Following a steady two-year rise from its low point at the beginning of the global recession, the registration for new van sales fell for the first in January, 2012. It was only the support of the sale of trucks that kept the commercial vehicle sector up, on the whole.
There are several contributory factors, but the main two are both to do with cost, based on the gloomy forecast for the year ahead. So far, all predictions for this year are that the economy is going to remain flat, with very little opportunity for growth and anyone who exits 2012 with their business in the same condition as they entered it will have done well. Predictions, using automotive sales as the barometer, from both economic studies and government bodies echo similar projections, with the faintest of hopes on the horizon that 2013 will kick-start the growth of the automotive sector and economy as whole. Even little savings like attaining the cheapest van insurance wll come in handy this year.
As a result, tradesmen and organisations are very much holding back on expenditure wherever they can. This is evident in the fact that larger commercial vehicles (up to 3.5 ton) dropped considerably more than smaller vans whereas towards the end of last year, it had been the trend to opt for those with a greater payload. Tradesmen are possibly taking note that there will be fuel duty levied onto the prices later in the year, as well as the current base price of oil fluctuating almost every day, and this has influenced that decision. However, through retaining their existing commercial vehicle or buying used instead of buying brand new, they can achieve further cost savings in another two ways.
First, and most obviously, is the difference in outlay for a new van compared with buying at auction through the likes of Manheim or BCA. If their van’s good for another year, then extra expenditure on a thorough van service will save them considerably more than buying new.
The second way they’ll save is on van insurance. For starters, if they’ve had a year’s claim-free driving, they have a further discount to look forward to on their no claims bonus. Also, as a rule, used vans tend to command cheaper van insurance quotes than models in the same class that have just rolled off the production line. Quite simply down to the fact that if the van is written off, the list price of a van that has seen several years’ depreciation is remarkably less than one that’s hardly had its engine broke in.
And speaking of breaking in, new vans are often more of a target for thieves than a work-worn model, again something else for the van insurance broker to filter into the equation.