Should I buy or lease my next van? Do I really need to think about changing into a new van?
The leasing vs buying debate has been a fairly hot topic in the world of cars, as the growth of contact hire has made customers move from the traditional hire purchase and personal contact purchase models into more usership and short-term style agreements.
With vans, and commercial vehicles, the influence has been less poignant but has nevertheless made many customer re-think the way in which they operate their van.
For some van users, particularly in heavy-use industries, the view was that it was easier or cheaper to purchase a used van – you can treat the vehicle as you want, you don’t answer to a finance company and you can sell the vehicle on at any time. The added flexibility, and lack of conditions, make it a more sensible route surely? Not exactly. Not every van-user undertakes heavy-use; a florist delivering bouquets or an electrician is likely to undertake less wear and tear than a plasterer or builder. Added to that debate is the running of a used van – they need more servicing, they are out of warranty and can often cost more to fix than what they are worth. If your vehicle is essential to your work, how much does it really cost you, and the business, when it fails to operate properly?
When leasing a new van, don’t just concentrate on a monthly rental as being a cost; use a “whole of life” cost analysis to ascertain what value you are really enjoying.
Why are people changing their vans now? Sustainability and the environment are making road users, Governments and manufacturers think very carefully. One of the big changes is happening via the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which is something already in place for cars. From September 2019 all new sales of commercial vehicles must adhere to WLTP and RDE testing. What this means is that new vans will go through more rigorous testing for working out their key statistics. The testing time for the vehicle will increase to 30 minutes, the test length increased to 14 miles (from 6 miles), there are higher speeds and more gear changes. Fundamentally, WLTP is trying to make sure that van manufacturers are honestly presenting information to customers about their new vans – CO2 and MPG being key factors.
Add to that the Real Driving Emissions testing (RDE and RDE2), which are measuring pollutants like particulate matter and NOx, and you can see there is a clear focus on making cleaner and greener vehicles.
Again, customers may think how does the improvements in testing really affect me or the business? There is method behind all of this.
In the UK, local authorities and cities are having to take targeted action of remove the most polluting vehicles from operating in their locality. This is being carried out via Clean Air Zones (CAZ) which are going to change van operators decisions on their next vehicle (or cost them a lot of money for not doing so).
Already in London we have the congestion charge zones, low emission zones and ultra-low emission zones which regulate who and what can enter into the city. With CAZs, other local authorities are having to make similar changes. The way in which these schemes operate is to select a category for implementing the changes i.e. a category A will affect buses, coaches, taxis and private hire, a category C will add vans and a category D will affect cars too. In Greater Manchester, the initial decision was to make the city a category B zone in 2021 with C to follow in 2022. However, this decision seems to have been overridden and 2021 will be a category C – this means vans will be affected.
While the business plan is being reviewed at the moment, Manchester are moving towards less-polluting decision and van operators do need to reconsider how they are going to manager their fleet.
If your van isn’t a Euro 6 (registered on or after September 2015) or a Euro 4 petrol (registered on or after January 2006) then you could be paying anywhere between £8-£15 per day! Leasing or buying a new, or nearly new, van will be considerably cheaper.
For any businesses in the Manchester area looking for updated advice and guidance just head to the Transport for Greater Manchester website at – https://tfgm.com/
There are currently a number of roadshows being held across the region where you can hear about the changes being undertaken. What you need to be aware of is that this is still very new and Manchester is very much in an “early measures” place. To help, the investment is going to come in the form of charge points for those drivers using electric or PHEV vehicles, grants for businesses to improve their infrastructure (i.e. charge points) and introductions to the Energy Saving Trust (EST) who will help analyse your fleet free of charge. For further advice, also consider speaking with the GM Chamber at https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/ as they are also part of the process.
In terms of the van shown here, the Mercedes-Benz Vito Long Diesel 111CDI Van (Manual), this is based on the following configuration:
Arctic White solid paint;
Tunja cloth upholstery; and
16” steel wheels.
As standard the van includes daytime running lights, twin unglazed rear doors, dual passenger seat, full bulkhead, electric front windows, sliding door in left and right side, hill start assist, traction control, Bluetooth, comfort suspension, cruise control, audio 15 radio with 5.8” colour display, USB connection, multifunction steering wheel, overhead storage, attention assist, crosswind assist, spare wheel, central locking and immobiliser.
On the technical-side please note the list price at £21,810 plus Vat and CO2 at 163g/km. The 1598CC (Euro 6) 6 speed manual diesel engine delivers 45.6 combined MPG and 114ps.
So would you select this as your next van leasing option? Or would you be heading to a Ford Transit Custom or Renault Trafic?