The survey was carried out over the period from April until December 2003 and the results have been used to produce estimates for 2004. During that time around 3,500 owners of company owned vans registered in Great Britain were asked to provide details of trips they made on specific days.
Respondents were asked to provide information related to the vehicle and its activity, including the time and day of journey, the reason for trip, the type of goods and equipment carried, the type of business the vehicle is used for and the information relating to the origin and destination of journeys.
Key findings for company owned vans are:
35% of the distance travelled by company vans is in connection with the collection or delivery of goods.
A third (32%) of travel is performed between home and work, and a further one fifth (19%) when vans are travelling between jobs.
Only 3% of the distance travelled is for personal use, compared with 17% for privately owned vans.
The peak periods for travel during the week are between 7am and 9am, and between 4pm and 6pm when around 30% of vans are in use.
At weekends, no more than 4% of vans are in use during any one hour period.
The construction industry accounts for around a third (29%) of vehicle kilometres and the wholesale and retail trade a fifth (19%).
The transport of tools, machinery and equipment accounts for just over half (54%) of all travel.
Vans are empty for 13% of total distance travelled.
Five sixths (84%) of distance travelled is for journeys that start and end in the same Government Office Region, although for journeys starting in London the share is lower (73%).
15% of distance is travelled with vans over three quarter full, and 36% with vans less than one quarter full.
For all vans combined (company owned and privately owned) the key findings are:
At weekends, three quarters of the vans in use are privately owned, in contrast on weekdays less than a half of vans in use are privately owned.
Travel for personal reasons becomes more important at weekends, especially on Sundays, mainly at the expense of collection and delivery and travelling between jobs.
Company owned vans are defined as vehicles which do not exceed 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight in the private and light goods taxation class with van body types (panel van, light goods, light van, box van, luton van, specially fitted van, car derived van, pick up, van and van with side windows) which are company owned. A van is company owned if the registered keeper is Company or Company (Messrs).