Light commercial vehicles have really come into their own during the pandemic as home deliveries and logistics have taken centre stage.
But even before Covid-19 took hold, a new white paper released by Europcar Vans and Trucks, has underlined the huge significance of LCVs for UK businesses.
The research conducted amongst UK businesses before the pandemic, found that more than 58% of UK businesses use their vans every day of the week, with another 23% using them for between 4 and six days per week. But that dependence also requires high levels of flexibility, as the Europcar data revealed.
As UK businesses contend with a more unsettled economic landscape, the need for flexibility when it comes to accessing vehicles makes commercial sense – freeing up cash that would otherwise have been tied up in an outright purchase.
The Europcar research identified the evolving trend towards ‘usership’ rather than ‘ownership’. Over a quarter of businesses said they favour long-term rental as a method of accessing commercial vehicles and vehicle ‘usership’, rather than ownership, which is the preferred option for almost 20% who use short term rental solutions.
The Europcar research also identified some of the biggest headaches for commercial fleet managers. After road congestion, next on the list of concerns was vehicle condition, with 42% citing it as their second biggest worry.
As fleet managers juggle multiple vehicles, driven by many different drivers, the availability of vehicles was an issue for 40% of the decision makers questioned, with nearly three quarters (71%) admitting to having ‘spare’ vans in order to mitigate the risk of being left without a vehicle. And the bigger the firm, the more likely they were to have ‘just in case’ vehicles: 92% of companies with 500+ employees.
Stuart Russell, LCV Sales Director at Europcar Vans and Trucks said: “Undoubtedly 2020 was particularly challenging for companies – whether that meant a reduction in business or having to gear up quickly to meet rapidly increasing demand. That’s why flexibility and the need to minimise long-term financial commitments are going to be the cornerstones for businesses that want to remain competitive in 2021 and beyond.
“For fleet managers, being able to call on reliable and appropriate commercial vehicles as and when they are needed will be key. And as a flexible supply partner, Europcar Vans & Trucks can help businesses stay in control of their costs. Long-term rental goes some way to answering the challenges they face by offering a cost effective, ‘pick up and put down’ solution of up-to-date, well maintained and low emission vehicles, which will allow fleet managers to sleep more peacefully at night.”
Source: Business Vans