The lifeline to your Locksmith business is your Locksmith vehicle. Whether you already are or are planning to be a fully mobile Locksmith or maybe you have a shop space set up, when it comes down to it, you’re going to need a variety of tools and stock on board. Now every Locksmith is different, with different service areas, customer needs, services offered and general preference this means that not one vehicle is going to fit everyone. So, we have done the hard work for you to pick the top 3 vehicles to have for a Locksmith business, and what you should consider when purchasing your own Locksmith vehicle.
Does Size Matter?
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Locksmith van, is a van the size of England that holds every single lock imaginable. This may suit a lot of Locksmiths, but for others it may be completely impractical. Ultimately, the size of vehicle that you are going to need or want will come down to general preference and what services you’re going to offer. Yes, you are going to need a big enough vehicle to fit stock and tools, so a van of some sort is always suggested but this doesn’t mean you need to have the biggest one on the market.
Factors to Consider
Before you dive headfirst into buying your Locksmith Van, you should take the time to consider a few things that not only will help you find something that is perfect for you and your business but that might also save you a few pretty pennies.
Your Locksmith Services
Locksmith services are a general term that can mean lots of things. Services ranging from gaining entry, to emergency boarding up to car key reprogramming all come under Locksmith services, but this doesn’t mean that you will provide all of them. The types of services that you are looking to offer with define what type of vehicle you will need and the space you will need to complete those jobs. For example, if you are looking to provide a key cutting service whilst out and about, you might need to consider a bigger vehicle to accommodate a key cutting machine, whereas if you weren’t looking to provide this service a smaller vehicle might suit you better.
Your Customer Needs
You might find that most of your customers are after emergency services such as responses to lock outs, there may not be many customers who are looking for master key systems. The demand of your customers is going to decide what services you need to be more prepared for and what tool and stock you will need to carry on board. This could mean that you need to carry more or less stock depending on your most common stock and there is little value in carting around in a huge van with lots of stock and tools that you don’t need.
Are You Completely Mobile?
Some Locksmiths operate straight out of their vans, or their van caves as they are often referred, some have a base to go back to. How you are planning to operate will affect the size of van that you will need. If you are planning to be completely mobile then you might want to consider a van that is big enough for you to stand up in, whereas if you plan to also have a Locksmith shop then you might only need a compact van for which to carry a basic set of tools and stock. Whichever avenue you choose will determine which van you should consider purchasing.
You might have the idea in your head that you plan to transform a standard van in a Locksmiths dream, with wall storage, key cutting machines and even a work bench and if you have the budget to do it why not. So, you might want a bigger van which you can walk around in. However, if the thought of having to drive around a 2 tonne van daunts you, a smaller, sporter version might be better suited. At the end of the day, this is going to be your livelihood and you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this vehicle, why not be comfortable.
Vehicle Must Haves
Although the make, model and size of your Locksmith vehicle will change depending on what you want, there are a few must haves that we would always recommend having.
Side Sliding Door
This might seem like a silly one to start with but trust us it will make a huge difference. If you go for a van with only rear access, then every time you need something nearer the front you are going to have to climb in and root around. Having side door access is such a convenience that you will curse yourself if you don’t have it. Easy access to different parts of the van and the stock that it holds changes the game, not only for your ease but also makes things a little bit quicker for customers.
Whether you like it or not, your Locksmith van is going to see a lot of miles and you don’t want to hike up your costs because your van doesn’t have great miles to the gallon. Consider getting a van that is as fuel efficient as can be, even if it’s at a slightly higher cost. The money that you could potentially waste by getting a less efficient model or vehicle greatly outweighs the initial cost of the more efficient vehicle.
Space for Storage
We have already discussed how the different jobs that you might do can affect what size, make, and model vehicle you need, however what is vital no matter what storage is. Having efficient storage that allows you to organise your van and what stock you carry allows you not only quick access to your stock but also helps make your jobs more efficient.
The Top 3 Vehicles to Have as a Locksmith
We have done our research and we have found the 3 most popular vans that Locksmiths use and what we would suggest anyone to look into if they were thinking of buying a Locksmith van. The below vehicle all hold different benefits but all have the must haves that we previously mentioned.
A full size Ford transit is what most people imagine a van to be, even a gearhead will be able to point out one of these on the street. With impressive size, room for an obscene amount of storage and great efficient, it’s no wonder that the popularity of the Ford Transit is still alive.
One of the major selling points of the Ford Transit is the storage configurations that can be installed within. In the larger models, a full workbench and a key cutting machine could be installed whilst also providing large surface areas for different storage solutions. Likewise, even the smaller models offer vast storage compared to other competing vehicles.
The Ford Transit itself comes in many different models and shapes to suit the need of pretty much anyone. The Transit offers customisability on another level with front, rear or even four wheel drive formats available for superior carrying ability. The transit has one of the most advanced ESC stability controls systems ever seen within a van, making the Transit not only a safe drive but an easy one.
Overall, the transit is any tradespersons dream for transport and with different models available there is no one model that comes out on top as they all hold their own benefits.
Nissan NV® Cargo
Now the shape of this van may not be the most common, but the more rectangular design offers more height but in the more compact format and what is really special about this van is that Nissan actually market this one for Locksmiths and show the possible configurations for tradespeople.
With the increased height compared to other models, such as the Nissan NV 200, there is enough room in the back to stand and work or even create a unique storage solution with a work bench. The Nissan NV Cargo offers over 323 cubic feet of cargo space with an impressive 1,605 kg payload.
The biggest selling point of this van is that it has been designed with Locksmiths specifically in mind, trying to offer the most convenience to the unique needs of most Locksmiths which is evident in the rear doors which open 243o to give more space for working. The van itself (when bought new) can be made with custom configurations inside, where a Locksmith can choose from the Locksmith Starter Package; which features storage, draws and a work desk, Tool Storage; with optimum storage for tools, stock and equipment and lastly custom shelving; which offers a storage solution that can be tailored specifically to any needs.
Overall, this van offers something for everyone. Not quite full sized, not quite compact but the best of both.
Nissan NV 200
With 3 different specifications, Visia, Acenta and Tekna, the Nissan NV 200 looks compact from the outside but has a lot of bang for its buck storage wise. Two Euro 6 diesel Renault engines sit under the hood, making this van not only quick but economical too.
Don’t let its smaller statue fool you, behind the sliding door and rear access sits 4.2 cubic meters of volume and a 739kg payload. So if you are still looking for the storage, but are not a fan of driving a full sized van, this might be the solution for you.
Inside you can customise storage solutions to ensure that you maximise the efficiency of the back to your needs, and with some Tetris style storage you may even get a machine or two in here.
The only possible downside is that with the compact size, the height of the van isn’t as tall as getting into the van will be more difficult, however Nissan do report that even the tallest person should be able to sit in the drivers seat quite comfortably.
Overall, for a compact but spacious van this is the perfect choice for those looking for something a little bit smaller without compromising the storage opportunities.