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1 COMMENT

  1. I had a Honda FRV converted which I use for work – it’s petrol economy averaged 34mpg, but economy on LPG is less than 25mpg (you have to bear in mind that vehicles start from cold on petrol because LPG will not work in cold engines – so petrol need re-filling regularly too) . With petrol costing 140p and LPG costing 79p (average), savings are not as high as hoped… i.e. 12000 miles on petrol would have cost 12000/34 * £6.36 (per gal) = £2244. On LPG the cost is 12000/25 * £3.59 (per gal) = £1723, saving £521 over 12,000 miles, but this doesn’t account for the petrol fill ups over the period, which I ESTIMATE to be around £300 (6 fillups costing £50) !! It is cheaper, which is great, but ROI is maybe 3 – 4 years in reality (depending on mileage of course), and there’s never an LPG pump when you want one…

  2. Oh dear me … if the way Finance Lease presented here by Vauxhall is typical of how their dealers will sell it, there could be a lot of upset customers in a few years time.

    Why do those selling the product have such a problem in telling the client straight up that the Balloon Rental and Residual Value of the vehicle is entirely their own risk? The value of the vehicle may be more or a lot less than the Balloon Rental – so, encourage the customer to pay a little extra per month so that they get both a Cash Flow benefit and a reduced risk. It’s called ‘Managing the Risk’ – the customer isn’t the expert, so they should be able to rely on those selling it to do so responsibly.

    Finance Lease can be a great funding product – so why is it sold so badly? By not telling the whole truth we end up with the potential for some unscrupulous operators to package it as “A Cashback Lease” or an “Unlimited Mileage Lease”, when of course nothing could be further from the truth when you see how these operators are wrapping it up with the lowest possible rental and conveneiently forgetting to tell the customer what the risks are.

  3. Rob

    Thank you for your comment – always useful to have a word from the wise.

    However, I think at no point is there a suggestion that Vauxhall is trying to hoodwink customers. Possibly the way I have written the story presents too many of the benefits and not enough of the risks – but that’s not to suggest Vauxhall won’t provide a full outline of the risks associated with a Finance Lease to a potential customer.

    As you say, Finance Lease is a very useful product for financing a van – but there are risks. And thank you for highlighting the way Finance Lease can be misrepresented.

    Ralph Morton, editor

  4. I’m an ex smoker so support the ban completely, but I do have problems with the law as it stands. It appears that if my van is my private vehicle, then it cannot be enforced, but if the van is registered to my business, then I can. My problem is its registered to me as me t/as my business. Problem or what??
    More to the point, no-one I know or ever let get in my van smokes, so why should I have the Police or council official, fine me as a friend of mine has in Cornwall?
    Good law stupidly imposed and enforced

  5. interesting article, but there is an area that might be of interest I explored with the authorities recently.

    Specifically this was in relation to my Toyota Hilux. This has a tow weight of 2.5tons. The question was, can I tow a trailer, plated at 3.5 tons, but only loaded to a total (including trailer) of 2.5tons. The answer was yes, because the regs are interested in what you are actually towing, not what the max permissible weight of the trailer is.

    HOWEVER, if I had a more recent licence, limiting me to 3.5 tonns max then I would be breaking the law even towing the empty trailer, as licence categories refer to the max permissible load.
    I can forward you the email from VOSA if you wish.

  6. Both vehicles are registered by SsangYong as commercial vehicles so VAT registered businesses should be able to reclaim the VAT on purchase.

    Although both these SsangYong commercials have sub 1000kg payloads, VAT is reclaimable on commercial vehicles if they meet HMRC exceptions – such as car derived vans and combi vans.

    I have asked SsangYong to confirm that both vehicles conform and will be listed on the updated HMRC exceptions list. When I have heard back I shall let you know.

    Ralph Morton, editor

  7. this is the thin end of the wedge, well, the middle actually!! First, speed restrictors on lorries, now vans, next will be cars

  8. I have recently been assured by the VW dealer that the vehicle which I have ordered, Amarok Highline Permanent 4WD Automatic, has a payload in excess off the 1000kg and therefore qualifies as a van for benefit purposes. I think you are referring to the Permanent 4WD Manual which reduces the payload to 750g. It might be worth clarifyng that point in your article.

