Darlington is Britain’s van capital, with the highest concentration of new vans on the road, according to analysis of Department for Transport data by Direct Line for Business (DL4B).
In 2013, 611 vans were registered for every 1,000 residents in the town, compared to 68 per 1,000 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 1,000 people) and Swindon (204 vans per 1,000 people) in third place.
DL4B’s analysis reveals that vans made up 10% of all vehicles registered in 2013, and there has been a three per cent increase in new vans between 2012 and 2013 and a 5% 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% increase) in 2013, Peterborough saw a 90% increase and Bristol 13%.
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%) of 35 to 54 year olds saying they haggled when buying their van compared to just a quarter (24%) 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.”