10 Different Types of Vans: From Electrics to Sprinters

types of vans

10 Different Types of Vans: From Electrics to Sprinters

Vans have always been a reliable choice for transporting goods and people. They’ve always run on fossil fuels but, due to environmental concerns, this has changed. The various types of vans now include electric ones, as well as other low-emission vans that are safer for the environment.

Electric vans are a particularly good option for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. This article will explore the 10 different types of vans and their features, uses, pros, and cons. There is a van for every different situation or need.

#1: Cargo Van

types of vans
Cargo vans have load capacities similar to pickup trucks, with similar towing capacity. 


The cargo van is one of the most reliable types of vans for transporting goods and other loads. As the name suggests, these vans are designed to transport cargo. Cargo vans have a spacious, boxy interior and a sturdy exterior.

One of the main features of a cargo van is its large cargo space. The size can vary, depending on the model. Some cargo vans have a sliding door on the side. Others have rear doors that swing open to provide easy access to the cargo area. The loading area on cargo vans is quite low, or closer to the ground. This makes it easier to load and unload cargo or goods.

Cargo vans are a popular choice for businesses that need to transport goods, equipment, or tools. Tradespeople who offer specialized services and have tools that they need to carry to work will prefer to use a cargo van.

Examples of such are electricians, plumbers, contractors, and other similar professionals. The versatility of these vans also makes them useful for both personal and commercial use.

Some popular cargo van models are the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and the Ram ProMaster. The Ford Transit boasts a maximum cargo volume of 487.3 cubic feet; more than enough space to carry all kinds of cargo.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Comes in various engine options, but the standard is the fuel-efficient diesel version. The Ram ProMaster has a front-wheel-drive layout. This makes it have more interior space and better handling.

#2: Passenger Van

types of vans
The Transit passenger van is primarily marketed under the Ford Tourneo name.


Passenger vans are a type of van designed to carry or transport many passengers from one place to another. These vans have a spacious interior, with seating for up to 15 passengers. This makes them ideal for shuttle services. They also make a perfect vehicle for family road trips or simple travel.

The seating capacity of a passenger van is what gives it its main advantage. These vans are built to have many rows of seats for passengers. The vans also have features like air conditioning, entertainment systems, and power outlets to accommodate passengers.

Passenger vans also have a high roof or an extended body to provide more headroom and legroom for passengers. If you’ve ever been picked up from the airport or used a shuttle service, odds are it was a passenger van that picked you up.

They are also a popular means of transport for sports teams, church groups, and other organizations. Passenger vans are spacious and comfortable and it’s these features that make them for ferrying passengers.

Some popular passenger van models are the Ford Transit Passenger Van, the Chevrolet Express Passenger Van, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van. The Ford Transit Passenger Van offers a choice of three roof heights and two body lengths. It can carry up to 15 passengers.

The Chevrolet Express Passenger Van carries 3 fewer passengers than the Ford Transit but has a powerful V8 engine. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van is more of a luxury van passenger van and has features that prove this.

#3: Minivan

types of vans
Honda Odyssey’s Magic Seat system lets you position the second-row seats in many different ways.

©The Global Guy/Shutterstock.com

Minivans are smaller than the average passenger van. They are made with a focus on providing a comfortable ride for families. They usually sit up to seven passengers and have standard features you’d expect on a van that ferries people.

Common features are a power sliding door, climate control, and an entertainment system. A minivan is made to carry families. You can see this in the fact that it has great legroom and ample cargo space to carry all the family belongings.

Minivans are great for family road trips because of their comfort and convenience. They are also used for the daily commute and are more fuel-efficient than the bigger vans out there. They are smaller in size and this makes them a bit easier to drive than larger vans.

Some of the most popular minivan models include the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica. These models offer a range of features like fold-down seats for added cargo space, infotainment systems, and safety features like rearview cameras and blind-spot monitoring.

The Honda Odyssey, for example, boasts a 3.5-liter V6 engine, seating for up to 8 passengers, and up to 158 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down. These features make minivans an attractive option for families or anyone looking for a comfortable, spacious, and efficient means of transportation.

The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica are all examples of some very popular minivan models that you can see on the road today. They have all the standard features you’d expect to find in these types of vans. You’ll find features like fold-down seats, infotainment systems, rearview cameras, and even blind-spot monitoring equipped.

#4: Camper Van

types of vans
Older, used camper vans may cost $25,000 or less.


As the name suggests, camper vans are generally used for camping. They are also known as recreational vehicles. You’ll find them equipped with all the basic amenities such as a kitchen, bed, bathroom, and a small living space. All this is to emulate a nice home atmosphere for someone who is traveling and living in a van.

The main use of campervans is for outdoor activities. As mentioned earlier, this can be activities such as camping, road trips, or even family vacations. If you like outdoor activities and love to travel, but do not want to stay in a conventional hotel room or motel, then a campervan would be the ideal choice for you.

Volkswagen Westfalia, Winnebago Travato, and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Camper are some examples of popular campervan models that are on the market today. They come with all the standard features expected in a campervan, but further customization is possible.

The Winnebago for example has a more modern and luxurious design whilst the Volkswagen Westfalia is more classic and traditional looks-wise.

#5: Panel Van

Panel vans are also known as box-body vans. These types of vans have solid sides and rear doors, and are used for commercial purposes. The solid sides of the panel van give it ample space for branding. This makes it the best choice for businesses that want to advertise their services.

