The Transit Custom burst onto the scene in December 2012 as the most crucial component in Ford’s overhaul of its LCV line-up.

Its impact on the market could barely be overestimated as the model was met with a chorus of critical acclaim and rapidly became the best-selling van in the UK – racking up 10,000 sales within its first 12 months when its predecessor was still on runout. Last year, sales topped the 50,000 mark.

Ford introduced the Custom name to draw a clear line between its sleek new medium van and its distinctly less photogenic big brother: the new full-size Transit.

We were so impressed with the Custom we crowned it our LCV of the Year for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014, making it the first model to achieve such a feat.

The Custom brought unprecedented style to the medium van segment and combined it with the substance of class-leading driveability and innovative, practical load-lugging solutions that will serve used customers well, just as they have first-time buyers.

Due to its winning looks, a second-hand Transit Custom is a van small business owners and sole traders will be happy to have parked outside their houses safe in the knowledge that it’s a capable workhorse too.

The short-wheelbase model can take three euro pallets with a one-metre high load and second users will also enjoy the benefits of features that broke new ground when new.

One such feature is the integrated roof rack that drops seamlessly into the van’s roof when not in use. Three transverse bars are located in the recesses of the roof, saving the hassle of fitting and removing a rack, or saving money through the greater fuel efficiency and reduced drag of not having an unused roof rack fitted to the van.

The now much copied load-through facility in the Custom’s bulkhead is a clever answer to when operators are required to carry longer loads, such as piping or ladders. A hinged panel at the foot of the bulkhead opens up, extending the van’s load length by almost half a metre to 3.0m in the SWB or 3.4m in the LWB by running into a loadspace under the dual passenger seat.

The most car-like interior in the sector, together with reach and height adjustment for the steering wheel and extra setting options for the driver’s  seat will add to the Custom’s appeal to used van buyers.

Ford is to introduce a facelifted Transit Custom next year, having already made some tweaks in 2016 when it introduced 2.0-litre Euro6 engines to replace the 2.2 drivetrains fitted at launch with outputs of 100hp, 125hp and 155hp, but in the meantime the original is making its presence felt on the used market.

This is what Andy Picton, Glass’s commercial vehicle editor, says about it: “The Transit Custom has been available since 2013 and is seen as good value for money in the used market. Available in four trim levels – Base, Trend, Limited and Sport – two lengths, two heights and with numerous power outputs, there is literally something for everyone regardless of budget. The dealer network is good from a support point of view and parts are competitively priced. Residually, values are strong with lots of demand for the nicest examples.”

Highly Commended: Citroen Berlingo

Citroen launched a facelifted version of its big-selling light van in 2015 with Euro6 VTi 95 petrol and Blue HDi 100hp and 120hp diesel powertrains. The van was previously marketed with Euro5 HDi 75hp and 90hp diesel engines.

The Berlingo comes in two lengths, three trim levels, with XTR+ enhanced traction, and as an electric van, a crew van and a platform cab. It is also up for grabs with stop/start, manual five- and six-speed gearboxes, and Citroen’s ETG6 semi-auto transmission.

The greenest version is the BlueHDi 100 S&S ETG6 L1 625 LX model with official fuel consumption of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 109g/km. This betters the most economical pre-facelift Berlingo, which returned an already frugal 62.8mpg and 118g/km of CO2.

According to Andy Picton, Glass’s commercial vehicle editor, the higher-specification Enterprise trim is the one used buyers want, especially in a metallic colour. “Bearing in mind its competitive list price, used values hold up remarkably well,” says Picton.

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