Panel van

A van is a structural variant of commercial vehicles with a on all sides firmly enclosed cargo space. Vans are often used as delivery vehicles.

Historically, the van one of the oldest standard constructions of the horse-drawn carriage to the motor-driven vehicle represents the body of the box-shaped structure forms as opposed to the box body, which is mounted on the vehicle frame as a separate entity, a structural unit with the cab or the driver's workplace. The cargo space is still mostly separated by a floor to ceiling or half-height partition or grid of the cab.

Often vans versions of cars, so car without rear side glass panels but with a paneling, also referred to as " van " (analogous to the different variants of vans, " van ", " double cab ", "combination " (for the passenger transport ) ).

Vans are treated in Germany for tax purposes regardless of its size and gross vehicle weight as trucks and therefore taxed according to the payload and not engine size.

Since about the beginning of 1990 include in the definition of van and motorhomes on the basis of fitted vans to this genus. The diversity of the base vehicles hardly knows there limits. These vehicles are now due to their automotive usability a significant part of the total leisure vehicle fleet represents and from year to year more and more popular.

Vans as trucks and vans

Until the 1970s panel van in building trucks were particularly widespread as moving vans, but disappeared in favor of the separate box bodies largely with the advent tiltable truck cabs, because tilting together with the firmly anchored box would not be possible.

For vans vans are very common, and it also gives the above mentioned built separately Van bodies for the larger vans. Minibuses, vans, and flatbed are developed by vehicle manufacturers mostly on the same chassis ( see VW Transporter ).

Van as vans: Ford Transit

Passenger car with box body

In the passenger car range, there was a precursor of the high-roof station wagon, a new class of vehicle: passenger car with box body, such as the Kastenente. These vans, the box was placed even in the classical sense, the protruded mostly in width, but always in the height above the roof of the driver's seats. The body thus deviates significantly from the production car from - unlike car - van.

The vans also colloquially dog catcher mentioned as dedicated body version often with its own model of sales description provided (such as the Opel Corsa van as " Opel Combo" ). They are not only vans, but also as a five-seater available with side windows in the box body, but also because without side door. For these models, the type of vehicle the high roof station wagons, in the optic form " cab " and a box unit developed.

Motorhome in the form of van

The first motorhomes emerged in the 1950s based on the VW bus, the prototype of the van. With the Westfalia camping box one of the first interior design was created for standard pickup truck. In contrast to later interiors, this could still be removed with little effort from the vehicle and remained fully functional. In the 1970s, then became a residential facility Equipped with vans who possessed additionally also sanitary facilities including toilet and shower, referred to as a motorhome. These vehicles are to this day - more is available on vans - into production. They offer more comfort and are usually more economical than larger RVs, but the living room is smaller and the comfort of living is lower because he is limited to the dimensions of the standard van. Increasingly, the term van as type ( actually type ) viewed the campers. Advantage is the high practicality of vehicles disadvantage is the high price through the elaborate expansion in relation to the size of the vehicle.

Modern vans have usually either a fixed high roof or through a pop-up roof (also referred to as pop-top ) to ensure in prior operating headroom. This serves not only the comfort, but is also required for the tax classification as a camper. On some models under this umbrella one to two beds can be set up.


Citroën Acadiane - on the basis of Dyane

Citroën C15 - based on the Citroën Visa

Fiat Fiorino I - based on the Fiat 127

Ford Courier - based on the Ford Fiesta

Ford ( Escort ) Express - based on the Ford Escort

Opel Combo A - based on the Opel Kadett E

Opel Combo B - based on the Opel Corsa B

Renault R4 F4 / F6 - based on the R4

Renault Rapid - based on the R5

Seat Inca - on the basis of the Seat Ibiza / Cordoba

Seat Terra - based on the Seat Marbella

Simca 1100 VF2/Citylaster / Talbot 1100 Talbot Matra City - vice and Rancho - based on the Simca 1100

VW Caddy 9KV - identical to the Seat Inca


The terms vans, panel vans and vans there is no exact definition. The following overview shows the use and overlap - specifically, that the term " van " is used in two ways.

  • Of motor vehicle
  • Car body style / class
  • Building form
  • Use
  • Commercial vehicle
  • Van