The quality of service provided by dealer networks is vital in boosting vans’ residual values, according to used value specialist Glass’s Guide.

Strong RVs benefit whole life costs and translate into lower leasing rates on new vans, a vital consideration with the majority of LCVs being sold on lease rental deals.

Glass’s CV editor George Alexander advised manufacturers to invest in their dealer networks to enable them to offer customers extended opening hours while keeping service and parts costs as low as possible.

He added: “Offering finance and service packages to include roadside repair and recovery to make life easier for customers should be the norm.”

Alexander said features that enhance a van’s practicality and versatility also boost its used sale prospects. He singled out the new Ford Transit Custom for introducing innovations such as a fold-down roof rack and extended load length running beneath the passenger seats.

But he warned that “nice to have” features such as tinted glass, air con, reversing sensors and even sat nav were becoming commonplace and would not necessarily strengthen RVs.

Alexander said improving fuel consumption would dramatically increase a van’s appeal to operators because the resultant savings translate directly into profit.

Solid build quality and the consequential gains in durability and reliability also add to a van’s market worth, Alexander argued, as do a decent driver environment, long service intervals and an array of safety features.

He advised manufacturers to establish a structured used vehicle programme to ensure that “all clean examples of their vehicles are retailed by them, backed by the highest standard of service and sold for top dollar”.

“This ensures the cash generated by selling used vans promotes the strength of the brand and keeps the profit within the business.”