What Are the Different Types of Vans That Exist Today

The automotive industry as at an all time high with people constantly on the search for vans to covert, or that are already converted, to travel the country.

But not all vans are created equally. There are many types of vans, so which one is right for you?

In this article, we hit on the different van types so that you can decide which one!


We all know the classic minivan – soccer mom style, carrying around five kids in the back. If you’re looking for a van to own for personal uses as your main car, this is always a great option.

Minibus Van

A minibus van is a crossover between a van and a minibus. It’s meant to transfer people around like airport shuttles or taxis.


You’ve probably seen these on TV or around China and Japan if you live there or have ever traveled there. They are compact vans that look like they were smooshed a little.

You may even go as far to say that they are “kinda cute.”

They haven’t been exported to Europe or the U.S. since they don’t quite meet the safety feature requirements of those areas.

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Panel Van

Otherwise known as a cargo van, the panel van is what you see on the road carrying around deliveries. They are also the type of van that would deliver dry cleaning, that a cleaning service would drive around, or catering services.

They are also often used for transporting people (like a shuttle bus) or for smaller tour groups around cities.

Box Van

A box van is what a U-haul truck or UPS truck is. There is a separate driving area from the actual cargo area of the truck.

There is typically not access inside the bay of the truck except from the back since many have lifts to use for heavier objects.

Full-Size Van 

If you look around and see people traveling around living a nomadic lifestyle in their vans, they are most likely in a full-size van. A Ram Promaster van is an example of this type of van. Many full-size vans are used to convert into a camper van.

They have two doors in the front (driver and passenger), a sliding door, and two rear doors to access cargo. These vans also come in different roof sizes – low roof and high roof.

If you’re interested in seeing more about these full-size vans, see more here.

So Many Types of Vans: Which Is Right for You?

If you are looking to be in the industry of vehicle ownership, you need to look at all of the types of vans out there. With so many options, you’ll need to do your research to know which is the best van for you.

Now that you understand many different van types, you are ready for van ownership!

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