Using your vehicle to boost business: how to take advantage of your van

Worn out vans might affect your business

A new study commissioned by van specialists Vanarama has found that the condition of your company’s commercial vehicles has a direct impact on trade and customer decision-making.

Ford Transit

The study surveyed 2,000 customers, 63% of whom claimed that the condition of a tradesman’s vehicle would help to influence their decision as to whether or not to use them.

This figure rose to 69% in London, while a further 49% of respondents intimated that the age of a commercial vehicle was an equally important concern when it came to using a tradesman’s services or not.

While good maintenance and upkeep of commercial vehicles can help to maintain an appearance of professionalism long into their working life, the results of this study seem to suggest that a commercial van can only be used for so long before it starts to become a barrier to trade.

It’s important that UK businesses and tradesmen make an effort to look after a vehicle’s bodywork and maintenance in order to retain trade, but also that they’re aware of the finite lifespan of their vans.

Keeping your stock safe is key

It’s an unfortunate truism that the commercial vehicles – especially those of workmen and labourers – have become increasingly popular targets for thieves of late.  Although you want your van to stand out from the crowd, when a thief spots a new Ford Transit with the logo and markings of your firm on the side, what they really see is an opportunity to make some quick cash. The usual signs and markings claiming that your vehicle ‘is left empty overnight’ or that ‘contents are stored elsewhere’ aren’t often enough to deter thieves – they’ll happily call your bluff and potentially cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to your vehicle.

So how can you keep the thieves away from your tools and equipment, and keep your Ford Transit safe into the bargain? Parking onsite can help. Most vehicle thefts and break-ins occur when a van is parked on the street or in a public place, where thieves can easily gain access to the vehicle itself. You also need to ensure your vehicle is completely secure. Wherever you keep your commercial vehicle overnight, you ought to ensure that it’s properly locked up – and no, standard central locking will not suffice to keep out a determined thief! It is possible to buy sturdy, functional aftermarket locks designed to secure your van’s cargo compartment from all but the most destructive tools. You could also consider storing your stuff elsewhere, as no matter what you do to protect your commercial vehicles from thieves, there’s always a chance that they’ll decide to attack it anyway. That way, you’ll have less to worry about in the morning.

Being savvy about fuel could save you a fortune

Diesel engines used to have a negative reputation amongst motorists and pedestrians alike, being associated with noxious emissions and a distinctly agricultural level of performance. In recent years, however, the reputation of diesel vehicles has completely transformed, and now they’re known for a very different set of attributes. They’re generally more fuel efficient than petrol engines, release less C02 emissions and road tax is often cheaper, too.

Hopefully these helpful tips will make, or save, your business a pretty penny and have you driving down the road towards a more profitable small business in the future!

About Laura Styles

Laura Styles is Business Development Manager for Jennings Ford. She loves whizzing about in her Ford Transit Van and writing the Jennings Blog which discusses all things automotive. She hates drive thru coffee and seeing tall people driving small cars. You can follow her on-the-road ramblings on Twitter @Jennings_Group