  9. Nigel – thank you. And yes you are correct. The manual version has the lower payload; the automatic has a 1077kg payload. We have changed the details to reflect this.
    Ralph Morton, editor

  10. Hi Colin

    Good to see this getting some press. I got so annoyed with these prices, that I developed an app that lists all the supermarkets next to motorway junctions and put them in an Android and iphone app called ServiceSaver. I reckon each time you use it to fill up and grab some lunch it saves somewhere between £7 and a tenner.

    Bob

  11. This survey has to be the biggest waste of time. Surely regular drivers realise the costs, it’s a convenience thing hence the prices my concern is though, surely the IAM should be spending charitable trust money on road safety initiatives rather than surveys about being ripped off, or are they a consumer charity now? Think this confirms they have lost their direction and focus?

  12. When are you going to do a van reliability test, especially on vehicles over 2 years old?

    We are all in business to make money not spend a fortune on vans that don’t work and cost a fortune to repair outside the guarantee.

  13. It’s just miles to expensive: 28k plus vat that is seriously overpriced, they really have priced themselves out of the market.

    Editor’s comment
    Don’t forget Des this is for the larger 2 tonne model: the first time Ford has split its Transit range into 1 tonne (Transit Custom) and 2 tonne (Transit). The Transit’s price range is below that of the VW Crafter and Mercedes Sprinter panel vans which offer the same package.
    Ralph Morton, editor

  14. Many companies use wrapping for livery these days covering the original base colour. But white is still the biggest selling colour along with red. White is also still the colour of our own fleet of vans. Unfortunately negative statements such as ‘white van man’ are usually created by non professional drivers who cover far fewer yearly miles than our own 80k + miles per van per year.

    Even though these guys drive a lot less miles they are involved in far more accidents than professional drivers (those who drive for a living as their primary or main job) Unsafe drivers don’t frequent one particular mode or colour of transport, they drive all vehicles badly.

  15. Well done for revealing this van for what it really is – a Citroen. Many honest tradespeople will buy this van thinking it is a Toyota.It’s time this engine and badge cover up was exposed in full.

  16. One important thing that is not mentioned is that the fuel tank has been cut down from 100 to only 80 litres. While there is better fuel economy it will still mean more visits to the pumps which as an existing Vivaro driver I would find annoying. Another omission is that there is no Tech Shift option.

  17. Does this advice only apply to pick ups or does it cover crew cab vans as well ?

    eg would a Ford Transit DCIV (crew cab) 310 1106kg payload be classed as a commercial vehicle and subject to the flat rate ?

    Yes it would – the tax covers vans and pick ups. However, HMRC is taking a stronger stance on some of the new crew cabs and suggesting that as they are more car like in their carrying ability and comfort, they should be classed as cars. Our opinion is that – if it looks like a van, it is a van. Check with your accountant first before taking any further action.
    Ralph Morton, editorial director

  18. Hi..What a great idea! Women’s trade awards…As a woman business owner, the van is an important part of my business and is driven by the all woman team.
    Would love to find out more about entering this award…
    Many thanks
    Cathy

  19. Will the Vivaro 120 pull 2 tonnes without struggling?

    It will pull up to two tonnes provided the trailer has brakes. 750kg without.
    Martyn Collins, editor

  20. Please provide details of how to purchase Logan pick up truck! I am very keen to acquire this vehicle as my present Proton Jumbuck is, after 11 brilliant years, beginning to give up the ghost!

    Hi John
    Still no word yet from Dacia on the Logan pick up, but since our story the van has been launched. For more, see our story on the Dacia Duster Van.

    Ralph Morton, editorial director

  21. I wish to own a well approved nearly new Mercedes Benz Sport X Dualiner with two rows of seats and low mileage,5000-less fully loaded with Mercedes packages.

    We would start your search with Mercedes’ own dealer network.
    Martyn Collins, editor

  22. Looking for a price for a back cover that lifts up and fits around my roll bar.
    I have a new Ford ranger 2.2
    Moon dust silver.
    thanks Padraic.
    Delivery to Ireland.

  23. Since when has the Ford Transit Custom offered a RWD option……….? Must have missed that somewhere. Anyhow, I’ve just acquired one (290L2, 155ps, DCIV Limited in Deep Impact Blue) and it is a fantastic piece of kit. Why anyone would lay out the extra money on a T5 or T6 Volkswagen Transporter, other than for snob value, is beyond me. I used to buy VW, both car and commercial, but am now a fully signed-up disciple of the Blue Oval!

