Have you ever heard of a sprinter van? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. While this vehicle type has a lot to offer, it remains a well-kept secret for the most part.
Sprinter vans first came on the scene in 1995 in Germany when Mercedes-Benz designed them to replace an older T1N van that hadn’t been redesigned since 1977. That same year, the sprinter van won the “International Van of the Year” award.
A sprinter van comes in the following three different varieties:
- Cargo (non-passenger)
- Crew (passenger)
The passenger van can fit up to 15 people with four or five rows of seats, while the crew van has two rows of seats that fit up to six people. The rest of the room in the crew van is left open for items you need to transport.
As it becomes more important to minimize exposure to germs, sprinters are the perfect vehicle for group travel. Fewer passengers means fewer germs, and their size makes them ideal for economic travel. Here are some other fascinating attributes of the world’s most underrated van type:
1. Sprinter vans are a favorite for camper conversions
The variety of sizes that sprinter vans come in makes them ideal for camper conversions. It’s been 25 years since sprinter vans were first introduced, which means that there are lots of them out there to look at if you’re purchasing one to convert.
Why would someone want to convert a sprinter van? The answers to this are easy to see: they’re super portable, they’re small (yet still capable of fitting your things), and they are economical. Camper conversion sprinter vans offer the perfect way to travel the country from the safety and security of your own “home on wheels.”
There are a couple of ways to get a sprinter van with a camper conversion, it all depends on your carpentry and design skills. If you, like me, have very few skills in that area, you might want to consider purchasing an already converted sprinter van.
It’s pretty easy to find a variety of designs and layouts to meet your needs. Most have a modified sleeping area and they usually maximize the space as much as possible. You can get a sprinter van with a sink and two burners, or even a sprinter van with a mini fridge.
Personal anecdote time: my friend built a camper conversion from a sprinter van and made a table where the top part of the table was removable for storage inside underneath the flat surface. Sprinter vans turned into camper vans are awesome if you are itching to hit the road.
2. Sprinter vans make great employee shuttles
Sprinter vans are the perfect size if you’d like to offer an employee shuttle to your workers. Before COVID-19, nobody really liked using mass transportation and being shoved up against other people. Now, even more than before, your employees really don’t want to be cramped into public transport.
Choosing to provide employee shuttles offers you, the employer, many benefits. For one thing, the Federal Tax code provides tax benefits to employers who choose to offer a commuter benefits plan to their employees.
Additionally, a sprinter van is going to cost less than a minibus or a larger vehicle as a shuttle. If you are a smaller company, you’re probably interested in a more budget-friendly option. Sprinter vans would allow you to provide a coveted employee benefit while keeping your costs low.
Another bonus to selecting a sprinter van for your employee shuttle program is that the vehicle reduces both your and your employees’ carbon footprint. What’s not to love about keeping your people safe while also doing good for the environment?
3. Sprinter vans are a smart option for travel in the time of COVID
So much has changed in the world since January 2020. Who’d have guessed that six months into the year, there would still be regulations around wearing masks in public or keeping stores at 50% capacity if they are open? It truly seems as if the landscape of the world has been changed. As people resume traveling, staying in small groups may become the norm and preferred mode of transportation.
When you plan a trip, whether it’s for employee training or for a bachelorette party, a sprinter van might be a perfect option. If you have an A team and a B team for work schedules, you can transport them easily, in different vehicles. Same goes for transporting people from a church to the wedding venue.
Sprinter vans can help keep groups of folks happily and comfortably socially distanced. They’re cozy, comfortable, and most importantly, you can use them to keep people safely grouped.
4. Sprinter vans are easy on the environment
We all know that vehicle emissions can add to damaging the environment, especially if they are older vehicles or vehicles that output large amounts of emissions.
Sprinter vans sidestep this problem easily. They meet the rigorous EU VI emissions standards and have even been awarded the top spot of the Green Van environmental ranking. Because Mercedes-Benz is committed to the environment, they even developed an electronic model that came onto the market in 2019.
Whether the model you use is an electronic one or a standard one, you can rest assured that the sprinter van is taking less of a toll on the environment.
5. Thanks to their small size, sprinter vans can navigate narrow city streets
When you’re headed to a museum or an event downtown, you don’t want to have to worry about parking or having a vehicle that requires slow angling to get down narrow, tight, one way roads. A sprinter van is the optimal choice for group transportation that is taking you to a city location. Some of those challenging maneuvers can eat up valuable time at your event that is better spent enjoying your trip.
Sprinter vans sidestep this problem completely because they are so small and easy to handle.
This smallness also means that they’re very economical, and the latest sprinter vans demonstrate that economical doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable or that you scrimp on amenities.
The versatility of sprinter van models means that sprinter vans allow you to travel and transport luggage or medium-sized items as needed. If you’re presenting at a conference, you can store your gear in the back. For some, this means that a sprinter van would be a better option over a minibus, which comes with no added storage.