A simple guide to Volkswagen van conversions

When your business needs something more specialised than a panel van or passenger carrier, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has the answer...

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has a range of conversion options for van owners

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a wealth of choice for panel vans and passenger carriers. But what if you need something more bespoke and customised to match the unique demands of your business, or to fit the way you work?

Well, that’s where conversions come in, and the possibilities with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles seem limitless. They range from common off-the-shelf solutions to specialised concepts ¬– all delivered with seamless Van Centre support from design to aftersales and offering the same guarantees of quality and reliability you expect from Volkswagen, letting you focus on running your business.

We met Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Specialist Sales Manager Nick Axtell to see how Volkswagen’s ‘Working With You’ promise makes conversions easy and delivers added peace of mind – whether you’re a sole trader or small business that wants the perfect van, or a fleet manager looking for lots of standard-fit vehicles.

Find out more about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles conversions at volkswagen-vans.co.uk

The interior of Volkswagen panel vans can easily be configured into a mobile workshop

What is a conversion?

Conversions start with plylining, racking and shelving that turns a panel van into a mobile warehouse for goods deliveries, an organised place to keep tools or sports equipment, or a van that can blend work and play. Equally, it can be as complex as a compact Caddy with wheelchair access, or a large Crafter with a hydraulic lift. It can even be purpose-built emergency vehicles such as fire-engines or ambulances.

“The definition of a conversion varies between customers, and sometimes between converters,” Nick explains. “For us, the defining quality is: does it change the vehicle use and does it need a new type approval?” Nick cites the example of a Transporter fitted with a tow bar and basic shelving from the Volkswagen-approved accessories range. Strictly speaking, that remains classified as a panel van. Fit a refrigeration unit and insulation, however, and it’s now classified as an insulated van for registration. It’s now a conversion.

Volkswagen has a range of heavyweight van conversions for tough tasks

Engineered To Go & Recognised Conversions 

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers two paths for conversions. First, there’s Engineered To Go – a line-up of easy-to-pick off-the-shelf solutions built in conjunction with Premium Partner Ingimex. This includes rugged Crafter dropsides and tippers for tough construction work, as well as Luton vans for large loads. They’re perfect for firms that want a fast, efficient, simple and dependable solution.

Need something more specialised? Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles can work with you on a Recognised Conversion. These include – but are not limited to – mobile workshops, on-board cranes, fridge/freezer vans for food and medical supplies, and passenger carriers, minibuses, welfare vehicles and wheelchair-access vehicles across the breadth of Volkswagen’s model line-up, including the Caddy and Transporter.

The Crafter is a particularly versatile model. Hydraulic cranes and lifting platforms can turn it into truly specialised taskmaster for construction, engineering and maintenance work, while the newly released low-frame chassis makes the perfect partner for a low-floor box body or even a horse box conversion. Car transporter bodies and air compressor solutions are perfect for roadside repair firms.

One business converted a Volkswagen Crafter into a mobile events and meeting space

Conversions you can depend on

So, what’s the benefit of choosing Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as your first port of call for a converted van? It starts with simplicity. “We offer a one-stop shop,” says Nick. “You liaise with one person at the Van Centre and get a fully finished conversion delivered, as if it came straight from Volkswagen’s factory. We take care of everything, which offers real peace of mind whether you're a fast-moving small business or a fleet manger with a 500+ standard-fit vehicles.”

As it’s one invoice, a conversion can be funded through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Financial Services. Equally, as they recognise the long-term value conversions can add to the vehicle, they’re able to offer competitive finance packages*.

The second benefit is quality. “We hand-pick our Recognised Converters who are all highly regarded in their own right,” says Nick. “They’re experts within their industry at crafting conversions and can deal with low volume orders for small businesses, as well as fleets of hundreds of vehicles.”

“They’ve all gone through a rigorous auditing and vetting process and have signed up to a comprehensive and demanding set of standards for design, build and quality control. This means we can guarantee any conversion is built in-line with our factory guidelines for the vehicle, the three-year warranty will be intact, and we can quickly resolve problems through the Van Centre network and keep your business moving if anything does go wrong. After all, it’s still a Volkswagen badge on the front.”

Volkswagen passenger carriers of all sizes can be converted for disable passengers or VIPs

Finally, there’s innovation. “Because the converters work closely with us, we’re now developing hydraulic cranes, ramps and doors that are fully integrated with the vehicle controls,” says Nick. “We’ve got refrigerated vehicles which don’t need a secondary compressor, so we’re not adding weight and cost. We’re creating solutions that are better, more efficient, more reliable and safer.”

The possibilities seem endless. “We can take a large 17-seater Crafter passenger carrier and change the configuration to include plush seats and LED lighting for a premium minibus or add wheelchair access and removeable seats for a school or charity,” says Nick. “We even had a demolition company who dispose of hazardous materials on building sites. They needed a Crafter with a sealed hazardous materials storage section in conjunction with a welfare unit – providing a safe environment for a shower, a toilet, a sink and somewhere to eat lunch.”

So, while conversions – like vans – may come in many different forms and sizes, at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will work with you to find the right one for your business.

* Terms & Conditions apply. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Financial Services.

Find out more about Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles conversions at volkswagen-vans.co.uk

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