Van downtime costing business £2.4bn

UK businesses are collectively losing £2.4 billion per year due to vans not being operational, according to a new research commissioned by Northgate.

Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) operators estimated that each of their vans spend on average four days a year in the garage.

The cost to a business in terms of lost work for each day a commercial van is off the road is £800, meaning an average £3,200 of lost revenue per year.

With 763,000 private sector vans on the road, Northgate estimates that’s a loss of £2.4bn per year to UK PLC.

In order to cover the business’s commercial needs, more than a third (36%) have had to rent a van on a short-term basis in the past year, pushing the cost of vehicle downtime even higher, it says.

Furthermore, 47% of respondents said that they also incur fines or penalties when their vans are out of action for a week.

Commercial vans are mission critical for many businesses across the country and LCV downtime can become a major source of stress and concern, says Northgate.

Aside from the cost implication, vans off the road can present a reputational threat to the business.

Almost two thirds (63%) of van operators admitted that their business would find it problematic to uphold promises to customers if their vans were out of service for a week.

One respondent said: “We have to either call hire companies that are local to see if they have availability. If not, we either have to get rid of the job or try and pass the work on to a competitor to make sure the customer isn’t disappointed.”

Tim Bailey, fleet director of Northgate Vehicle Hire, said: “Minimising time off the road could have a positive effect on the individual fleets as well as the UK’s economy.

“As we see the economic importance of vans grow, it is crucial that businesses understand the implications that van downtime can have on drivers’ productivity and on the fleet budget.

“Whether it’s caused by mechanical problems, incident damage or scheduled maintenance, van operators need to be prepared for downtime scenarios before they become too costly for the business.

“Our survey has confirmed that businesses who rent their vans, rather than own or lease them, find that breakdown management, maintenance and servicing is a much more streamlined process, with minimal disruption to the business’s operations.”


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