Van of the Year 2021: Medium Van - Best Value for Ownership Costs

The cult popularity of the VW Transporter doesn't just make you feel good, it means that it's a doddle to sell on, boosting residual values well beyond that of the opposition...

 Van Awards 2021 - Medium Van - Best Value for Ownership Costs (new logo)

WINNER: Medium Van - Best Value for Ownership Costs

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1

Priced from £20,310  MPG 34.4-48.7mpg CO2 emissions 156-216g/km Load space 5.8-6.7m3 Payload 913kg Power 84-200bhp Torque 162-331lb ft

When you buy a Volkswagen Transporter, you don’t just get a van; you get a lifestyle, and with it an associated image, such is the cult following they have.

So while the Transporter stands out for all sorts of rational reasons we’ll come on to, one of its greatest calling cards is the unquantifiable coolness it bestows, something that reaps dividends come resale time and which helps keep ownership costs low.

Volkswagen Transporter front end

That’s important, because the Transporter isn’t the cheapest van to buy, lease or own. Although entry-level models cost less than rivals from the likes of Ford and Mercedes, Transporter prices quickly go up as you start to spec it out, at which point it becomes one of the most expensive vans on the market.

Ownership costs are also on the high side, with both parts and labour costs coming in way above those for vans from Ford, Vauxhall and even Mercedes. Be warned: losing a door mirror will be a costly exercise.

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 2020 RHD front tracking

But we have to return to the opening point, because that initial investment will retain its value like no other. The residual values for the Transporter are truly remarkable, either as a new or used purchase, and in our calculations, that initial investment always pays back better than is the case with any of its rivals, no matter how many miles you drive or how many years you run it for. That’s also why the Transporter is highly competitive to lease as well as buy outright.

Add in the fact that the Transporter is powered by a range of engines that are all frugal for their power output – meaning that fuel costs should be relatively low – and you have compelling reasons to choose this van if ownership costs are your priority.

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