The number of old vans on UK roads has hit a record high as business owners are forced to sink money into maintain ageing fleets rather than investing in new vans, says Funding Options.
DVLA figures show the number of vans that are 10 years or older has hit 1.2 million, 47% more than in 2011 (0.82m) and 65% more than in 2009 (0.73m), as bank lending to SMEs for commercial vehicles dries up, says the online business finance supermarket.
Conrad Ford, founder of Funding Options, said: “The pitfalls of having run-down and unreliable vans in your business are plain to see.
“The role of the white van has changed. Fifteen years ago, they were being used mainly by tradesmen, but now they’re an essential part of many fledgling businesses – making both deliveries and collections.
“Dirty old diesels should be getting to the stage where they’re a thing of the past. Instead, businesses are having to put up with them as they haven’t the money to buy new models.
“Battered old vans damage brands - they create an impression of unprofessionalism while the risk of more breakdowns will mean more deliveries missed and clients lost.
“With banks reluctant to lend to smaller businesses in particular, many are now looking for alternative methods of funding their business’ growth - such as leasing, hire purchase, and asset finance - without taking money away from other areas of their business.”