The trouble with old vans: The wrong van for the job

The average age of vans on UK roads is over seven years and things definitely don't improve with age.

04/10/201810 minutes read

Wrong van for the job

Having the wrong tools for the job is something that every worker fears, and this is not only limited to what you can carry in your hands.

For many businesses and employees, vehicles are just as integral to a job as the tools that fit in the back of them, and having one that is suitable to the situation is essential if the job is to be completed correctly.

The importance of business agility cannot be understated as it is essentially the difference between being able to carry out a task and keep all interested parties and stakeholders satisfied, and not being able to live up to expectations.

In an ever-evolving business marketplace, it is more vital than ever to be able to fluidly move between projects, and between elements of a single project, and having the right equipment to do this can make things substantially easier.


One key problem for many organisations is being able to anticipate an influx of new business or having the ability to adapt to changing situations.

Adaptability is at the forefront of any business’ intentions, as it provides the freedom to be able to say yes and know that promises can be fulfilled. From a customer service perspective, it also adds weight to any organisation’s claims that it will deliver.

This extends to the use of vehicles for the job; any business will be aware that certain jobs have specific requirements that necessitate the use of certain vehicles, and to this end having immediate access to these vehicles at short notice can not only help to meet the specific requirements of the project, but also conform with any regulations.

Saving time

In many cases, time is often of the essence; a quick turnaround can be required where work is being undertaken in a high-risk area or where a project needs to be completed within a specific timeframe, and in these cases having the wrong van for the job can be catastrophic.

Furthermore, investing in a new vehicle with the equipment or livery required to conform with legislative requirements in a short timeframe can be difficult or even impossible when the cost and time required are taken into account.

At Northgate, vehicles are strategically positioned around the UK so that whenever and wherever specific vehicles are required, fleet managers can be sure of gaining access to the right one inside the required timeframe.

Saving money

For the business, this removes the capital outlay that would be needed if the vehicle was purchased outright, but just as importantly it ensures that the right vehicle for the job is being used and that it can be located in the right place, at the right time.

The risk of breaking any rules or legislation is also eliminated, as the right van is being used; this can be of particular benefit when a significant amount of equipment needs to be transported, as payload restrictions can cause a headache.

Figures from the RAC Foundation show that 89 per cent of LCVs pulled over by the DVSA in 2014 were overweight, which resulted in fines, confiscations and other legal costs.

Not only can this have a financial impact on a business through paying the penalties, but the downtime can result in lost business and an impact on customer perception.

On the other end of the spectrum, having a level of flexibility to change the vehicle can also help to avoid having a vehicle that is unsuitable simply because it is too large for the job – something  that 39 per cent of vehicles have fallen victim to, according to the RAC Foundation.

Running a smaller vehicle can help to provide increased fuel efficiency, which again provides a cost saving.

Having the wrong van for the job can be a major headache and drain on both time and money -something that can be avoided by having the flexibility to change the vehicle according to specific business requirements.

The result is the ability to do the job and keep customers happy, and the peace of mind from knowing that expectations will be met.

Northgate offers a range of specialist vehicles, located strategically across the UK. For more information, contact us.

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