In these uncertain times, with global supply chain problems and the continuing impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, what many van buyers want most of all is speed and simplicity.
Independent supplier Van Sales UK offers just those qualities – with access to new vehicles of all brands and a slick, quick online system that allows the customer to complete an entire transaction and even arrange delivery from any location with internet access or a mobile phone signal.
Van Sales UK, a division of parent company Vanaways, is an internet-based business. There’s no big shiny showroom or yard full of vans waiting to be sold, so overheads are kept to a minimum. Instead, its sales experts work over phone and email networks, taking inquiries and orders and matching customers up with their perfect vehicle selections without ever needing to have contact with either.
The intention is to make the buying process as easy as possible – and to provide access to the widest range of vans – to ensure customer get the vehicles they need to keep their businesses rolling. All vans are backed by full manufacturer warranty and after sales packages and a range of finance options are available. Van Sales UK can even take away older vehicles in part-exchange.
Director Chris Jakeways said: “Our aim was to disrupt the marketplace and offer van customers something new – and that’s what we’ve achieved. Our business model is entirely driven by having the best technology to make the process of buying new vans as quick and easy as possible, with the minimum time and admin requirement from the customer.”
Vanaways has been trading since 2017, but in its early days mainly dealt in used vans. The shift to focusing on new vehicles under the Van Sales UK brand, and the creation of its streamlined, paper-free buying system, was initially a response to upheavals in the marketplace over the last couple of years.
“Things really started to change with the Covid 19 pandemic, and subsequent lockdowns,” recalled Chris. “Obviously customers couldn’t visit our forecourt, but with auction houses closed it also became very difficult for us to source more used vehicles. As our stock dried up we started to look increasingly at new vans, and set up channels to source vehicles direct from the manufacturers.
“More recently, there has been pressure on the new van market too, caused by the global chip shortage and supply chain issues. But, because we’re not tied to any one brand we’re less affected by this than most franchised dealers. Combined with our super-slick online acquisition process, it means that for many customers the quickest and easiest way to get hold of a new van is through Van Sales UK.”
Growth has been rapid. The company is now supplying 250 new vehicles per month on average, and volumes continue to climb steadily. Used vans are still offered, but only those that have been taken in part-exchange for new models. In most cases they are collected from the customer’s premises when the new van is delivered, so interruption to the operator’s business is kept to an absolute minimum.
“We can source any vehicle a customer wants, but for many people these days the brand of their new van is not a primary concern – especially as, under the skin, in many cases two or even three models from different manufacturers can be nearly identical,” said Chris.
“What’s more important is to make the process of getting that new van on the road as painless as possible. That’s where we score, by cutting the number of steps a vehicle takes between rolling off the production line and arriving at the customer’s premises, and by slashing time-consuming paperwork. Our system is so simple that we even sold a new van to a roofer, who completed the whole transaction from a roof, using his mobile phone, during his lunch-break. With Van Sales UK, it’s that easy.”