Who would be a van insurance broker on the back of figures released by Manheim for used vans for the last twelve months? The light commercial vehicle (LCV) market saw a mixed bag of companies registering vans last year, due to so many different market factors the like of which the sector has not seen before.
In previous years, there has been a steady release of new vehicles onto the roads, whilst older models have been removed to make way. Although fleet van insurance can play its part in an organisation revamping their vehicles in this manner, new technology and better or different fuel consumption has played a massive factor in recent years.
However, the effect of the economy saw the 2011 market almost turned on its head; with firms going under, a flood of unused vehicles came up for sale with a whole host of willing buyers as businesses chose the used van route to replace their existing fleet and the van insurance cost savings associated with opting for older vehicles over new.
This theory is borne out in the figures themselves, not necessarily needing Manheim’s translation. However, as the automotive’s leading authority on managing the recycling of used vehicles, we take their rubber stamp as read.
Where it gets tricky for our beloved van insurance broker is that they can only really forecast their income based on market trend history. 2011 totally bucked that trend and 2012 is still uncertain. Couple that with the fact that the OFT investigation into rising van insurance premiums has not yet reached satisfactory conclusions in all areas, you see the depth of their quandary.
Overall, used van values only fell 1.3% on the year to just over £4,000. But this is against the backdrop of the average age of van registrations increasing by over four years (one would expect to get cheaper van insurance because of this factor) and the mileage on average increasing by of almost 12,000 miles, again for which one would expect a discount on the respective van insurance policy. This all points to van salesmen playing a blinder, offloading excess commercial vehicles at rates that they would expect to move usual rolling stock, whilst the brokers were left high and dry as they were unable to command the insurance premiums they would for brand new vans.
But here’s the sting in the tail; according to the SMMT, 2011 saw a 17.8% rise in the registraion of new vans overall, but were they new vans as in ‘off-the-production-line’ new, or were they registrations by organisations looking to save money by taking stock bought out of administration making them ‘new-to-the-business’, which would put a whole new spin on the industry forecasts and predicted van insurance premiums for 2012?
Whatever the outcome(s), you may be better off trying not to read too much into the market and checking out our facility for achieving the cheapest van insurance deal possible from our top brokers for your business, going into 2012.