Second hand vans offered for sale may be former fleet vehicles which are being replaced by newer models, or may be privately owned vehicles. The van body shape may be the box body type, with the storage area mounted onto a chassis and cab, or the familiar panel van type, seen in the Ford Transit and the Peugeot Boxer.
Buying a second hand van makes sense for small businesses. New vans are classified as commercial vehicles and are sold with the addition of Value Added Tax (VAT), which adds on a hefty charge to the purchase price. When sold privately, rather than through a dealership, a second hand van is not usually subject to the extra taxation charge.
Vans range in size and shape, from the long wheelbase models such as the Mercedes Sprinter panel van, to the much smaller Peugeot Bipper van, with many other intermediate models produced by companies such as Ford and Renault. The Ford Transit is the most popular van and, like its competitors, comes in different engine sizes and wheelbases to suit many different uses.
Vans are the true utility vehicles, with many different uses. Small horseboxes are often panel vans with a rear or side entry and exit ramp. Camper vans are mounted on a commercial van chassis, with a body mounted on top. These are produced in many different internal configurations, from a simple two person van right up to the very long wheelbase models capable of accommodating six or more people. Some camper vans are configured as part of a panel van, with windows added, such as the traditional Volkswagen VW camper van. Camper vans are usually diesel models, though the smaller vehicles may be petrol engine vehicles.