Most van manufacturers are primarily car makers, he points out. As a consequence they typically calculate residual values for vans against a three year/60,000 mile standard, because that's the benchmark familiar to them.

Unfortunately the majority of panel vans cover upwards of 30,000 miles annually, Alexander contends.

“The industry yardstick for average mileage falsely favours those less robust products that will survive intact to a modest mileage, but would fare far worse as the 100,000-mile mark approaches,” he says. “It is plainly wrong-headed to continue to use such a yardstick when it does not reflect the norm.”

Elsewhere, Alex Wright, commercial vehicle sales director at Manheim Auctions, highlights the way in which vans obtained under contract hire seem to suffer a lot more damage towards the end of the agreement than they do at the start. “One possible explanation could be that drivers alter their driving and loading behaviour because they know their new van is on the way,” he suggests.