Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Van vs. Car

Vans have been the longstanding choice of families looking to commute in comfort, but for a new vehicle buyer, a perennial question still looms large: car, or van? There are pros and cons to each choice, and in this article, we will put on our gloves and pit the two contestants in a battle of van v/s car.


There is little competition here: a van wins hands down in terms of space. Vans are designed to carry a lot of people and cargo. Cars are, by definition, smaller, designed for carrying lesser loads and smaller families. If space is a huge concern, you won't go wrong by picking a van.

Winner: Van

Power & Speed

Vans are bulkier, heavier, but usually pack a powerful engine to lug the heavy loads they often carry. Cars are lighter, more nimble, and more importantly, have a much better power to weight ratio. If power and speed are two concerns, your choice should automatically be a car.

Vans are designed for families, however, where speed and power are not major concerns. For this reason, if you have a large family, you might want to consider a van over a car, despite the poorer power transmission and heavier weight.

Winner: Car


Vans are large, and spacious with oodles of legroom. Cars are smaller and cramped for comfort. On this scale, there is a clear winner: vans. You'll travel in more comfort, have more space to carry all your nicks and knacks if you buy a van.

Winner: Van

Fuel Efficiency

More weight and a bulkier body means a van consumes much more fuel than a car. Because cars are lighter and often have engines as small as 1.2 litres, they consume much less fuel. If fuel efficiency is a major concern, we'd suggest that you go with a car.

Winner: Car

Insurance Costs

You can register a van as a social, domestic or pleasure vehicle, just like a car. Thus, there is theoretically no difference in the insurance costs of a van over a car. However, it has been found in our experience that younger drivers usually get charged more for insuring a van than a car. For younger owners, a car is recommended over a van. But if you have a family, you'll find no favours with the insurance company if you have a van or a car.

Winner: Tie


Let's face it: vans are sluggish beasts of burden. Cars are slicker, slimmer and more stylish. If you care about style, you should look no further than a car.

Winner: Car


A car and a van are meant for different users. Vans are designed for older consumers who value space, comfort and luxury over speed, style or fuel efficiency. Cars cater to younger users with a penchant for driving in style.x

Based on our overall criteria, we would recommend a car over a van. It offers better fuel efficiency, better speed and power, and more style. Insurance costs for both vehicles are almost always the same, with cars edging out in some cases.

Overall winner: Car.

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