For the first time, Euro NCAP has released the crash avoidance ratings for eight vans in the small panel van category.

The vehicles achieving Euro NCAP’s gold rating were the Citroën Berlingo, the FIAT Doblo, the Opel/Vauxhall Combo and the Peugeot Partner, as well as the Renault Kangoo Van and the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo van.

Meanwhile the Mercedes-Benz Citan and the VW ID.Buzz Cargo received Euro NCAP’s top rating of Platinum.

Unlike Euro NCAP’s car safety rating, the organisation’s commercial van rating focuses specifically on crash avoidance technology.

According to the organization, in van crashes, by far the most casualties are in the opponent vehicle or vulnerable road users.

However, Euro NCAP said the vans it rated had equipment mostly fitted as ‘optional’.

“By making customers pay for extra safety technology without promoting the benefits, safety technology becomes a bargaining tool,” said Dr Aled Wiliams, Programme Director of Euro NCAP.

Dr Aled added that there was “overwhelming evidence that this safety technology reduces crashes, deaths, and injuries, protecting drivers and other road users.”

The results have been released in advance of new rules on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) coming into effect in the General Safety Regulations (GSR) in July.

Euro NCAP said it is expected that van makers will need to ensure this category of vehicle has some of these safety technologies fitted as standard.

However, the organization is calling on manufacturers to deliver beyond legislation to ensure the industry meets Vision Zero targets with performance much higher than the GSR targets.