  24. Last year i ordered the T6 Transporter Kombi Van 140, T32 Highline, Blue motion Technology, Full Leather interior, well It arrived two weeks ago, every thing as it should be, until to my surprise, the rear seats are a 3 bench type and not the 2+1 combination that has always been in the Kombi, what a load of rubbish, it defeats all logic, if i carry anything long there is nowhere for rear passengers to sit, also there is no access to the rear if there is no space to open the rear doors, I spoke to VW & The dealership, waste of time.

  25. I really don’t get this about the T6. I’ve been a VW fan for most of my adult life/childhood, and my family has had a succession of Beetles/T2 Campers/Passats/Golf GTI’s/Caravelles over the years. And then I got over my prejudice/snobbery and bought a Mondeo. Then I had a Transit Connect for work, and now I have a Ford Transit Custom 155 ps L2 DCIV Limited with all the bells and whistles in Deep Impact Blue. Since I picked it up in September (ex-Demo from Stoneacre in York) it has performed faultlessly, is extremely comfortable, handles well and returns 40+ mpg all day long! It has a bulkhead between the cabin and the van box, so it’s quiet, and it will pull my two-car race trailer easily (although not at 40 mpg) as the 2.2 tonne towing limit is perfectly adequate. It looks like something from the 21st Century, unlike the T6, which looks too similar to the T5, and I have no issues with fit and finish or rattles etc. It’ll gain a set of 18 ” Sportvan alloys and some sidebar/steps so my wife can get in and out with a shred of dignity, but otherwise, what’s not to like..? Tell me why I’m missing the point and should spend loads more money for something (the T6) that doesn’t appear to offer anything better…..

    • I’ve owned a lot of transporters and the reason I’d buy no other van is purely financial. Buy a transit or Vivaro etc for say £10k and spend £10k on it tarting it or camper converting it and it will be worth about £15k. Buy a Transporter for £10k and spend £10k on it and because of its cult following it will be worth £35k.
      You do the maths!

  26. So how come when I happily sit at 40 or 50 through motorway roadworks depending on the limit with average speed cameras do trucks not slow down at all. Still go past flat out without a care in the world.

  27. So drivers are going to penalised again. But all other crimes won’t matter. That’s all they will care about. Revenue!!

  28. Your information about A9 is a little in accurate. It’s about 140 miles from Dumblane to Inverness as it’s already 110 from Perth to Inverness, and on the single carriageway sections of this particular section of this particular road all vehicles above 7.5t can go at 50mpg so as to keep traffic flowing better.

    Can some one tell me the situation with crewcab 4X4s – are they commercial vehicles or classed as cars as far as cameras are concerned?

    They are classed as commercial vehicles – Martyn Collins, editor

    • Re: Speed Limits for Double Cab Pickups
      I would like to add that i very much believe they are classed as cars with regard to speed limits – if you look on Police websites on this question it seems quite clear, if i am wrong i would be glad to know as would thousands of other drivers

  29. I have a Ford Transit custom and wanted to find out if it is cost effective to upgrade to the new Euro 6 and the new stability program. Few to carrying weight as an electrician I find that my van traction is not great and perhaps this new model offers better driving with a load. I carry about 750kg in total and have the Ford custom limited model with 155BHp 2015 model. I just recently had new front pads that onl covered 12890miles 2 weeks ago which is not much, I was expecting to do more. Perhaps with the new model and improved braking it will do more and I would like to test drive the new Auto. I do have stop/start on mine .

  30. Over the last year, of the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) that have been pulled over by the DVSA suspected of being overloaded, nearly 88% have actually been overweight. In the event of an accident, an overloaded vehicle will, in all likelihood, have an invalidated insurance.
    At SvTech we are uprating over 50 LCVs per month, and we never cease to be surprised by the amount of overloads that we encounter. Take your vehicle to a weighbridge, get the unladen axle and overall weights and then visit our website to use our FREE Load Distribution Calculator to help you load your LCV properly, and perhaps highlight if you are overloading at all.
    http://www.svtech.co.uk/lda
    We are the UK’s leading re-rating specialist, so I’m pretty sure we can help with any overloading issues you may have.

