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The petrol vs diesel van debate has gone on for years, now add electric and hybrid engines into the mix and it doesn’t seem as simple a decision as it once was. With four main fuel types to choose from we know it’s not always a straightforward decision and that there’s lots to think about.

In this guide, we will examine the latest information on each fuel type, along with the pros and cons associated with them to help you make the right choice.


It’s fair to say that in the commercial van market place, the diesel engine still dominates, with around 75% of owners opting for this engine type. There have been attempts from manufacturers in recent years to launch petrol options in larger vans, but it’s proven to be a difficult task to compete against their diesel counterparts.

That said, there are plenty of petrol vans available, and actually, they are increasing in popularity within the small van category. Why? Because petrol vans have greater fuel efficiency for shorter distances and so it suits the driver looking to do shorter trips around towns and cities with less reliance on carrying heavy loads.

Some of the most popular choices today are:

Citroën Berlingo
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12 Deals Available

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VW Caddy Cargo
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11 Deals Available

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Peugeot Boxer
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per month + VAT

17 Deals Available

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When it comes to green credentials, petrol engines are seen to be more environmentally friendly than diesel with lower C02 emissions, but because they consume more fuel comparatively, most are not eligible for free operation in ultra-low emission areas.

Petrol vans are often a little cheaper to lease or buy, but we should point out that they also have lower residual value and this affects the chance of selling the van for the desired price when it’s time to move on to the next vehicle.

Petrol Pros

  • Vehicle choice - especially in the smaller van category
  • More environmentally friendly than diesel engines

Petrol Cons

  • Higher CO2 emissions than electric or hybrid vehicles.