Counting the Cost of your Company Van


Counting the Cost of your Company Van

Business is going well, you are doing more jobs, suddenly you realise that the trusty van you are using is no longer sufficient and it’s time to invest in a replacement. Great – now is the perfect time for a serious look at the running costs of a van and, more importantly, how to minimise these expenses whilst still getting the best vehicle for the job.

It’s a sad fact that the minute you buy a vehicle of any sort, costs begin to accumulate. Immediately there is tax and insurance to pay followed by the ongoing costs of maintenance and fuel. These are facts of life – the good news is that there are ways that you can make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your money.

Choosing the Right Vehicle for the Job

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to start from basics and decide exactly what you need from your van. It’s very easy to overestimate the size and specification of the vehicle that is necessary and so waste money paying for space you don’t really need and the extra fuel needed for moving this space around.

Let’s sit down and do some serious thinking. What do you need to carry in your van, how long or high are these items? How heavy? What sort of terrain are you going to cover? It may seem obvious but taking a little time to make sensible decisions now can save a lot of money over the life of the van and will ensure that you are only paying for what you actually need.

Tax is not only one of those things that is inevitable, it can also be complicated. It’s worth checking out the current rules on road tax and benefits in kind to make sure you are getting the best rate. Here’s a link to the latest company van tax rules to give you some idea. It is always good practice to record the journeys you make as you may be able to pay less if you can show low usage.

Keeping Van Maintenance Costs Down

Ongoing maintenance is an important issue as it can be overlooked when business is busy, but not addressing this can result in lost customers and get you a reputation for unreliability. Manufacturers these days are aware of this and the need for vehicles to be off the road for the shortest time possible, so many are offering specialist services to van drivers. It’s worth checking out if the brand you favour has this facility in your area. Check out too if they offer a maintenance plan based on your monthly mileage or a courtesy van while yours is in for servicing.

Fuel is always going to be a major expense and with the majority of British vans being diesels, the recent rises in the price of fuel means that business users will be hit hard. Fuel economy, then, is going to be a major contributory factor in your choice of a new vehicle. Using guides such as Parkers can help you pick the most economical vehicle for you.

It is here that all that soul searching about the size and type of van needed really comes into its own. Now that you’ve worked out the largest sized items you need to transport on a regular basis and the distance and type of surfaces you are going to have to transport them over, you’ll have a pretty fair idea of what vehicle your business requires.

Do you really need four-wheel drive, a long wheelbase, extra height, lined interior, comfortable seating etc? All of these extras can be vital for your business but also add to the fuel costs, so make sure that they are cost effective.

As well as choosing the most economic vehicle, there is a lot you can do to minimise fuel consumption. We all know that our driving can influence our use of fuel but do you really need to carry all that extra ‘stuff’ that seems to accumulate in your van? Every bit of surplus weight is adding to the cost. It may seem very little but over the course of a year it might surprise you to see what a difference it makes to the balance sheet.  

Getting the Best Deal on Insuring you Van

Now that you’ve chosen the perfectly sized van for the job, researched the best fuel economy options and put in place a regular maintenance plan, the vital issue of insurance completes the package. Where to start?

Getting a really good deal on insurance, one that covers all eventualities but at an economic rate, is so important that it is worthwhile spending some of your precious time considering. A van insurance comparison site such as Compare Van can be incredibly useful here in terms of the time it saves you finding the cheapest insurance whilst giving you the right cover. That said, there’s a lot you can do to bring the cost down too.

For starters, if your van is stored in a lockable facility, for instance, and you’re seriously considering adding security devices to the vehicle itself, this will be looked on favourably by insurance companies.  

A distinctive appearance, including your business logo, not only advertises your business, it also makes it easier to trace and so less attractive to thieves. You should also consider adding a tracking device. Adding young drivers to your policy or those with a poor driving record will obviously increase your premiums, so think carefully if this is really necessary.

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019
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