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Is there an alternative to diesel vans to avoid the diesel penalties in the UK/EU?

My son is a mountain biker and is wishing to convert a commercial van to sleep in and service his bike whilst visiting courses around Europe. He is looking at a long wheel base, super high roof 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 312 2.1-litre. Is this a good choice for his intended use? Secondly, given the way diesels have become targeted as polluters, should he avoid diesel vans for private use? I am worried that the UK and EU will begin to penalise such vehicles in the near future pretty drastically. Any suggestions on alternative vans?

Asked on 7 April 2017 by MjR

Answered by Dan Powell
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit are both suitable for this type of use. I’d also add the Volkswagen Crafter and Iveco Daily to the list. A diesel should be the default choice if your son is planning to use the van for high mileage use. You’re right to be wary of diesels. The UK Government is considering a new tax on diesel fuel and major cities in Europe will probably charge drivers who don’t meet the latest EURO6 emission standards to enter. However, for large vans at least, there are not many non-diesel options. And if your son is planning to use it for mountain biking, he will probably not have to worry too much about city centre tariffs. Obviously, if your son is planning to spend money converting his van, he'll want to buy the best he can afford. That means low mileage, full service history and preferably one or two years old. For the top 10 large vans on sale right now, see: vans.honestjohn.co.uk/van-top-10s/top-10-large-use.../

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