You’ll also find professionals like plumbers, electricians, and carpenters using this type of van in their daily work. The vans have enough space to allow them to carry all the tools and equipment to a job.

Panel vans can also sometimes come with shelves and drawers, or even other storage compartments. This can help you to keep things organized and cataloged. A few of the panel vans that you might see on the road are the Ford Transit, Volkswagen Crafter, and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

They come in different sizes and with various specifications. This allows businesses and individuals to choose the best van for the job at hand. A good example is the Ford Transit which comes in three different sizes and three different body lengths. This gives a prospective buyer different options to choose from.

#6: Box Van

This type of van is also known as a Cube van or a box truck. It is used by businesses, and it has a square or rectangular cargo space with a fixed roof and vertical walls. Box fans have an enclosed cargo area, which protects cargo from theft and weather conditions.

Box fans are very customizable and this makes them versatile. They can be adapted for use in different businesses or industries. They can come in small or large sizes, depending on the type of cargo that they are transporting. Some come with a lift gate that makes it easier to load and unload heavy cargo.

#7: Refrigerated Van

This is a special type of van that is designed to keep goods at a certain temperature as they’re being transported. The goods being transported are usually perishable in nature, meaning that they will spoil if kept at normal temperatures for an extended period of time.

As the name suggests, these types of vans come with a built-in refrigeration unit to maintain a certain temperature throughout the entire drive. This helps to keep the cargo fresh.

You will find these types of vans being used in the food industry by caterers. They will have prepared food at a specific location and need to deliver it to another location whilst maintaining its freshness and quality. Another industry that uses refrigerated vans is the pharmaceutical industry, which transports drugs or vaccines and needs them to be kept at certain temperatures.

The interiors are reinforced and equipped with features such as electronic temperature control and non-slip floors. Additionally, they can be customized to fit the needs of each business.

The use of refrigerated vans allows goods to be transported long distances without compromising their quality. This makes them ideal for delivering temperature-sensitive products over long distances. Refrigerated vans have become important in the supply chain due to the increase in demand for perishable goods.

#8: Flatbed Van

types of vans
Flatbed vans are used to transport heavy loads that are not delicate or vulnerable.

©Art Konovalov/Shutterstock.com

Flatbed vans are vans with open cargo areas without walls or roofs. The flatbed makes it ideal for transporting heavy goods, or equipment that cannot fit into enclosed cargo spaces. There are a wide variety of applications for flatbed vans, including construction, landscaping, agriculture, transportation, and delivery.

The open cargo section of a flatbed van allows for easy loading and unloading of cargo. The lack of walls or a roof allows for the transport of oversized loads. Flatbed vans are also available in a variety of sizes and weight capacities. They can also be easily customized to fit special requirements.

Flatbed vans have a wide range of applications, from moving huge furniture, machinery, or building materials to hauling hay bales, cattle, or farm equipment. You can even use them for towing. Ford Transit Flatbed, Mercedes Sprinter Flatbed, and Fiat Doblo Flatbed are some common flatbed van models.

These vans have different load-carrying capacities and flatbeds. The Ford Transit Flatbed, for example, has a weight capacity of up to 1.4 tonnes and a load length of up to 4.2 meters. The Mercedes Sprinter Flatbed has a weight capacity of up to 1.6 tonnes and a bed length of up to 4.1 meters.

#9: Pickup Van

A pickup van is a van that combines the characteristics of a pickup truck with a van. It has a cargo bed in the back and a passenger cabin in the front. The cargo bed is often open and lacks a roof, making it simple to load and unload products and equipment.

Pickup vans are multipurpose vehicles that can be utilized for a variety of tasks. They are popular among persons who need to move products or equipment but also require a vehicle with seating. Pickup vans can be used for personal as well as business activities, such as landscaping, construction, and farming.

#10: Electric Van

Electric vans are vans that run on electricity instead of gasoline. They are powered by electric motors. These vans also have rechargeable batteries and have become more popular as people seek more environmentally friendly modes of transportation. An electric van’s major characteristics are efficiency, low emissions, long battery life, and a silent motor.

Electric vans have the advantage of being more environmentally friendly than regular gasoline-powered vans because they emit no hazardous emissions. They are also less expensive to run because electricity is cheaper than gasoline. Electric vans still do have some drawbacks. One of these is their limited range and lengthier charging times, unlike standard vans.

The Nissan e-NV200 and the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter are two popular electric vans. These models have modern safety technologies, sufficient cargo room, and can be customized to meet a variety of requirements.

Final Thoughts

We have explored 10 different types of vans, from cargo vans to electric ones. Each van has its unique features and uses. When choosing a van, you need to consider your specific needs and requirements. For instance, if you need to transport perishable goods, a refrigerated van is a better option.

If, on the other hand, you need to move heavy or bulky equipment, then a flatbed van is more suitable. If you want an eco-friendly van, then an electric one is worth considering.

Overall, the market’s vast selection of vans may suit a variety of purposes and objectives. You should look into the various types of vans and select the one that best meets your needs.

10 Different Types of Vans: From Electrics to Sprinters FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What vans are most expensive?

The most expensive vans tend to be luxury or conversion vans, such as the Mercedes-Benz Metris and the Airstream Interstate.

What are popular vans?

Popular vans include the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Dodge Grand Caravan.

What are luxury vans called?

Luxury vans are commonly referred to as “conversion vans” or “class B motorhomes.

What are family vans called?

Family vans are also known as “minivans.”

What are large vans called?

Large vans are often called “full size vans” or “minibusses.”

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