Businesses running vans have widened their geographic reach during the coronavirus pandemic. 

That’s according to the latest Business Barometer research from Mercedes-Benz Vans, which surveys more than 2,000 firms.

It found that two-thirds of companies are now prepared to travel up to 25 miles for new business, and 34% more than 50 miles.

In total, 80% of businesses surveyed have adapted in some way, with a quarter hiring more staff to meet demand.

The survey found 40% now offer additional services, 30% have increased opening hours, and 28% have cut prices.

The survey also found that 96% of respondents said they made a conscious effort to support other local businesses, and 73% said they had noticed a greater appreciation from other local businesses during the pandemic.

However, Mercedes says that only 24% of UK adults see van drivers as key workers, something the company has criticised.

Mercedes-Benz Vans UK managing director Steve Bridge said: “The role of the van community has never been more important to keeping small businesses going and recharging the UK economy, so it is great to see the ways that these companies are adapting, and how customers are supporting their local shops and tradespeople.

“It is disheartening though that only one in four people associate the hard-working van drivers as key workers, so we will continue to do all we can to shine a light on our wonderful community and raise awareness of the vital role of the industry to all our everyday lives.”