Why Are Vans So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Bruce Coleman

Bruce Coleman is a diesel mechanic and car tester with 20 years of experience. He's a member of various vintage car clubs, and he loves restoring old motorbikes.

You see vans everywhere all the time. In the early morning making deliveries, at noontime carrying vacationers on the highway, and in the evening helping commuters get home.

With vans coming off as an all-around utilitarian vehicle for personal and professional use, you might be wondering why vans are so expensive. Here is what I found!

Why Are Vans So Expensive?

Vans are so expensive because vans are bigger than most cars, therefore giving drivers and passengers more space for movement. In spite of a van’s size, however, vans are typically economical to use and can hold their value well after several years. Moreover, vans are fully customizable and are in high demand today, which drives up the vans’ selling price.

In case you are interested to learn more about the many uses of vans and other factors like resale value, insurance cost, and shipping fees that make vans expensive, keep on reading!

1. Vans Require More Materials To Create

One of the leading reasons behind the expensiveness of vans is their size. While size is a van’s main advantage, it also means vans need more materials to assemble.

This applies not only to the van’s exterior, but also to its interior, which has to be fully upholstered and installed with more than the average number of seats.

Additionally, bigger vehicles like vans need more time, resources, and manpower to assemble, and all of these extra costs ramp up the selling price of vans.

2. Vans Are More Comfortable

Comfort is a huge factor when buying cars, and that is one of the primary benefits of getting a van. As you can imagine based on a van’s size, the van’s interior is incredibly spacious.

This is true not only for the passengers, but for the driver as well. With better leg room for everyone in the van, long car rides become less strenuous and more enjoyable.

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Ultimately, vans offer a level of comfort that are difficult for other cars to replicate, and this makes vans expensive.

3. Vans Can Be Multipurpose

Vans are ideal for both personal and professional use. Regardless if you are a start-up or a family of five, you will find vans to be a great investment.

Businesses often use vans of all sizes to make deliveries, transport employees, or create makeshift workshops. Meanwhile, families use vans for vacationing or moving houses.

Given the size and interior capacity of vans, they can provide exceptional versatility to everyone who owns it, and this is why vans can command higher prices.

4. Vans Offer Greater Security

Vans possess a structural design that makes them safer than most car models. Generally, the van’s length, width, and weight give the van an advantage in collisions.

Moreover, vans are known to be structurally rigid, which provides better and almost equal security for all its passengers.

Vans can also be outfitted with a wide array of advanced safety systems, and this can further drive up the prices of vans.

5. Vans Are Economical

5. Vans Are Economical

Contrary to popular belief, a car’s fuel economy does not decline the bigger the car gets.

When you consider the van’s size to its fuel needs, you will see that vans do not consume as much gas as you expect it to.

Additionally, vans give you the privilege of reducing the cars you will use on vacations and the rountrips you will make when making deliveries or moving houses.

Choosing an economical car is important to individuals and businesses, which is why manufacturers are confident about selling vans with hefty price tags.

6. Most Vans Can Hold Their Value

Granted, not all vans can hold their value well, but most vans are capable of commanding a high resale price because of their design and condition.

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With proper care, vans can remain in good driving condition years after your initial purchase. Nevertheless, it is crucial that you choose a van that is reputed for being sturdy and reliable.

Since your chances of getting a good return on your investment after maximizing your van for several years, manufacturers can sell their vans at more expensive rates.

7. Vans Can Outlast A Lot Of Cars

On average, most cars last for 200,000 miles or twelve years. In comparison, vans can extend up to 300,000 miles or fifteen years of service.

An additional three to four years is a big deal, especially when you consider the van’s cargo when used by businesses or by families who take regular trips.

A van’s longevity has a huge impact on its selling price, and with 300,000 miles to look forward to, it is understandable that vans are expensive.

8. Vans Come With Huge Tariffs

When you are buying a van that has been shipped from another country, expect that the van will incur dues that will further increase its selling price.

While tariffs can vary per country, the taxes imposed by governments will inevitably force you to shell out just a little more cash to secure the purchase.

If your government is known for having high tariffs, then that would explain why a van is significantly more expensive in your country than others.

9. Vans Are Fully Customizable

Unlike other cars that can only be repainted and reupholstered, vans can be made to look like a hotel, a bar, a wardrobe, or a combination of all three.

You will find customized vans to be common among celebrities and rich people who are always on the road for work or pleasure.

Given this opportunity to turn a van’s exterior and interior into anything you want, manufacturers have to sell their vans at a high price.

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10. Van Insurance Is Costly

Vans typically come with expensive insurance because of the van’s size and their powerful engines. Moreover, the van’s model and specifications can also drive up insurance costs.

While it is possible to find cheaper options, expect that these options can still cost more than what you used to pay for your smaller cars.

With insurance being integral and mandatory in most U.S. states, you will find that purchasing and maintaining a van can be more expensive than you bargained for.

11. Vans Are In High Demand

Vans have always been in high demand since vans are widely used by individuals and businesses in various industries.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the usefulness of owning a van, especially as more people open their own businesses or plan their own vacations.

With vans being in high demand, manufacturers can justify maintaining and increasing the prices of their vans.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why U-haul is so expensive, why Jeep Wranglers are so expensive, and why Tahoes are so expensive.


Vans are some of the most common and useful types of vehicles today, not only for businesses, but also for families and individuals.

Since vans are bigger, vans offer better comfort for drivers and passengers. Additionally, a van’s size and weight makes vans better equipped to survive collisions.

Vans are also fully customizable, which is one of the reasons vans are in such high demand today. All of these factors contribute to why vans can be so expensive.


  • Bruce Coleman

    Bruce Coleman is a diesel mechanic and car tester with 20 years of experience. He's a member of various vintage car clubs, and he loves restoring old motorbikes.

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