Second-hand van use by fleets set to increase, research finds

Date: Monday, June 10, 2024   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Research by Arval has found that 40% of fleets plan to start using second-hand vans during the next three years.

The figure comes from the leasing company’s 2024 Mobility Observatory Barometer research, which also found that 16% of operators were already using used vans.

Head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK Shaun Sadlier explained that although the research did not investigate the reasons behind this trend, there were several factors that could be contributing.

He said: “The most likely is that, since the pandemic, new van supply has been limited and therefore fleets have been turning towards alternative sources of meeting their needs, including the used market. For some operators, buying used has become relatively commonplace, and it has been an effective way of meeting their requirements.

“The same supply trend also means that fleets have been continuously extending replacement cycles and have learnt, to some extent, that vans have potentially longer fleet lives than they once thought, even if maintenance becomes more of an issue over time. This has potentially removed the fear from buying older vehicles.

“Finally, prices of new vans have been rising quite rapidly in recent years, and so buying used provides a route to reducing acquisition costs.”

According to Arval’s research, the trend towards used vans is consistent across different fleet sizes, with 18% of fleets with fewer than 10 employees already operating them and 36% planning to add more; compared with 14% and 43% respectively for those with more than 1,000 employees.

Sadlier said: “It’s interesting that almost irrespective of the size of organisation, fleets are coming to the same conclusions about used vans. Clearly, similar factors are affecting operators right across the board.

“Of course, it is entirely possible that if we see a continuation in the improvement of new supply that has been underway over the last couple of years, this trend towards used vans will fail to materialise. 

“However, it’s a strong indication of how van fleets view the current situation in terms of vehicle availability and operational issues.”



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