As with any new vehicle purchase, whenever you’re buying a new fridge or freezer van, one of the most important considerations you’re always going to have will be cost. And as you might expect, due to their specialist nature refrigerated vans tend to cost more than regular business vehicles, so it’s important to do your homework well in advance.
So, if you’re asking “how much does a refrigerated van cost”, it’s difficult to put an exact figure on that, because it depends on a number of factors including what your cargo is, the nature of your business and what you need the van to do. Here, we’ve summed up some of the most vital aspects of your prospective new fridge van you’ll need to consider, all of which have an effect on its cost.
Naturally, the size of the refrigerated van is going to be one of the most direct influences on its price. As you might expect, bigger fridge vans will cost more than smaller light commercial vehicles, so it comes down to a trade-off between price and capacity. While the smaller, lighter fridge vans are cheaper, the bigger capacity of larger vans often means you’ll be making fewer journeys with them, saving you fuel money in the long run – even though they require a bigger up-front investment. With that in mind, it’s not the sort of thing you can make a snap decision on!
The manufacturer of the van can also sometimes factor in, with the more prestigious models commanding a higher initial cost. However, it’s important to remember that once again, you do feel the benefit of that investment in the long run – in terms of fuel economy, in-car technology and driver comfort. For this reason, again it depends on what you need the van to do, and where it fits into your existing fleet.
If you read our recent post on how to convert a van into a refrigerated van, you’ll already know about the various types of insulation, but we’ll recap them quickly here just in case. Insulation is one of the most pivotal components of a fridge or freezer van, just as important as the active cooling system. The standard type of insulation in most freezer vans is a polymer foam, and the thicker this polymer foam is, the more it costs. This is partially why freezer vans typically cost more than fridge vans – it’s not really a question of the power involved, but more of the thickness of the insulation. Once again, it’s not something you can afford to cut back to the bare minimum – a van with insufficient insulation isn’t much use as a refrigerated van at all.
Most vans will use a standard evaporator to cool their interiors, constantly circulating coolant fluid which traps rising heat, releases it outside the van and then circles back again. There is an alternative system, which is known as eutectic cooling. This involves a block of frozen gel placed inside the van, which absorbs heat gradually, and then is frozen again overnight (using off-peak electricity). Eutectic is slightly cheaper than evaporator systems, but not always as practical, and therefore not the preferred option for many businesses.
Above all, the thing to remember about the price of a refrigerated van is that the cost will vary between different businesses according to their requirements – such as the cargo involved, the specs of the van, and what they’ll be using it for. Therefore, it’s a good idea to try and avoid snap decisions based on a price that someone else secured – as you might not find it suitable for yours! You can always ask the advice of our specialists right here at CoolKit, by giving our sales hotline a call on 0808 274 8370, or take a look at one of our bespoke fridge van conversions.