George Barrow

George Barrow
Van reviewer

George Barrow is recognised as one of the leading van and truck reviewers, and is the UK’s only representative on the prestigious International Van of the Year jury.

Barrow was nominated for the jury as a result of a highly successful career spanning 15 years writing about vans and the wider commercial vehicle world.

As well as specialising in vans, he is an editor for Road Transport Media, reporting on heavy goods vehicles and the industry for Commercial Motor, Motor Transport and Truck & Driver. Underlining Barrow’s importance to mainstream van buyers, he also writes editorial columns for The Sun and What Van?.

Barrow is well regarded in the industry beyond his testing and reviewing abilities, regularly interviewing van and truck operators, manufacturers and dealers to provide readers with everything from technical insights to interviews with high-level industry executives.

Prior to specialising in vans, Barrow wrote for titles including Autocar, Pistonheads and Wired UK.

George is an expert on:

  • Electric vans
  • New and used vans
  • New van buying and leasing
  • Issues facing van drivers
  • Van technology

George Barrow Q&A

What’s the best piece of advice you could offer a van buyer?

With so many new vans coming from the same factory these days, my advice for any van buyer would be to do their research on not only the model they’re interested in, but those that roll off the same production lines. Don’t be swayed by the badge, if the basics like engine and gearboxes are the same (which 99% of the time, they will be) look at what each brand can offer you and not just all the nice-to-have options you get. Think about the warranty that's offered, and if you’re buying on finance, look at the interest rates. You’ll be amazed at the differences.

What’s the best van you’ve ever driven?

For me, the best vans are always any that are reliable because at the end of the day they’re usually a business tool. You wouldn’t want your screwdriver to snap, and you certainly don’t want your van to have a breakdown. If your van works and gets you to your job, then it’s the dependable tool that many buyers will need a van to be. Second to that, the best van to drive is one that’s appropriate for your needs. There’s no point having a large van if you’re a household electrician, for example, while an electric van is likely to suit your needs best if you live in the city.

What will the van market look like in 20 years?

Electric vans will be more common, but where regulations permit, diesel will still be a dependable choice for larger vans and HGVs. I don’t see commercial vehicles getting any cheaper, either, largely due to new technologies and increasing connectivity, so finance will play an even more important role – particularly if you're buying a used van.

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