There were 1.55 million searches for the Transit compared to 1.53 million for the Transporter. However, given that combined new sales of the medium and large-sized Transit outnumber those of the mid-sized Transporter by about four-to-one, online demand for each available Transporter was far higher than that for the Ford vans.

Rob Morphet, product director, Van Trader said: “Demand for used Transits and Transporters was double that for the third-placed (Mercedes) Sprinter during 2012. There is a feeling within the industry that a short-wheelbase Transit or Transporter is seen as a better buy for those small businesses and tradesmen seeking a used van and the number of searches reinforces that. Interestingly, with much higher levels of Transit stock available, there were four times as many people searching for every Transporter as Transit.”

The top 10 of most searched for vans was completed by the Vauxhall Vivaro, Mercedes Vito, Ford Transit Connect, VW Caddy, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Combo.