  31. I guess you can try a portable jump starter. These are cool because it will be handy when you need a quick jump and there is no other car to get help. Also, these can charge other electronic devices as well.

  32. I currently have a Renault Trafic crew cab; I swapped my car for one. Its payload is 989kg – my boss is now saying as far as HMRC this would be a car is this correct?

    I’m afraid your boss is probably correct. The area of crew cabs is a little grey, but essentially if it is under 1 tonne and being used as a private vehicle then it is considered as a car. If your Trafic crew cab is a works vehicle and being used exclusively for business (ie private use is incidental) then it will be classed as a van. Ralph Morton – editor

  33. All Double Cab pickups and crew vans are taxed (RFL) in class LGV, (Light Goods Vehicles).
    If they where a car they would be taxed as DC

    • The key issue here is not VED but use, and if used as a company car you are liable for full car BIK rates rather than far lower van rates.

  34. I was told by a traffic officer that the speed limit for a van and HGV on a reduced speed limit road for example where there is roadworks is the reduced speed.
    So if your speed limit was 70 and was reduced to 50 everyone should do 50 including HGV.

  35. Do you know which Local Councils take take the view that you need planning permission?

    It will vary from council to council taking into account property/neighbours/views and so on. There are no hard and fast rules on this.
    Ralph Morton, editor

  36. The price tag is just simply ridiculous
    It’s a Volkswagen van not a well specced Audi saloon
    I’ll never put that money into a work van

  37. My neighbour has a drive to park both his vans but parks one down the road and the other opposite his house and slap bang infront of mine .
    The van blocks our view but also when exitting our driveaway it obscures our view of the oncoming traffic . These are both commercial vehicles as the have company names on them . Me and the road are bit fed up with see them now is there any thing suffolk county council can do ?..

  38. To insure works vans you have to tell the insurance company where they will be parked overnight. If it’s in the road, the policy would be very expensive. So van operators often tell insurance companies they are parked in the works yard.

  39. I admire this guy’s optimism but buyers looking at Mercedes and VW are not even in his orbit. His best hope is that he pulls some drivers out of Mitsubishis, Nissans and Isuzus, but even that is going to be a tall order.

  40. “And, you should know, that the taxman does not count driving the pick-up between home and work as private mileage…”

    INCORRECT!
    See https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim32170

    “Travel between an employee’s home and a permanent workplace is “ordinary commuting” and the expenses of such journeys do not qualify for relief under Section 338 ITEPA 2003, see EIM32150 onwards. That rule applies even when the employee does some of their work at home, and even if you accept that they are entitled to relief under Section 336 for the additional expenses of working at home, see EIM32760.”

    You are correct in terms of cars; however, for vans and pick-ups, HMRC takes the approach that we have outlined in the article. Simply because it recognises that these are working tools – often requiring early starts – and that there is no personal benefit from doing this.
    Ralph Morton, Editor

  41. Agreed. However it is really the only van that is on the road that is built by the company you buy it from. Vauxhall use Renault, Merc Sprinters use Renault parts, Citroen and Peugeot are in bed together. Lastly the backbone of Britain Transit I just got shot of after 18 months and 40k. I never had to wash as it spent more time in the garage under warranty than on the road. Everything from hill start brakes staying on to the EGR valve. Along with a few mates with the same problems on the Custom Transit – an Electrician who changed all 8 of his vans to Transporters as it became such a serious problem. Nightmare! So the question is, yes it is expensive but how much down time can a company afford? If all I have to worry about is sticking on some parking sensors I can live with a Crafter. The wheels at least go round unlike the other lot.

  42. I also have a neighbour who purposely blocks our view of the road so I can’t see oncoming traffic (he also has a driveway) when exiting my drive. It’s really dangerous!

  43. My situation is I deliver home shopping. I have been told I am not permitted to legally work from 6-10pm then 8-6pm the following day(we have an hour break between 12-1pm on the full day.Is this legal or not?

    It might be the case that it’s something called the Working Time Directive. We have hyperlinked to the Gov.uk website for you.

    Our recent feature on time pressures highlights the issues of accidents to van drivers: Self-employed van drivers face greater accident risks.It’s worth a read.
    Ralph Morton, Editor

  44. I have a neighbour that brings home a huge van that can carry window doors conservatories. There are places to park in the road but he chooses to park in a bay which only allows two cars.

