Reliability is number one factor for new van buyers

Reliability is the number one issue for buyers when making their next new van purchase, according to the first edition of Company Van Trends - quarterly research carried out for GE Capital’s Fleet Services division.

Some 250 fleets running light commercial vehicles were asked to rate eight key factors in response to the question; when making your next LCV purchase, what are the key considerations?

Ranking Average Score where 1 is highest
Reliability     2.4
Fuel consumption 2.7
Payload capacity            2.9
Making a like for like replacement      4.8
Cost of damaged and replacement part 5.3
The power unit     6.0
Residual values 6.3
Availability of bespoke/extra equipment       6.3

Simon Cook, LCV commercial leader for GE Capital UK, said: “The research reveals that operational concerns are front of mind for van fleet managers. They want vehicles that can carry good loads, are going to start every morning, not need constant refuelling and which can be easily and cheaply repaired.

“It is very much a picture of practicality. Van fleets are expected to deliver and van fleet managers are focussed entirely on doing so.”

Cook pointed out that it was interesting to see that residual values, which remain a key concern for company car fleets, were ranked at a relatively low position.

He said: “This is a reflection of the differing life cycles of company cars and vans. Other parts of our research indicate the way in which van fleets appear to be holding on to vehicles for longer. While four year cycles are still the most popular option, five, six, seven and even eight year fleet lives are now common and 11% of fleets even hold onto their vans right to the end of their useful life.

“In this longer term scenario, residual values stop becoming a major consideration because of the relatively low actual market values when the vehicles come to be sold. Day to day running costs, especially the repairs that keep older vans running, are much more important.”

The full research findings into the company van sector will be launched as a guide by GE Capital’s Fleet Services division at the forthcoming Commercial Vehicle Show 2013 at the NEC between the 9th and 11th April.

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