Here we salute the winners of the 2022 Trade Van Driver Awards which, since their launch 10 years
ago, have become the Oscars of the trade van sector. Much consideration has been given to who
wins our awards among the panel of judges, so the winners can be assured that they truly are the
creme de la creme in their various sectors.
Trade Van Driver is the only magazine which caters for the owner-driver and small fleet operator
and as such, its awards are different from others as they are judged not only by the expert panel of
journalists at the magazine but also by a panel of readers who use light commercial vehicles as part
of their businesses.
VAN OF THE YEAR – VOLKSWAGEN CADDY
The new version of the Caddy that was launched last year features smart fresh looks, frugal engines
and a stunning array of technology under the metal. Our judges were amazed by how good this van
was to drive and how many safety features were included in the standard price. A worthy winner
indeed, they concluded.
BEST LARGE VAN – MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER
Drive down any motorway in Britain and likely you’ll spot a large number of Sprinters – mainly long
wheelbase high roof variants – pounding the length and breadth of the country doing valuable work.
With a three-pointed star guaranteeing solid engineering and reliable service, the Sprinter is once
again crowned king of the 3.5-tonners.
BEST MEDIUM VAN – FORD TRANSIT CUSTOM
After bursting onto the market back in 2014 the Transit Custom took the LCV world by storm and is
now Britain’s best-selling van. The judges could well see why – it looks great, drives as well as any
luxury car and is available in enough guises to suit most traders’ tastes. A win for the Custom for the
second year running.
BEST SMALL VAN – CITROEN BERLINGO/PEUGEOT PARTNER
Back in the 1990s these were the first small LCVs to be built as a van from the nuts and bolts
upwards. All the rivals were commercial vehicle versions of cars. Since then the Berlingo and its twin
brother the Partner have been consistently updated to keep ahead of the rest and today these twins
are the choice of many traders.
Trade Van Driver AWARDS
BEST WORKHORSE PICKUP – ISUZU D-MAX
Can any 4×4 truck beat Isuzu to this title? The judges think not, as the D-Max wins the award for
a staggering tenth time. In fact it has won the trophy every year since the Trade Van Driver Awards
started. It’s rugged and well built yet won’t break the bank buying it. The judges felt the D-Max ticks
just about every box for the cost-conscious trader.
BEST LIFESTYLE PICKUP – FORD RANGER
Once again the Ranger lifts this title. It’s the best selling 4×4 truck in Britain at present and it’s easy
to see why. The Ranger has chunky macho looks, comes in a huge variety of variants and will tackle
the roughest terrain with aplomb. The judges felt the Ranger is must-have vehicle for any discerning
trader needing a 4×4.
BEST ALTERNATIVE FUEL LIGHT VEHICLE – FORD E-TRANSIT
Britain’s traders are going to have to use alternatively-fuelled vehicles soon whether they like it or not.
So what better vehicle to choose to dip a toe in the water than the tried and trusted Ford Transit?
It’s been Britain’s best selling van since the year dot, it seems, and buyers of the electric version know
they have a rock solid vehicle and guaranteed back-up from the huge Ford dealership network.
BEST ALTERNATIVE FUEL HEAVY VEHICLE – RENAULT TRUCKS MASTER RED EDITION E-Tech
Renault Trucks has invested huge amounts of money to make sure its electric offerings continue to
be ahead of the pack. The judges immediately saw this and concluded that the Master Red Edition
E-Tech was the one they would choose if buying an alternative fuel vehicle in this sector.
BEST BUILDERS’ TRUCK – ISUZU TRUCKS GRAFTER
Builders’ trucks take an enormous amount of punishment in their lives, so anyone buying into this
sector needs to know that the vehicle they choose is tough enough for the job. Once again, the
judges felt that the Grafter ticked all the boxes here. The Grafter is a truck which will go on for years
without a murmur, even in the toughest of climates.
BEST VEHICLE 3.5-7.5 TONNES – IVECO DAILY
The judges felt that once again, no contender in this sector came anywhere near the Iveco Daily.
Built on a rugged ladder-frame chassis and bursting with Tonka-toy-like strength, the Daily is tough
enough for any job at the heavy end of the market.
BEST CONVERSION RANGE – CITROEN
Many traders need special conversions for their particular needs and Citroen ticks most of the boxes
here, whether it’s a tipper, a car transporter or a fridge van. The judges felt that Citroen pipped the
other manufacturers with its low pricing, quality workmanship from its partners and a single guarantee
for the converted vehicles if anything goes wrong.
BEST TRADE VAN RANGE – VOLKSWAGEN
While the German manufacturer does not offer the cheapest vans, the judges felt its products shine
out like a beacon as being well-crafted, reliable and holding the best residual values of any maker.
Volkswagen’s vans are prized by traders for their all-round quality and are guaranteed to put a big
smile on the face of anyone who drives them.
BEST ACCESSORY PROVIDER – FLEETSHIELD
Fleetshield wins this award for the second year running. Whatever traders need doing to customise
their vans, Fleetshield is likely to have the answer. Fleetshield offers solutions for racking, storage,
lighting, power, livery, health and safety and security – and all work is guaranteed to be first class.
Such diversity makes Fleetshield a worthy winner of this award.