The one time hub of the Victorian steam industry, Darlington is now the centre for Britain’s van businesses.
Department of Transport data studied by Direct Line for Business (DL4B) reveals the North East town is Britain’s van capital, with the highest concentration of new vans on the road.
In 2013, 611 vans were registered for every 1000 residents in the town, compared to 68 per 1000 nationally.
The large number of van registrations may be due to Darlington being home to a number of engineering firms as well as a major retailer’s largest warehouse distribution centre.
This is followed by Slough (370 vans per 1000 people) and Swindon (204 vans per 1000 people) in third place.
DL4B’s analysis reveals that vans made up 10 per cent of all vehicles registered in 2013, and there has been a three per cent increase in new vans between 2012 and 2013 and a five per cent increase in the last five years.
Despite this modest rise across Britain, regionally there are examples of significant increases. In Coventry, van registrations almost tripled (293 per cent increase) in 2013, Peterborough saw a 90 per cent increase and Bristol 13 per cent.
As more people turn to vans to satisfy their business and leisure demands, they should be aware that there are significant savings to be made through negotiating on the original sale price.
Additional DL4B research amongst van drivers highlights that those who haggled on the price of a van, saved on average £1,210 and one in ten savvy buyers saved over £3,000.
Older van drivers are more likely to negotiate than younger drivers with half (54 per cent) of 35 to 54 year olds saying they haggled when buying their van compared to just a quarter (24 per cent) of 18 to 34s.
Jasvinder Gakhal, head of Direct Line for Business said, “Vans are the lifeblood of Britain’s streets, but can be a huge investment for many small businesses. With this in mind small business owners should think about protecting their asset.”
“As there continue to be more vans on the roads, van drivers should ensure that their vehicles are correctly insured to cover all eventualities. For example, they can get around a business interruption that could result from a breakdown with as replacement vehicle cover.”