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Is a Ford Transit a car-derived van?

Is a Ford Transit a car-derived van?

The range of Ford Transit vans has been a familiar sight on the UK's roads and motorways for decades, since the line-up was first launched back in 1965. With various updates and generations in the 55 years since, the brand encompasses a number of different models from which you can take your pick. And it remains a popular choice for drivers and fleet owners alike across the country, and indeed the world.


The smallest in the line-up is the Ford Transit Courier, billed as 'the vehicle for every job'. With a load area of 2.3 cubic metres, it may be compact, but it offers some 10% greater load volume than its competitors in the same class. It's been on sale since 2013, and received its latest facelift in 2019. The model scooped Best for Practicality (Compact Van) in the What Car? Van Awards 2021.


It drives well, especially for a small van. Indeed, from behind the wheel, you could be forgiven for mistaking the Transit Courier for a Fiesta, one of the cars on which it is modelled. Equally, there's an impressive engine range (Two diesels plus a petrol version aimed firmly at the urban driver). You can also expect a roomy cabin alongside a user-friendly load bay, plus six-speed manual transmission. You should also find the Transit Courier nice and economical to run.


There's also a Kombi version of the Courier offering a second row of seats.


What exactly is a car-derived van?

There's a legal definition of this concept, as outlined in the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act of 1984. The term essentially refers to any goods vehicle:


Which is built or adapted as a derivative of a passenger vehicle and which has a maximum weight not greater than two tonnes.


These vehicles may look the size of a car from the outside, but on the inside they look and function like a van, due to the lack of side windows at the back, and the lack of rear seats. However, there is a payload area at the back of the vehicle, with floor panels.


Essentially, these models are designed for lighter duties.


What difference does the classification make?

Car-derived vans are the only light commercial vehicles subject to the same speed limits as a car - i.e. 50mph on single and 60mph on dual carriageways, 70mph on motorways. They may also be subject to slightly different rules as far as tax is concerned.


Summing up

Described by one reviewer as 'the complete package', the car-derived Ford Transit Courier could be a smart choice next time you upgrade your business fleet.


Talk to us at Vansdirect before you do anything else. We have cheap van leasing deals on Transit Couriers, among other van finance options including contract hire and hire purchase. Ask us for informed, impartial advice.


What's more, we offer a three-year or 60,000 mile warranty, a free year-long roadside assistance plan, no admin fees plus delivery across the UK at no charge.

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