There may have been more exciting vehicles on sale last year, but probably none more practical than the Ford Transit. That may be why, out of every vehicle on sale in the UK last year, it was the bestseller. In 2021 alone there were 53,394 bought or leased in the UK of the Transit and Transit Custom. The next bestselling vehicle was the Vauxhall Corsa at 40,914. That is a respectable number, but still more than 12,000 less than the Transit managed.
Should we be surprised?
The short answer is no, we shouldn’t. Ford Transits are a staple of our culture- in the same way drinking tea and mentioning the weather are. Since the First generation was released, over 8 million of them have been sold worldwide. You could get a Transit of your own back then for £560- which is £12,259 in today’s money whereas the cheapest new Transit is £27,945. A £15,686 price gulf.
There have been some developments in the Transit since then though, the new Transit Custom (the most similar to the original Transit) has a maximum payload of 1,474kg compared to the 1,120kg of the original and a power upgrade of 130hp from 44hp. When it comes to the larger van on offer, the original offered a 1,782kg max payload- compared the modern van’s offering of just over 2,400kg. There have been some interior changes too, with multimedia screens and safety features like pre-collision assist and a smartphone app. None of these were offered in the 1965 Transit.
There is something folkloric about the Transit, there is no other van with the same level of history or have the same stories attached. In 1972, the Metropolitan Police said that the Transit was ‘Britain’s Most Wanted Van’. There’s a double meaning to that, it was the van that most Britain’s wanted- as well as the police, but for legal reasons. In the same year, 95% of bank robberies involved a Ford Transit. That means Ford Transit owners of the time won’t be bothered by the price hike- either because they are now filthy rich or eating prison porridge.
It wasn’t just bank robbers though; the Transit has been used for all kinds of tradespeople. It has been converted into a milk float, a police van, a minibus and an ice cream van- as well as being the vehicle for transporting musical equipment and artists to gigs.
The token ‘white van man’ would not exist without the Transit. The purpose was not just cost-effective road rage though- oh no. We have to turn to the villas on the Mediterranean for the answer. As Transits often did not come with air-conditioning, the colour choice reflected the heat unlike other colours, to keep the occupants cool in transit… in their Transit.
As mentioned in previous articles, the only reason for the Ford Transit having its final sale can only mean the end of the world- and with the E-Transit coming later this year, the Ford is aiming to avoid just that.
If you are thinking of making your way into the world of Transit, or just updating to a newer model, then get in touch with us at Van Monkey and we can discuss the best options on offer to you.
As always, thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you soon!