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April 2, 2019

UK businesses losing £2.4bn a year while vans repaired

UK businesses are collectively losing £2.4bn per year due to vans not being operational, according to a research study by UK van rental company Northgate.

By Christopher Marchant

UK businesses are collectively losing £2.4bn per year due to vans not being operational, according to a research study by UK van rental company Northgate.

Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) operators estimated that each of their vans spend on average four days a year in the garage. The cost to a business in terms of lost work for each day a commercial van is off the road is £800, meaning an average £3,200 of lost revenue per year or £2.4bn when multiplied across all estimated 763,000 private sector vans on the road.

IFF Research conducted the research online between 27th August and 5th September 2018, with 677 decision makers from UK businesses that use vans.

In order to cover the business’s commercial needs, the research found that over a third (36%) have had to rent a van on a short-term basis in the past year, potentially pushing the cost of vehicle downtime even higher. In addition, 47% of businesses also incur fines or penalties when their vans are out of action for a week.

Aside from the cost implication, vans off the road can present a reputational threat to the business. Almost two thirds (63%) of van operators admit that their business would find it problematic to uphold promises to customers if their vans were out of service for a week.

Tim Bailey, fleet director of Northgate Vehicle Hire, said: “Minimising time off the road could have a positive effect on the individual fleets as well as the UK’s economy. As we see the economic importance of vans grow, it is crucial that businesses understand the implications that van downtime can have on drivers’ productivity and on the fleet budget. Whether it’s caused by mechanical problems, incident damage or scheduled maintenance, van operators need to be prepared for downtime scenarios before they become too costly for the business.”

Northgate is offering a discount on commercial van leases, with terms of a year or more, to businesses taking advantage of a £23m Transport for London (TfL) scrappage scheme.

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