Ford Transit vs Renault Trafic: Which one should you choose?

Written by Steve Cook

Published on

When it comes to choosing a commercial van, the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic are two strong contenders in the UK van market. Each one offers a unique set of features and design benefits that cater to a wide range of jobs and transportation needs.

In this detailed comparison, we'll look at the key aspects of both vans to help you make the right choice for you and your business.

Ford Transit vs Renault Trafic: Which one should you choose?

Quick comparison

The Ford Transit and Renault Trafic are both exceptional commercial vans. The Transit pulls ahead slightly in terms of driving experience and technology, while the Trafic offers competitive pricing, efficient engines and a good choice of configurations.

For tradespeople and businesses looking for advanced features and a smoother ride in their next van, the Transit is probably the top choice. If cost and cargo capacity are your most important factors, the Trafic is a strong contender.

Driving experience

The Ford Transit sets itself apart with its smooth and seamless driving experience. Its efficient Euro 6 engines and upgraded gearboxes result in a pleasant ride, while the optional 10-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel-drive models further elevates its performance on the road.

On the other hand, the Renault Trafic, although comfortable and easy to manoeuvre, may not provide the same level of refinement as the Transit. The Transit's advanced features, such as the mechanical limited-slip differential and all-wheel-drive option enhance traction and stability, making it a more versatile choice for a range of driving conditions.

Interior and technology

When it comes to the interior, the new Ford Transit has undergone significant updates, resulting in a more car-like and modern cabin. It boasts advanced tech, such as a 12" touchscreen digital display and the FordPass Connect modem, offering improved connectivity and security through its impressive Guard Mode.

The Renault Trafic's interior is functional and ergonomic, with ample storage and solid build quality. However, some entry-level models can lack the modern infotainment features found in the Transit, which could be a drawback for drivers in search of more advanced technology.


Both the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic excel in terms of practicality, offering ample cargo space and versatile configurations.

The Transit provides up to 15.1 cubic metres of load space, plus a range of body lengths and roof heights to accommodate various cargo, tools and equipment. It also features an increased payload capacity and lower loading height compared to previous models.

The Renault Trafic, on the other hand, boasts one of the longest load lengths in the medium van segment, with the ability to accommodate items up to 4.15m long in the extended wheelbase version. It offers up to 8.6 cubic metres of space and a maximum payload capacity of over 1,200kg. Both vans provide practical features such as load-through bulkheads and load-lashing eyes, further adding to their versatility.


When considering van insurance and comparing the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic for your business van, it's important to consider their van insurance group ratings — they can have a big impact on your insurance premiums. The Ford Transit usually falls into higher insurance groups (23-50) due to its size and advanced features, while the Renault Trafic insurance groups ranges from groups 3-12 for pre-2016 models, and 25-47 for newer versions.

Keep in mind that business van insurance costs are influenced by lots of other factors, including your driving history, the work you do and where you’re located. To get the best price, be sure to compare quotes from multiple insurers, and consider choosing a telematics insurance policy. This type of insurance rewards you with lower prices when you drive well. So, by driving carefully you could save more when you come to renew.

In summary, the Ford Transit generally has higher van insurance group ratings compared to the Renault Trafic, which may result in more expensive insurance quotes. However, those costs can vary based on individual circumstances, so it's important to do some research before deciding which van is right for your business.

Costs and value

When it comes to purchase and running costs, the Renault Trafic has a competitive edge. It tends to be priced lower than key rivals like the Ford Transit Custom, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to save more upfront. Also, the Trafic's efficient diesel engines contribute to lower running costs over the vehicle's lifetime.

The Ford Transit, while still a value-packed option (especially with the introduction of the E-Transit), may have slightly higher upfront costs compared to the Trafic. However, the Transit's advanced tech and reasonable servicing costs can offset the initial investment in the long run.

Engine and performance

The Ford Transit's Euro 6 engines deliver a balanced combination of power and efficiency. The introduction of the fully electric E-Transit sets a new benchmark for electric vans, offering impressive performance and zero emissions.

On the other hand, the Renault Trafic's diesel engines are known for their economy and punchiness, with the twin-turbo units providing strong low-end torque for confident acceleration. That said, some of the lower-power versions of the Trafic may feel underwhelming compared to the Transit's more robust engine options.

Cargo space

Both the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic prioritise cargo capacity, but they cater to different needs. The Transit's impressive 15.1 cubic metres of load space makes it suitable for heavy work and businesses in need of lots of room. It offers a range of configurations, including different body lengths and roof heights, allowing customisation based around your needs.

The Renault Trafic, with its smaller load volume of 8.6 cubic metres, may be more suitable for tradespeople and businesses who don’t need huge amounts of cargo space. However, the Trafic's load-through bulkhead, and longer load length in extended wheelbase versions, offer flexibility for carrying longer items, so it’s still a versatile choice.

Safety and reliability

When it comes to safety and reliability, both vans have their strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the older Transit engines have caused concern when it comes to reliability, emphasising the importance of regular maintenance. However, the latest Euro 6 engines on recent Transit models are considered to be much more reliable and efficient.

The Renault Trafic, on the other hand, lacks standard safety technology across all versions, which may be a concern for drivers looking for advanced safety features. The Transit offers a more comprehensive range of safety equipment, providing peace of mind for drivers and fleet managers.

Choosing between the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic ultimately depends on what you need from your work van.

The Ford Transit stands out in terms of its handling, on-road experience, modern technology, and the availability of the fully electric E-Transit. On the other hand, the Renault Trafic offers competitive pricing, efficient diesel engines, and an impressive load length, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking to optimise costs and cargo capacity.

When making your decision, be sure to think about the specific needs of your business, and weigh these against the strengths and weaknesses of each van. Also, try to arrange a test drive with a local dealership or seller, so you can get a feel for your new van before you buy it. With a little research and careful consideration, you’ll be in the best position to make the right choice for your business.

Other van comparisons

Ford Transit vs Mercedes Sprinter

The Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter are both popular large vans in the UK. The Sprinter is often considered the more premium of the two vehicles, offering more advanced features, high-spec interiors and a higher payload capacity. However, the Transit usually provides better value for money and lower running costs over the long term.

Ford Transit vs VW Transporter

Between the two, the Ford Transit is larger with a higher payload capacity, making it suitable for heavier work and more demanding jobs. The VW Transporter, on the other hand, is smaller and more versatile, with a focus on comfort and technology. This makes the Transporter better suited for lighter duties in busy urban environments.

Renault Trafic vs Peugeot Expert

The Renault Trafic and Peugeot Expert are closely matched medium-sized vans, with similar pricing and features. The Trafic offers a slightly larger load space and more efficient engines, while the Expert is considered to have a more comfortable interior and advanced safety tech.

Renault Trafic vs Citroën Dispatch

The Renault Trafic and Citroën Dispatch are both reliable and practical medium-sized vans. The Trafic has a slight edge in terms of load space and fuel efficiency, while the Dispatch offers a more refined driving experience and better interior quality. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and your specific business needs.