RESEARCH by leading finance provider LDF, has found that one in three vans on UK roads is now at least 10 years old, which they put down to the fact that businesses are continuing to postpone investment in their commercial vehicles.
According to the LDF research, sustained economic uncertainty and reduced availability of traditional lending, has led many businesses to keep hold of their vans for much longer than they had originally anticipated, with these vehicles making up 31% of all vans on the road. This is up from 22% in 2007 and means that there are now more than one million vans aged at least 10 years old on the road in the UK, an increase from 690,000 before the credit crunch.
The immediate concern, is that these businesses are pushing their vans beyond their reliable lifespans, meaning reliability and efficiency problems occur more frequently.
LDF also notes that SMEs in particular are finding it difficult to commit the significant financial investment in commercial vehicles, because of on-going doubts about the strength of the economy and the difficulty of finding funds from traditional sources.
A lot of small businesses are pushing their vans and other parts of their commercial vehicle fleet to the absolute limit
Peter Alderson, LDF Managing Director says: “A lot of small businesses are pushing their vans and other parts of their commercial vehicle fleet to the absolute limit, with many often well beyond their useful economic life.”
“It is not just the repair costs and efficiency of these older vans that create problems – there’s also the very substantial negative impact on the business’ brand of using tired, dated vehicles and additionally, the potential environmental factors to consider.
“A lot of businesses have been pushing their commercial vehicle assets through the period of recession, but many will soon find that the vans they bought in 2006 and 2007 are no longer viable to run, and they will need to invest again.
“SMEs with smaller fleets cannot afford to get to the point where their vehicles let them down, but while they may be unable or reluctant to find the cost of replacements upfront, seeking finance through a specialist provider can be a much simpler solution for a smaller business.”