Display vans

rows of crach helmets inside of a display van

photo of John SebastionDisplay vans are one of the most cost effective and quantifiable promotion tools with which to place your new (or existing) products in front of, and more importantly in the hands of, your customers without having to persuade them to come to you.

“Put just as much effort into displaying your products as you have put into creating them”  John Sebastion


In a career that’s been a little longer than I care to admit I have often walked into situations where one member of a marketing team has been “sold” on the idea of running a display van whilst one or two of their colleagues have been less than enthusiastic.  Not, I must add through lack of interest on their part, but more through a lack of experience in roadshow activities. So it’s frequently a case of having to outline the practicalities and technicalities of a display van rather than the opportunities that they present.

Types and make of van to be recommended

So let’s look at the physical van first.  The obvious initial question is usually which make of van is the best.  Well the answer here is simple.  All vans, whatever their make, are good so I’m not going to recommend one over another.  In truth van manufacturers work together in different partnerships so look carefully and you’ll find that many different makes and brands of vehicle are in fact identical, except for the all-important badge on the grill!

So Ford, Peugeot, Fiat, Mercedes, VW and all the other makes too numerous to list here are more than acceptable for the task of roadshow and promotional activity.  So, when making a choice, you may wish to consider initial cost and resale value more than construction, performance, engine capacity etc.

What you do need to look at closely is the size and make the right choice for you.  If you are intending to display your products on the vehicle without the need to invite customers on board then one of the smaller vans may well suit your needs. BUT if you require a “walk in” approach then do look out for a high roof or extra high roof model which is often described in the technical blurb as H3 or H4.  These models give good headroom so that you and your clients can stand and walk around naturally and comfortably.

Whilst short wheel base models may well suit you, it is more common to be looking at longer wheelbase models which offer really spacious interiors so here we tend to look at recommending L3 and L4 models.

display van for stylish gift itemsNew or second hand?

Normally the choice between new and second hand is governed by the promotional budget you’re working with but at the time of writing this blog the availability of new vehicles is very hit and miss with many specific makes, models and sizes being on long lead times.  So at this moment in time we have many clients opting for second hand simply to allow them to get on with their marketing campaigns this year rather than delay 12 or even 24 months.

And perhaps here I should mention electric vehicles.  Many companies wish to go electric but with these especially lead times for new vans are quite staggering with the result being that going electric may just have to be put on hold for another time.

But can I drive them with my standard driving licence?

The assumption that staff don’t have a licence to drive a van is not uncommon and often a reason for scepticism about running a display van. But panic not. The vast majority of display vans are plated at 3500 kgs and this means all standard driving licence holders can drive them…but always check with what’s stated on your licence and with DVLA.

And here of course is the first major benefit of display vans…sales staff can drive them themselves incurring no additional labour costs over and above the sales team.  And believe me, the current range of vans available are as comfortable, well equipped and as easy (if not easier) to drive than a standard saloon car. You’re unlikely to meet objections to driving them!

log burner inside of a display vanYour products are rather heavy?

Yes, some of the clients we build for have rather weighty products, especially those manufacturing industrial equipment.  If this is the case then beefier display vans are available, the Iveco Daily being one I tend to recommend……. but there is a catch.  Going over the 3500 kgs plated weight means the van has to be fitted with a tachograph and the driver will require an appropriate licence if they passed their driving test after January 1991. Driving hours also apply.

If you’re in any doubt we can advise you on the best van for the job and the legal requirements that may apply.

technical instrument display inside of a roadshow display vehicle

Features, fitting and displays

We can transform the exterior and interior appearance of display vans whilst also adding valuable and practical features which can include:

Exterior features

Windows which can be tinted, fixed or opening

Wind out awnings (manual and electric)

Slide out entrance steps (manual and electric)

Roof mounted rotary ventilators

Roof mounted air conditioning units

Interior features

Insulated decorative wall panelling

Decorative flooring

Colour changing LED display lighting

Comfortable bench seating

Worktops and display walls

Display screens, Wi-Fi connectivity

Battery or generator power or land line connection

Hospitality facilities


Multi Vehicle Technology Ltd specialises in the design and conversion of bespoke van conversions and just as happy working on single vehicle projects whilst we have the capacity to undertake work for fleet operators.  For more information about our services why not give us a call on 0116 326 0989 or write to us at sales@multivehicletechnology.co.uk

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