A van is an essential part of running your own electrical contracting business. However the type of van that is used within the business is often a personal decision. Deciding whether to own your own van or lease a van is one of the first steps to take. This week we have taken a look at what's on offer and asked you which Van Tops Your List?
And the electricians van of choice is:
Ford Transit Connect
In our survey Ford Transit Connect came out tops – and interestingly the Transit Connect was voted as the most economical van of the year in 2013. Some electricians have had several Transit vans over the years so this is testament to their quality and reliability.
However it their is still a great buzz around the VW Transporter which is also highly coveted.
VW Transporter – Business Van of the Year 2014
The highly prized Business Van of the Year 2014, the VW Transporter, renowned for reliability, economic fuel consumption and low depreciation value has become somewhat of an icon within the electrical industry, and indeed other trades. However is this the van of the future?
Looking at some other offerings from rival van badges such as Citroen, Vauxhall and Mercedes, it will be interesting to see whether the VW will continue to be the van of choice for so many.
Vans for the future
At one time, vans were there for looks, gadgets and bravado, nowadays the practicalities of running costs, insurance and trade in values are at the forefront of decisions made over which van to purchase.
Taking a look at the latest offerings from big name brands, they are working hard to tempt tradespeople with offerings to make their lives easier. Here are some examples:
Citroen Berlingo Full Electric
Citroen have a full electric van available. As well as benefiting from the lowest running costs available, there is also a great Government driven package available to business drivers including subsidised or free parking, tax incentives and approved mileage allowance payments. Having an electric van would make you money in itself as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
If you're looking for something a bit different to the usual vans you see on the road, you'll be interested to know that Mercedes have launched a small van known as the Mercedes Citan. The level of service on offer from Mercedes outstrip rival brands and includes 24 hour servicing, on line booking and free breakdown cover.
Leasing a van?
If you're thinking of leasing, or are concerned about the cost of fitting out your van with all the racking once you've got it, then LexAutolease believe they have the answer for you. LexAutolease are working with the racking experts Tevo on launching a ready to drive van. Lease a Vauxhall or Fiat van and it will be delivered to you fully racked and ready to drive to your next job. LexAutolease believe this will save a fifth on your company vehicle cost, and there will be no need to wait whilst the racking is fitted to your vehicle.
More about the VW Transporter?
Ah yes, we couldn't end without some thoughts from electricians of the Van of the year 2014! Stylish, good on fuel and have a reputation of lasting forever. Certainly a van on many bucket lists amongst our survey respondents - “I'd like to end up with a vw transporter, just for the looks really” and from an owner; “I definitely feel confident this van enhances my company image”. But you can't please everyone.....
“we've had transporters in the past and although they are good looking vans we found the running costs to be too high. Once they have been dinged by the men, they start to look the same anyway!”
The last word from a van supplier....
Our survey attracted a response from a company who supply new vans to trades people and gave us the low down on what vans are trending at the moment:
Citroen Berlingo Enterprise
A small van which comes with air con, sat nav and parking sensors amongst other features and is good value for the price.
Ford Transit Connect
A bigger van with better reliability
For the badge, however there is no real difference in mileage quality between the caddy and other similar vans.
The Vauxhall Vivaro Sportive and Renault Trafic Sport have been the most popular panelled out vans over the last few years as they have all the extras, however recently every other enquiry has been for a Transit Custom as this has a great re-sale price, but is quite basic in terms of features. If you are looking for features, you'll need to go up the range possibly to the Transit Limited.
If you are hoping to get your hands on a VW Transporter, it is recommended that you lease this van as it has a very expensive list price. It is the van that many trades people aspire to and has a great residual value.
With all this on offer, you'd be easily forgiven for thinking you're the only sparks on the planet to still be driving around in a Peaugeot Partner! Not so, there are many sparks in the same boat, and whilst these new vans are a great carrot dangler, they still remain a pipe dream for many! Well....maybe you are thinking of going for one of Lex Autoleases fully kitted out vans – we like the sound of those – let us know how you get on!