Fleet News

Van survey provides business opportunity for lease and hire companies

Lease and hire companies that supply light commercial vehicles will find the results of the latest official survey into van ownership and use depressing reading.

Almost 90% of vans are owned either by businesses or by private individuals, with just 12% leased or hired.

The survey of over 6,500 businesses, which was carried out by the Department of Transport in November and December last year, also found that just 46% of vans are purchased new with the remaining companies opting for used vehicle dealers or auctions to source their business transport.

However, those companies opting to buy their vans from the second-hand market tend to be small or one-man operations as the vehicles are registered to private individuals.

Accordingly, 86% of private vehicles were purchased second-hand, whereas 94% of hire and lease vehicles were purchased new.

For business-owned vehicles, the split between new and second hand is fairly even.

The survey also reveals that owners of 44% of the van fleet have ‘some’ or ‘extensive’ understanding and knowledge of the country’s domestic rules on drivers’ hours relating to the operation of vans weighing 3.5 tonnes or below.

Worryingly, 24% said their level of knowledge was ‘none’, and 9% did not specify

The survey was carried out to determine why there has been a significant increase in LCV registrations over the past decade and how the government can manage down the LCV sector’s emissions and carbon footprint.

In 2007, there were 3.2 million licensed vans – sub-3.5 tonne goods vehicles - registered here, which is 9% of total licensed vehicles and account for 13% of total traffic in Great Britain.

This traffic has increased by 40% between 1997 and 2007 and has accounted for 31% of all new traffic in that period.

“The DfT recognises the substantial growth and diversity of the van sector and that there is a range of purposes which vans are used for,” said a spokesman.

“The information collected by this survey will increase our knowledge of van activities, vehicle specification and ownership type.

"It will also support two initiatives that the Department is currently developing, the Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED www.safed.org.uk) and Van Best Practice programmes.”



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