    I have cameras up to look at my car as I’m in a disabled bay. And have had damage to my car in the past which is why I have installed the cameras. His company van blocks my camera so I can’t see my car out of any Windows. Some days he leaves it there for days. And it’s right out side our bedroom window. Sometimes he leaves for work at 5-sh which wakes us up.

    I have asked him not to park there as it blocks my camera – he has responded saying I should move the camera; but I’m in a ground floor flat so this is not possible. He does not seem to care and he can’t see the van where he lives as it’s round the corner. What can I do? Thank you, Mrs Jones.

    We’re sorry to hear this – it must be very distressing for you. Obviously the best course of action is to have the discussion with your neighbour if there is anywhere else this van can be parked. Although it sounds as if you have already tried this. The next step would be to contact your local council and take the matter up with them.

    We hope you can resolve the issue.

    Ralph Morton, editor

  45. Hi there, I work as a delivery driver and drive from Manchester to London at least twice a week. I’m usually driving for approximately 15 to 18 hours per day and my boss pressures me about break times. Can you tell me if this is legal and what I can do to stop him being unreasonable? Thank you

  46. Since December 2017 I have had a commercial van park outside my house all week – apart from picking the vehicle up at 8.30am and dropping it off around 3pm on each week day. Therefore the van is parked overnight every night and every weekend outside my property. This would be okay but the company is registered in a well-to-do residential area 5 miles away. I am scared to talk to the guys who pick it up as there 3 or 4 of them at a time and they are now aggressively outside my front gate. This is despite the fact that there are ample spaces opposite and around the corner. There are plenty of other places close by; they don’t need to park directly outside our property. What can I do to change this?
    Please help.

  47. I operate 2 vans and am expanding in the following year. Although I only get to London twice a week it is still an expense my business can ill afford. Like most small operations we operate tight margins and utilise older second hand vans that meet Euro 4 but not Euro 6 standards.

    Given that the other week it took me 2.5 hours to cover 15 miles across London I feel this is yet another tax to fuel the coffers of the Mayor of London. The current congestion charge coupled with road changes and arbitrary ULEZ streets such as around City Road can lead to even more charges levied against the very companies who keep the city supplied.

    I think we should organise a courier/delivery van company protest in London in the New Year to show the power we have as a group and that without us a huge number of businesses in London who rely on us every day will be the ones who suffer.

  48. This is totally wrong. 1 tonne payload only applies to crew cab pick-ups. Not to “vans” these are covered by a total different set of test that are much more abiquous.
    Do a google search on coca cola vs HMRC case.
    The VW failed the test and was classified as class M1 (PCV) therefore atracts car base BIK tax.

  49. Company van outside an elderly person’s house . The neighbour has a driveway with two cars plus another car outside their house so they park the company van outside the next door neighbour who is elderly. (Total of four cars.) If you mention it to them their argument is that he never uses the parking space therefore they take the liberty of parking there. Therefore if the elderly neighbour needs dropping off you have to park further down as there are no spaces, same applies if having a delivery.

  50. No one likes to say no to a delivery driver who whats the toilet. I always let drivers in if they ask, but now say no as the state they leave the toilet in is disgusting. Why should I clean up after a stranger who cannot respect my house – seat left, up pee on the floor, I wont go on…

  51. I need a van with windows for a mobile office as I am self employed and as a surveyor for flood damage and other damaged properties, I am on the road a lot and have surveying ladders etc to carry. I have another car for private use. The only way round the system that I can see is to buy a van and get windows put in and 1 seat and a small desk area. Would this work? Does the van type have to change with the DVLA?

    You needn’t do any of the above. If your van is used entirely for work purposes, then no tax liability arises. So no using it for private purposes at the weekend and so on. You will need to keep detailed records of your mileage and so on and reconcile with fuel receipts. But that’s all. As you say, you have your car for private use. Your accountant should be able to help you with this too.
    Ralph Morton, editor

  52. Neighbour runs a building company from home. We live in a four house cul de sac; we have 12 to 20 van movements in front of our window seven days a week,can we do anything?

    I would talk to your local council in the first instance. And also check out this Gov.UK advice.
    Ralph Morton, editor

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