Commercial Vehicles

Tips for Buying Your First Commercial Vehicle

A van can be one of the most important purchases you make when you start a business. It can also be one of the most stressful. How do you choose the most appropriate vehicle for your business’ needs and where do you start?

It’s advisable to being your search by making a long list of everything your van will be used for. Will you need sliding doors for easy access? Will you be carrying large or bulky objects? What type of payload will you need? Think about the areas you will be working, if you’ll be unloading items outside store fronts or on busy streets, sliding side doors may be a safer, preferable option. If you’re planning on navigating busy streets and parking in public car parks rather than loading bays, a narrower, more responsive vehicle like the Citroen Nemo or the Fiat Fiorino.

Wasted profit can be a real problem for small businesses so finding a vehicle with a good fuel economy is a must. Many manufacturers of utility vehicles are making this their mission so don’t worry about being left with a tiny van. Instead of opting for a petrol engine, why not choose a diesel one?

All of those little extras usually advertised in the showroom may sometimes seem like a waste of time but the option of a Bluetooth hands-free kit or front fog lights may be useful than you think. Consider the areas you may be working in, if you’ll be on the road for the majority of the time access to a hands-free could be more than useful for taking bookings when you’re out of the office. If your business involves handling messy goods why not invest in rubber flooring rather than carpeting as an easier to clean alternative. There are many great space and time saving alternatives out there so before you say no have a think of what your business needs.

Purchasing a commercial van for your business is a serious investment and one that shouldn’t be thought of lightly. Take your time to think about how you see your business growing in the next few years. Will the vehicle you’ve chosen cope with growth? Try not to get too excited by the prospect of buying your first company vehicle, there’s such a wide range of options available on the market nowadays for you to be able to make an informed decision.

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A Buyers Guide to Running a Fleet of Commercial Vans:

Commercial vans are a vital part of keeping the British economy up and have become one of the largest selling vehicle ranges in the country. The days of bad driving reputations have gone and in recent years the role of professional management trying to keep costs down has been recognised.

With developments in the market, vans have evolved into more technologically advanced vehicles with DAB digital radios, Bluetooth hands-free and security systems fitted as standard into light commercial vehicles (LCVs). More vans than ever feature airbags and anti-lock brakes as a standard feature.

Many fleets introduce the biggest vehicle they can purchase without having to introduce a tachograph which means there’s growth in the sub-3.5 tonne market. As demand for internet ordering services and home shopping grow, manufacturers are looking to up load weight whilst still enabling the driver to adjust braking accordingly.

Companies need to be completely clear of the specifications that they require as LCV manufacturers roll tens of thousands of permutations out on an annual basis. Looking for the best, most appropriate model for you may be a lot easier than you think as makes like Citroen & Vauxhall bring out custom vans with different body styles, racking and seats as well as add organisational and technological extras.

As a company who is looking to extend their business using a fleet, focusing on engine requirements will really help you save on cost and potential servicing. Considering the mileage you intend to reach and any budget requirements will enable you to find vehicles which contribute to lower running costs.

As the requirements of every business are different, there’s no specific answer to the question: ‘how much will my fleet of vans cost to run?’ Although a company is able to outsource much of the administration duties for a van fleet, having in-house support is a real advantage. During downtime vans are unable to earn money and yet when they are being driven they can really burn up money. With the worry of missing important appointments and adhering to strict deadlines, drivers are encouraged to speed along motorways and this can leave to accidents and prosecution. Simple things like getting your drivers to read and sign handbooks will reduce the likeliness of incidents and not impact on your account. Finally, if your vehicles will be driving around all day it’s important to brand them. Experts have stated in the past that the use of a company logo on the side of a van is worth at least £60 a month in advertising. Cost-effective vinyl decals cost as little as £100 and can act as a mobile billboard for your company.

How to Start a Small Delivery Business

With the rapid growth of home shopping, there is a real demand for delivery services in the UK. They’re convenient, easy and often offer a personal service. Although the cost of a delivery start-up is comparatively small, like any other business developing a comprehensive plan full of research of what you intend to do is the best way to start.

Before starting you will need to research any legal documentation or licenses that will enable you to start business. Check with your local government any specific permits you may need as they vary from place to place and get in contact with HMRC to discuss the tax side of starting up a business. Try not to get too excited about the prospect of procuring a vehicle just yet, make sure you get the ‘go ahead’ first!

Once you’ve got the thumbs up you’ll need to sort out your finances and apply for any further trading licenses. If you’re planning on using your personal car (or bicycle) for deliveries, call your insurance company and discuss your options. If you’re using a vehicle for business purposes you will need cover that includes any damage to products or the running of the company.

Although most start-ups use their personal vehicles to begin with, you may consider purchasing a separate commercial vehicle. Write a list of the specifications that you will need for your van, whether you need rubber matting in the inside, side sliding doors for ease of access or an integrated hands-free system for taking calls on the road. These will differ from business to business but getting them right for you will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. If you already own a business which is looking to deliver its products straight to your customer’s doors, consider any organisational bits and pieces which may help you secure parcels.

Once you’re up and running and you’ve established a client database it is vital that you remember to ask your customers to sign for their parcels on delivery. You do not want to be accused of not having delivered something. Create a simple form which requires both the driver and the recipient to sign and keep them organised just in case.