Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Scrappage Scheme: 250,000 Vehicles So Far

The Governments car and van scrappage scheme is being haled as a success by some as it reaches the milestone of 250,000 cars scrapped. According to the SMMT 251,629 new cars where purchased via the scrappage scheme by the end of November 2009. This means that 21.6 percent of new cars sold in November had money off in exchange for the scrappage of a older model.

Commercial vehicle scrappage has been less significant accounting for 1.5% of the total vehicles scrapped. According to the SMMT 3,882 LCVs were traded in up until the end of November which accounted for 3.9% of new vans purchased. This could be down to the fact that used vans are popular with small businesses who cannot afford to upgrade even with the reduction in price provided by the scrappage scheme.

"Scrappage continues to have a positive impact on vehicle registrations ... it has helped to generate consumer confidence."
SMMT Chief executive Paul Everitt

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Hardest VW Restoration Ever

Volkswagen's camper vans have achieved iconic status and vintage models are loved by owners all around the world. Not many other vans can boast such devotion from their drivers who spend hours renovating and discussing their vehicles.

Norwegian VW fan Morten Lund is perhaps more dedicated than most. When he learned that a 1957 Samba had been pushed into a lake in 1974 he set to work tracking it down. Lund hired a remote-controlled submersible which he used to locate the vehicle which was at the bottom of the 15 meter deep lake. He then hired a team of divers and a crane in order to lift out the rare model.

"It took me less than 30 minutes to get both front wheels rolling, and the steering works perfectly... The cargo floor and cab are nearly rust free – just some minor holes around the edges."

If Mr Lund manages to fully restore then van he will have a very valuable vehicle on his hands. Samba's have sold for as much as £56,000 which is a lot for used vans. The model is recognizable by its 8 roof-light windows.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Used Van Prices Continue to Rise

The average resale price of used vans has continued to rise as the new vans market struggles to cope with the recession. The commercial vehicles industry is reliant on small business spending and as such has been effected by the recent economic problems. As new van sales reduce the demand for good quality used vans increases and those who are selling are able to command a higher price.

A recent survey by British Car Auctions has found that the average van is now sold for £3,902 up from £3,858 in October. This is a small rise but it shows an upward trend that is bad news for the commercial vehicles sector.

"Year-on-year values are now ahead by an astounding £1,089 - the biggest margin on record, reflecting the strong performance in November 2009 and just how weak the LCV sector was in November 2008."
Duncan Ward of BCA.

The decrease in new van sales is also providing an increase in van hire revenues. Both long term leases and short term cheap van hire are set to benefit from the stalling market as they arguably offer better value for money than buying a new van. The economic benefits of van rental are clear to anybody who has had an unreliable used van, with van hire the commitment is short and there is no drop in value.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Government Announces Tax Breaks for Electric Vehicle Fleets

As predicted Alistair Darling's pre-Budget report included proposed tax breaks for owners electric vehicles. As my last post pointed out, the best way to get people to buy more eco friendly vehicles is to keep their prices down. Most people would be willing to drive a less polluting vehicles as long as the price is right. The report also contained good news for those operating van and car fleets who will also benefit from tax breaks.

The proposed tax breaks will encourage commercial and fleet buyers to upgrade to electric vehicles where possible. By avoiding company car tax fleet owners could make big saving by going green. Those operating in London will be financially punished for running older vans within the congestion zone.

“This will make business buyers much more interested in electric cars and vans,” Paul Everitt, CEO Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Unfortunately electric vehicles are not yet a viable alternative for many fleet operators due to their inability to travel long distances in between charges. Major technological advancements need to happen before electric vehicles can take over from traditional vans for the majority of commercial enterprises.

Monday, 7 December 2009

White Van Man Will Go Green, When The Price Is Right

With the Copenhagen Climate change conference opening today it seems like a good time to talk about the future of the commercial vehicles industry. The white van of the future clearly needs to be green. This is obviously problematic as most individuals and small businesses are hesitant to upgrade their fleets during a recession, another problem is that environmental friendly vans have yet to be perfected.

A recent survey by Swinton Insurance has shown that White Van men (and women) are keen to use more environmentally friendly vans and fuel but, as Bruce would say, the price needs to be right. Of those questioned 73% would consider buying a more energy efficient vehicle as they're next purchase and 87% would turn to more environmentally friendly fuel if doing so were cost effective.

Those with van fleets and those looking at vans for sale were happy to consider Bio Fuel, More fuel-efficient engines and Low CO2 emitting engines. They were however concerned about cost with 64% considering it the most important factor. The popularity (in a sense) of congestion zones and fines for less environmentally friendly vans may lead to green vans being the most cost effective choice.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Sainsbury's Expandes Electric Vans Fleet

Sainsbury's have invested in 50 new electric vans which to be used for home deliveries. The supermarket now has a fleet of 70 more eco friendly vehicles which they say will be used for 60% of deliveries in central London.

'This is cracking news from Sainsbury's which will help deliver to Londoners not only their groceries, but all the benefits of going electric, such as cleaner air and fewer carbon emissions.' -Boris Johnson

Whilst electric vehicles do not yet have the ability to cover as much distance as traditional vans they are ideally suited to inner city deliveries.