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What Is An MWB Van?

What Is A MWB Van
Every business person who transports cargo frequently knows how much vehicle size and capacity matter. Thankfully, there are different vehicle sizes and wheelbases to cater to the needs of various people. However, MWB vans continue to stand out as a balanced and adaptable option. This brings us to the question: What is an MWB van?
MWB van stands for medium-wheelbase van. This category of vans falls between short and long-wheelbase vans, offering a mix of manoeuvrability and load-carrying capacity. If you’ve been looking to hire an MWB van, join us as we explore the features of these vehicles so you know what to expect.

What Is An MWB Van?

An MWB van is a van that has a medium-length wheelbase. MWB van, which stands for ‘medium-wheelbase van’, refers to vehicles that have a longer wheelbase than short-wheelbase vans (SWB vans), but their wheelbase falls short of the length of a long-wheelbase van (LWB van) and an extra-long one (XLWB). Click here to learn more about wheelbases.

The wheelbase of a van affects its payload since more room generally means more weight.

The average MWB van has a wheelbase length of around 2.4 metres (7.9 feet). The exact dimensions may vary across manufacturers and models. Because they offer a proper balance between cargo capacity and manoeuvrability, medium wheelbases are great for businesses with moderate transportation needs.

The Difference Between Wheelbase Length And Overall Length

We’ve mentioned wheelbase length a few times, but you shouldn’t mistake it for the length of the vehicle. They’re very different. The length of the vehicle refers to its overall length from its front bumper to the rear. The wheelbase, on the other hand, measures the distance between the centre point of the front axle and the rear axle of the vehicle.

Other Van Types Based On Wheelbase Length

SWB & LWB Transit Vans Parked In The Late Afternoon

In addition to medium-wheelbase vans, there are other van types, including short, long and extra-long wheelbases, to suit diverse needs.


SWB van refers to a short-wheelbase van. Short-wheelbase vans have an average distance of 2.4 metres (7.9 feet) between their wheels. Short wheelbases are typically common in smaller vehicles. Hence, SWB vans are sportier and easier to manoeuvre compared to MWB vans. They also have superb handling capabilities. However, their cargo capacity is limited.

Read our article, What is an SWB van, to learn more about short-wheelbase vans.


What is an LWB van? LWB vans (long-wheelbase vans) have a longer distance between their front and rear axles than SWB and MWB vans. On average, the wheelbase length of an LWB van is 3.4 metres (11.2 feet).

The longer wheelbase of LWB vans means a longer cargo area and more space for load. These vehicles are also super comfortable to ride in because the distance between the wheelbases mitigates the impact of bumps on the road. On the downside, they’re less sporty and more difficult to manoeuvre than short and medium-wheelbase vehicles.

Some vans are available with various wheelbase options, allowing you to select one based on your needs. Our Transit vans are a great example of this.


XLWB stands for ‘extra long wheelbase’. These vans have even longer wheelbases than LWB vans. On average, the distance between the front and rear wheels of this van is 4.2 metres (13.8 feet), providing more interior space. Its longer wheelbase does make it the most difficult to manoeuvre, and the engine tends to consume a lot of fuel.

Driving Licence Requirements For An MWB Van

There’s no special driving licence for an MWB van. Anyone with a standard category B licence can drive a medium-wheelbase van, provided that the gross weight rating of the vehicle doesn’t exceed 3,500 kg (3.5 tonnes). To drive vehicles above this weight limit, you must have the C1 entitlement on your licence.

You’ll have the C1 entitlement on your standard car licence if you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997.

Who Should Hire An MWB Van?

White MWB Van Parked In The Open Area

Anyone who needs a vehicle that offers the perfect blend of space and manoeuvrability should choose an MWB van. These vehicles are popular among small businesses that need to transport a sizable amount of cargo. They’re also great for tradespeople across various industries, ranging from plumbing and electrical services to catering.

Some MWB vans are also designed for passenger transport, carrying many people in addition to the driver and cargo. The Ford Transit, VW Transporter, Citroën Dispatch and Renault Trafic are great examples of medium-wheelbase vans.

You are just one phone call away from putting all the mentioned advantages into work with our MWB van hire.

Frequently Asked Questions

The size of an MWB van varies between manufacturers, but on average, it has a wheelbase length of 2.4 metres (7.9 feet). The average overall length, width and height for these vans are 5.7 metres, 1.9 metres and 2.7 metres, respectively. These dimensions provide a good balance between cargo room and manoeuvrability.

The difference between an MWB and an SWB van is the wheelbase length. MWB refers to medium-wheelbase vans, which have longer wheelbases than SWB vans (short-wheelbase vans). SWB vans are more compact and easier to manoeuvre, but they have limited cargo capacity. The MWB van, on the other hand, provides decent cargo space and is fairly easy to manoeuvre.

You know if your vehicle is an MWB or LWB by measuring its wheelbase, the distance between the midpoint of the front and rear axles. MWB vans have an average wheelbase length of 2.4 metres (7.9 feet), compared to LWB vans’ average wheelbase length of 3.4 metres (11.2 feet).

An MWB Transit van is 5.5 metres (18 feet) long when measured from the front bumper of the vehicle to its rear. This Ford Transit is also 2 metres (6.6 feet) wide and either 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) or 2.7 metres (8.9 feet) long, depending on the particular model.

No, the wheelbase does not affect speed. Your vehicle’s speed depends on its engine power, aerodynamics and transmission. However, the wheelbase is one of the factors that determines the vehicle’s stability at higher speeds. Vehicles with longer wheelbases are usually more stable and provide a more comfortable ride.


So, what is an MWB van? An MWB van is a medium-wheelbase van, which falls right in between a short-wheelbase van and a long-wheelbase van. An MWB van is the perfect vehicle to hire if you want perfect balance on the road. With decent cargo capacity and easy manoeuvrability, MWB vans are a great hire choice for small businesses and all sorts of tradespeople.

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