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The rise of the new van owner

By Amanda | 08-03-2018

In today's society, the white van man stereotype has become almost extinct, and in its place we have seen the rise of the new van owner.

The new van owner takes on a very different persona to the "white van man", which was a term originally coined in 1997 by The Sunday Times. In an article, a journalist personified light commercial van drivers as "selfish, inconsiderate and aggressive", but that's simply not the case in 2018.

The van driver from today's era is very different to twenty years ago, for a start, there are far more women van drivers on the roads than in previous years. With a rise in the manufacturer of the car-van, a number of small businesses are taking advantage of driving smaller vans with car-like qualities and greener credentials, to help reduce fuel and tax costs.

White is still the predominant colour of choice when it comes to buying a van, and with sales reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers at a healthy 100,316 units for white LCVs in the first half of 2017, its clear Britain's roads are no longer dominated by grubby looking dilapidated vans.

Furthermore, there has been a rise in the sales of silver vans in recent years, with business owners becoming more attracted to vans that offer a dual-purpose. Many drivers are now seeking a working utility van during the week, which has the ability to transform into a fully functional family car at the weekend.

Vans such as the Volkswagon Transporter have become a popular choice for business owners, offering all of the practicality of a working van while doubling up as a luxury vehicle that sits well on the drive and becomes the perfect people carrier at weekends.

Commercial fleets have also taken on a new persona. Vans are well presented, with colour wraps advertising their business, and many sport a luxury interior to include mod cons such as the latest infotainment systems, alloy wheels, leather seats and much more. Furthermore, van drivers with wraps on their vehicles now have a responsibility to the reputation of their business, so any unseemly behaviour could reflect badly on their carefully built up reputation.

An increasing number of the UK's commercial vans are now leased, meaning drivers have an even greater incentive to keep their vans pristine, to ensure that when it's time to trade their van in for a new one, they can maximise on spending potential.

LCVs are swiftly becoming the vehicle of choice for a vast array of small and medium business enterprises. Figures from the Department of Transport (DoT) back up these changes, with reports finding that during the last four years, LCV traffic has increased by 4.1pc on average per annum – the most of all traffic types over the period.

The idea of a "white van man" culture has long been left behind. In its place has immersed the business entrepreneur, keen to expand his or her business and present their trade in the smartest way possible.

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