The origins of the humble van come from the early 1800s, as a wagon designed for transporting goods. Since then, commercial vehicles have been an integral part of countless businesses.

Commercial vehicles come in many shapes and sizes, offering different solutions to a broad range of challenges that commercial industries face. In this blog we’ll delve deeper into the world of commercial vehicles, what they are, why they’re important, and what benefits they offer compared to your average hatchback.

What is a commercial vehicle?

Most commercial vehicles come into the category of light commercial vehicles, which means that it is a commercial carrier vehicle that weighs no more than 3.5 metric tonnes.

Light commercial vehicles specialise in the transportation of goods over relatively long distances. The goods that modern commercial vehicles transport vary hugely, which is why commercial vehicles come in many shapes and sizes.

Some commercial vehicles prioritise space in the loading bay, while others make way for extra space for passengers.

What is the benefit of a commercial vehicle?

You might be wondering: why would I purchase a specialised commercial vehicle instead of getting something like a large 4x4? But we’re here to explain that commercial vehicles offer many benefits above size.

Not only are commercial vehicles designed to prioritise cargo space above passengers, but they also make it easier to load and unload goods because of their specialised design, this just isn’t possible in even the biggest of cars.

As well as this, there are tax benefits to owning a commercial vehicle, such as being able to claim 100% of the VAT back, even if you utilise the vehicle for private use as well as business.

What are the different types of light commercial vehicles?​

As we’ve mentioned, commercial vehicles come in many different shapes and sizes that aim to meet the differing needs of a broad range of industries. Let’s explore the main types of commercial vehicles, what their benefits are and who might use them.

What is a panel van?

A panel van is probably the most common type of commercial vehicle and the one that would spring to mind when you think of the word van. There are usually 3 seats in the cabin to transport a small team with a large loading bay in the rear. Despite their size, they are usually not very difficult to drive and offer a similar driving style to the average large car. These vehicles are utilised by construction workers, delivery drivers and

What is a luton van?

Luton vans, sometimes called box vans, follow a similar principle to a panel van, but the loading bay is separated from the cabin and is therefore larger. Due to their size, they are frequently favoured by delivery drivers and are the stereotypical “moving van”.

What is a combi van?

Combi vans are usually built on the same platform as panel vans, however, they sacrifice some of the cargo space to allow for a second row of seating for passengers. Combi vans are ideal for situations such as transporting holiday-makers from the airport, allowing for luggage in the back but with enough passenger space for a family in the cabin.

What is a tipper / dropside van?

As the name suggests, a tipper van has a cargo bay that physically tips so that you can remove the cargo in your loading area. These types of commercial vehicles are usually used for construction, to tip materials such as gravel into the required space. A dropside van looks similar, but a dropside van differs in that it doesn’t physically tip, but the sides of the cargo bay fold down to give easier access to the item stored there.

What is a chassis cab?

A chassis cab is a cab that is ideal for those looking to personalise their commercial vehicle with aftermarket parts. The rear of the vehicle is entirely bare, which means you can add cargo space, passenger space, tippers, cranes, etc.

Who can drive a commercial vehicle?

Despite their larger size, anyone with a Full UK driving licence (Category B) can drive a commercial vehicle as long as it doesn’t exceed 3.5 metric tonnes. Those who passed their test before January 1st 1997, can drive a commercial vehicle that doesn’t exceed 7.5 metric tonnes.

In order to drive a light commercial vehicle exceeding these weight restrictions, you must obtain a Category C LGV driving licence.

Commercial vehicles from Brindley

At Brindley, we have plenty of commercial vehicles on sale to cater for a variety of needs. Our specialists in Maxus and Nissan commercial vehicles will be able to assess which vehicle best suits your needs so that you can drive away satisfied that you’ve picked the perfect vehicle. For more info on Brindley’s commercial vehicle options, check out our Commercial Vehicles page.