Fleet News

Spec up or lose out, van fleets warned

VAN fleets are under renewed pressure to invest in higher specification vehicles or face major losses at disposal time.

A growing focus on providing a car-like driving environment in a commercial vehicle means used van buyers are coming to expect hi-tech engines and standard equipment such as electric windows and power steering.

Models that do not boast this equipment on the auction floor will see their residual values suffer, according to David Hill, senior editor of CAP Red Book.

He said: 'Three years ago, a lot of items on vans were added cost options. 'But as technological excellence becomes standard, this will affect the values of vehicles with older technology.

'There are already some fantastic engines available in the used van market, with power ranging from 75bhp right through to 160bhp. It is also essential to have electric windows, mirrors and power steering.

'Buyers will not pay more for these luxuries, but the standard models will instead see their residual values fall. When modern vans begin turning up on the used car market in numbers, it will cost the low-specced van operator dear.'

Hill estimated that in some cases, vans without power steering at auction would not even attract bids and could attract prices of up to £1,000 less than they would before these options became available.

He added: 'There are some items that buyers are not too concerned about.

'Compact disc players and air conditioning may have benefits, but they could also lead to higher maintenance costs.'

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