Managing a fleet of vans can often be time consuming and stressful, especially if you find that a large amount of your fleet needs repairs or maintenance all at the same time. Not only is arranging repairs for a large number of vehicles time consuming, but also costly, which means that fleet operators usually look for reliable vehicles when adding to their fleet. Therefore, it is no surprise to hear that in a recent survey it was revealed that when purchasing a van, reliability is the number one priority for fleet managers.
The survey, which was carried out for GE Capital’s Fleet Services division, is part of the first edition of the Company Van Trends, and shows that fleet managers planning on investing in new vans are mainly concerned about getting a vehicle that is good value for money. For example, after reliability consumers said they would look for a vehicle that provides fuel efficiency, which could also lead to cheaper van insurance quotes. LCV commercial leader for GE Capital UK, Simon Cook, said: “The research reveals that operational concerns are front of mind for van fleet managers.”
“They want vehicles that can carry good loads, are going to start every morning, not need constant refuelling and which can be easily and cheaply repaired. It is very much a picture of practicality. Van fleets are expected to deliver and van fleet managers are focussed entirely on doing so.” Surprisingly, the residual values of vans was not of great concern to many van fleet operators, which could be due to the fact that managers are now less inclined to sell on vans after running them for a couple of years.
Mr Cook notes that: “This is a reflection of the differing life cycles of company cars and vans. Other parts of our research indicate the way in which van fleets appear to be holding on to vehicles for longer. While four year cycles are still the most popular option, five, six, seven and eight year fleet lives are now common and 11% of fleets even hold onto their vans right to the end of their useful life. In this longer term scenario, residual values stop becoming a major consideration because of the relatively low actual market values when the vehicles come to be sold. Day to day running costs, especially the repairs that keep older vans running, are much more important.”