Van nation – the industry in demand 

Nowadays there seem to be more and more vans on Britain’s roads, the DVLA report that back in 2016 there were more light goods vehicles (LGV’s) on the roads than ever before with 1 in every 10 new vehicle registered being a van. This shows that the van industry is booming and there is a demand for drivers! In this blog we highlight the reasons for the increase in van demand, insight into who’s driving Britain’s vans and provide information on insurance that could benefit you!

Why has the demand for vans increased?

As mentioned above, the increase in vans is at a high, June 2018 alone saw over 35,000 new van registrations under 3.5 tonnes. But why is this the case? And what does the future look like?

Online shopping

Online shopping in the UK is at its highest point with 16% of all retail sales generated online. Where there is online shopping, there is a requirement for delivery vans, whether it be delivering a product to the customer’s door, taking stock to a local shop or a courier carrying returned items. As technology is ever improving and smartphones are making purchasing easier for the customer, online shopping is only likely to increase. From 2012 to 2017 online sales rose from £66.53 billion to an astonishing £137.38 billion! 

Good news for tradespeople

As well as an increase in online shopping, the completion of new house builds has also risen. From March 2017 - March 2018, over 160,000 new homes have been built, an increase of 8% from the previous year. This is great news for tradespeople, with the demand for builders, electricians, plumbers, decorators, etc, rising. An increase in completion of new home builds is also good news for delivery drivers as the need for materials hikes. More and more building firms will require brick, stone and other aggregate to be transported to building sites.

Staycations

Although a large percentage of the van industry is used for trade and commercial purposes, we should remember that some larger vehicles are used for pleasure purposes i.e. travelling on holiday! Some insurance companies class 4X4s as vans rather than cars and since 2017 there has been a 208% increase in the amount of 4x4 registrations. These larger vehicles may be used by holidaymakers to tow caravans or trailers when travelling on holiday.

Who’s driving Britain’s vans?

The ‘white van man’ has become a phrase used to describe the average van driver but the number of female drivers is on the rise! It’s reported that in the last year, there has been a surge of 52% in the number of female drivers opting to get behind the wheel of a van. This is a large increase over a short period of time, so the question to ask is what is causing the surge? The Office of National Statistics report that self-employment is also on the rise. The number of people choosing to go self-employed rose from 3.3 million people (12% of the labour force) in 2001 to 4.8 million (15.1% of the labour force) in 2017.

Some delivery companies now offer self-employed driver jobs, where drivers can choose when they want to work. The idea of the initiative is that the work is flexible and can suit people who can’t work set hours.

If I’m looking to buy a new van, which model should I consider?

If you’re looking to buy a new van, there are plenty out there to choose from. You may be looking to buy your first van or upgrade your old one, but may be struggling to decide which is the best for you. In June 2018, the Ford Transit Custom was the most popular van with over 5,900 new registrations. The van is a mid-sized front wheel drive with a 2.2 litre engine. Another popular model was the Volkswagen Transporter with over 11,822 new registrations from June 2017 to June 2018. There are currently six generations of the van with the T6 being the most recent model. You can see the top 10 bestselling light commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes below.

Light commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes

Van model

Number of new registrations (June 2018)

Ford Transit Custom

5,292

Ford Transit

3,321

Ford Transit Connect

2,153

Vauxhall Vivaro

1,936

Peugeot Partner

1,890

Volkswagen Transporter

1,848

Citreon Berlingo

1,717

Ford Ranger

1,416

Peugeot Boxer

1,306

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

1,231


Here’s how many were sold between June 2017 - June 2018.

Light commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes

Van model

Number of new registrations (Year to date)

Ford Transit Custom

27,734

Ford Transit

16,710

Volkswagen Transporter

11,822

Ford Transit Connect

9,666

Peugeot Partner

9,208

Ford Ranger

7,930

Citreon Berlingo

7,928

Vauxhall Vivaro

7,665

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

7,485

Peugeot Boxer

6,151

 
What should I consider when buying van insurance?

If you drive a van for a living or need your van to get you and your tools to work, then you are likely to want to protect it. If you’re a van driver and are looking to purchase insurance, there are a few factors that you should consider and we have highlighted some below:

What are you using your van for?

When it comes to purchasing insurance for your van you may be asked a range of different questions, one of which might be, what do you use your van for? Your insurer is likely to want to understand why you might need your van and what insurance you may be looking for. If you use your van commercially, you may need business use insurance to protect them while travelling. You may also need business use if you work in a trade and have to travel to more than once place of work. If you use your van to travel to a single place of work, a social and commuting option may be suitable to protect your van. If you are retired or use your van for social purposes, there may be a social or pleasure option that your insurer may offer. Overall there are a range of different options available and it’s best to be as accurate as you can when providing information to your insurer, as this will help them understand your needs.

Does your insurance provider cover for your tools?

Did you know a van is broken into and contents are stolen every 23 minutes in the UK! Have you ever thought about what you would do if your tools were lost or stolen? With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about protecting the things in your van! It might be worth checking with your insurer to see if they offer protection for your tools. Here at Budget Insurance we have a designed a product that focuses on protecting tools and contents. This covers van drivers for tools and hobby equipment such as bikes and golf clubs! This product is available to all Budget Insurance van customers and more information can be found here.

How is my van insurance calculated?

Your van insurance premium is calculated in different ways depending on your insurer. Most insurers look at the van insurance group, which gives a rating to each vehicle. The ratings are provided by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and consider the following factors:

Value of your van

When customers are asked for the value of the van, some people mistake this for the price they paid for their van when they bought it. The value of your van is what your van is worth at the time of filling out your insurance quote. If you’re looking to find out how much your van is worth, you can use free vehicle valuations online, who will provide a figure. 

Potential cost of damage

When you complete your insurance quote, the insurer is likely to calculate how much it is likely to cost them should your van be involved in an accident and need repairing or replacing. If your van has a high-end specification, is it likely to be worth more in value and the insurer may consider this within the quote they provide.

Need for speed

When you enter your vehicle registration into an insurance quote, the insurer is likely to retrieve full vehicle specification through The Motor Insurance Database (MIB). The MIB is a central record of all insured vehicles in the UK! Therefore, your insurer is likely to know the performance and speed of your van. You may need to let your insurer know if your van has is limited to certain speed limits as some commercial vans are restricted.

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