Battle of the vans.

New van launches from some of the biggest commercial vehicle manufacturers have sparked rivalry. Apart from 2006, more new vans have been launched to market this year than ever. Have they suddenly all taken to taking advantage of the British economy?

During 2014, each of the big van companies has launched their own new or updated models. With original products from Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Renault, Iveco, Peugeot, Fiat and Vauxhall, rivalries have formed amongst the giants of the auto world.

With an all-new redesign and re-launch of the Citroën 2007 Relay, seriously big numbers are expected in the UK sales charts. Up against the Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer, the Relay is the perfect alternative to the Ford Transit with a host of unexpected features. This refresh of the original model sees a new chevron-designed grille, added large high-mounted headlights and multi-piece bumper with shock-absorbent mountings to minimise damage and repair costs. With prices starting at around £19,500 excluding VAT, the Relay incorporates the familiar Citroën comfort and functionality. It is available with up to ten in-cab storage areas; including various open or lidded compartments as well as the glovebox, a dash-mounted document clip and additional pockets, space beneath the passenger seat and a huge 22-litre overhead storage compartment.

The quality of storage and bodywork has also improved in comparison to its original. Everything is reinforced: there are new higher strength door hinges and reinforced rails, runners and door locks. Durability is an obvious key target in Citroën’s quest to build the ultimate utility vehicle.

The Citroën Relay isn’t going to be your first choice when choosing a large van but it should be. As Ford lowers the size of its iconic Transit, lowering its operating costs and unleashing a reliable baby van into the market, their competitors fight back. With decades of experience in the industry, each of these giants stand for different principles; whether it quality, value, reliability or durability. We often see a consumer stay with the same make when they update their current vehicle, sticking to something they know – unable to try something different and instead search for a model which will truly fulfil their needs. Brand image is monumental.

The next time you decide to update your existing commercial vehicle, look at the pros and cons. Consider its use and payload. Is it a good deal that you’re after in the short term or the long term? Don’t measure its success through its sales – most new vans exceed sales targets within the first few months but dwindle once they reach the used-market. In some cases, buyers are willing to pay up to 9.5% more for a vehicle if a shiny Ford or Mercedes badge sits on the bonnet. Don’t let your bank account or your prejudice overweigh your options or you might just topple over.