, Mercedes has regained top spot in the 2021 survey, while Ford retains its third-place ranking.

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.

  2021 2020  2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
1 Mercedes VW Mercedes VW Ford Ford VW
2 VW Mercedes VW Ford VW Vauxhall Ford
3 Ford Ford Vauxhall Mercedes Vauxhall VW Mercedes
4 Peugeot Vauxhall Ford Vauxhall Mercedes Mercedes Vauxhall
5 Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault Renault
6 Vauxhall Peugeot Citroen Citroen Peugeot Peugeot Peugeot
7 Citroen Citroen Peugeot Peugeot Citroen Citroen Citroen
8 Toyota Nissan Nissan Nissan Toyota Fiat Iveco
9 Nissan Isuzu Fiat Fiat Iveco Toyota Fiat
10 Iveco Iveco Iveco Toyota Nissan Nissan Nissan

 

Also read:

>> The UK’s bestselling vans and pickups

>> Best small vans

>> Best medium vans

>> Best large vans

>> Best pickups

>> Guide to long-wheelbase vans