Research by leasing company Arval has found that 17% of fleets have changed the size of the vans they operate in the last year.

Arval said 8% of companies surveyed had opted for bigger vans in the last 12 months, while 9% had moved to smaller vehicles.

The picture seems to have depended on the size of the fleet concerned, with companies with fewer than 10 vans mainly switching to larger vehicles, and firms with more than 50 vans opting for smaller alternatives.

The findings are from Arval’s 2018 Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer, research, which surveyed 3,718 fleets.

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval’s Corporate Vehicle Observatory in the UK, said: “We have been saying for some time that more van fleets should look at the benefits of rightsizing – ensuring that the vehicles they are using are the right size for their intended use.

“Rightsizing works both ways – it is inefficient, and can even be unsafe, to use a smaller vehicle for a job that really needs a bigger van and vice versa. This is because of factors such as optimising the payload and maximising fuel consumption.

“The Corporate Vehicle Observatory research does suggest that the migration in van size is becoming a trend. Almost one-in-five fleets have changed the size of vehicle they are buying, which could be because of rightsizing.”

Sadlier added that the research also indicated that only one in 10 fleets sought external advice when buying vans.

 “With so much choice, selecting the right van can be a complex and difficult process and this is an area where the van expertise we have developed over many years would be valuable to fleets of all shapes and sizes,” he said.