If you’re lugging your bike around to be fixed or transported during the wintry season, chances are you’ll need a big vehicle. Luckily, help is at hand if you’re trying to decide what to buy or rent to move your motorbike.
Our colleagues over at sister website Parkers.co.uk have anointed the best vans and pickups to transport bikes, bodies and other bulky items, with something for all requirements and budgets.
Parkers has launched its first New Car of the Year Awards and MCN has teamed up with them in the heavy-lifting department. The winning vans and trucks are choices that’ll laugh off the rigours of big loads, yet they won’t cost the earth to buy or run.
The Best Van of the Year is the Volkswagen Crafter, a new-from-the-ground-up large van that’ll swallow several bikes with ease. It’s notably easy to drive, even if you aren’t used to steering a commercial vehicle, and it’s comfortable whether you’re travelling to a circuit in a far-flung corner of Britain such as Anglesey and Knockhill, or nipping to the local bike dealership. Prices start at £23,920 +VAT.
The judges said: ‘The Crafter has plenty of load volume, but what really stands out is this large van’s ease of use - from the astonishingly undemanding driving experience to the exceptional cab environment, it seems like a genuine evolution of the breed.’
Two runners-up were also highly commended: The Ford Transit Custom (Britain’s best-selling van) and the Renault Kangoo ZE 33.
The Ford is the latest iteration of the evergreen Transit and offers great value and a colossal cargo bay, with prices from £22,600 +VAT, while the smaller Renault (£14,000 +VAT) is unusual in offering an electric powertrain - perfect if you want to transport your bike with a clean conscience. Renault claims an EV range of 170 miles on one charge; that fares much better than the 106 miles quoted by Nissan, Citroen and Peugeot rivals.
If you don’t need a closed-top van, you could consider one of the latest breed of pickups. Parkers named the new Nissan NP300 Navara the best truck of 2018, thanks to its car-like handling, powerful engines and strong towing power. Prices start at £24,480 and it has a one-tonne payload.
It beat off competition from the great-value Mitsubishi L200 (from £22,255) and VW Amarok (from £32,503), which offers a more premium feel if you can afford the steeper purchase price.
If you’re thinking of buying a new car or van, check out all the Parkers New Car of the Year Awards 2018 for more advice. They cover everything from the Best First Car to Best Cars for Sun-Seekers.
Have a browse for your next bike on MCN Bikes For Sale website or use the MCN's Bikes For Sale App.