The best options for disposal and renewal of your old vehicles

Upgrading or disposing of your van can seem daunting with so many options available. Refreshing your vans doesn’t have to be as costly or time-consuming as you might think. With the right approach, you could save your business thousands in running costs and unlock the capital in your ageing fleet.

26/02/202012 minutes read

It’s no secret that an ageing fleet or an old van can be more expensive to run than a newer equivalent.

Newer vans tend to be less likely to break down, they are less polluting, and they are more fuel-efficient.  If given the choice, why wouldn’t we want to operate or drive newer vehicles? Unfortunately, regularly refreshing your fleet can be costly and time-consuming – but it doesn’t have to be.

As easy as it is to stick to the methods you already know, reviewing your options could mean saving your business thousands in running costs and hours in time.    


Upgrade or disposal options depend on acquisition methods


Deciding on your vehicle upgrade path or disposal method depends on whether you own it or not. As obvious as this sounds, those who hire or lease their vehicles benefit from the convenience of newer vehicles.  


Options for usership - Leasing or Contract Hire

If you acquired a vehicle through leasing, contract hire, or vehicle hire, it could be as simple as handing back your keys at the end of your lease/hire period. 

Flexible hire options go one step further by enabling you to swap your van during your rental agreement. As you can see, how you acquire your vehicles can make swapping old vans for new ones easy or more difficult.  



Options for ownership - Vehicle Owners

Vehicle owners will usually want to put the value of their old vehicle towards acquiring a new one. We refer to this as ‘unlocking the capital in your fleet’. Every vehicle you own is an asset with a depreciating cash value bound to it.

The best refresh or disposal option available depends on the condition of your vehicle, the amount of time you are looking to spend, and how much cash you are looking to get.

From auctions to part-exchange and recycling - from selling your vehicle privately or to a wholesaler, each solution has its pros and cons


Scrapping your vehicle

If your vehicle has reached the end of its useful life, failed its MOT, or it requires expensive repairs, it can make sense to scrap it at an authorised treatment facility (ATF).

If you are considering scrapping your vehicle due to the ULEZ charges, you may be eligible for the Transport for London vehicle scrappage scheme.

Update - 04/01/2021. Transport for London has announced that due to unprecedented demand and limited funds, the Scrappage Scheme is currently suspended for van applications. New applications are not being accepted. If you've already applied to the scheme and received a confirmation of eligibility letter you can continue to scrap your vehicle and submit your evidence to claim your grant payment.



Auctions are usually the go-to quick option, particularly if you are a large fleet operator. Despite being a quick method, auctions don’t always give you the best financial return.

Sale prices can be quite volatile. Bidders will be looking to maximise their profits or savings and will factor in a vehicle’s condition, any depreciation, commission and the overall buoyancy of the LCV market.


Selling privately

Operators of smaller fleets usually prefer selling their vehicles privately. With being able to wait for the right buyer and negotiate on price, selling privately can yield a good financial return.

If time was no problem, many fleets would probably benefit from selling their vehicles privately. In practice, any financial gains need to be offset against the time it takes to prepare, market and sell the vehicle yourself.

Selling privately is not always an appealing option, particularly if you are a large fleet or don’t have a lot of spare time.



Many dealers offer the service of putting your vehicle against the value of the vehicle you are purchasing. Part-exchange can be extremely convenient, but only in rare cases will you get the full value of your vehicle.


We Buy, You Rent


Full disclaimer: This is Northgate’s bespoke solution to the hassle of refreshing your fleet.

Our We Buy, You Rent service is the easy way to sell your old and tired vehicles for a fair market price. You can use this cash to put towards new rental vans, with the specification and hire terms to suit your business needs.

Here’s how it works: 

  1. We buy your existing fleet for cash
  2. You choose your replacement vehicle
  3. You choose a hire option – 12 months+, Flexible Hire, or a combination of both.

 Since there’s no deposit necessary** with our hire options, all the capital generated from selling your old vehicle(s) can be freed up to reinvest in your business.



When it comes to refreshing your fleet or van, knowing the best option could save your business both time and money.

Businesses who hire or lease their vehicles enjoy the convenience of being able to hand back the keys of their old vehicles. Van owners can either scrap their old van, trade it in, or sell it. The best method is usually a balancing act between financial return and time invested.

We Buy, You Rent is the Northgate solution that makes it easy to get rid of the hassle of old vans altogether.



Leave the hassle of old vans behind, for good.


Whether you have one or 1,000 vans, renewing your vans can seem costly and time-consuming. We Buy, You Rent gives you an easy way to sell your old vans and replace them with new ones.   

  • Take away the hassle of replacing your old vans
  • Get a fair market price either agreed up front or as a reserve through our new auction platform
  • Settle any outstanding finance on your existing vehicles
  • Free up capital tied up in depreciating vehicle assets
  • Budget more effectively as your monthly costs become more predictable 


Renewing and updating your van fleet could not be easier with Northgate. Why not contact us today to discuss your options and unlock the capital in your ageing fleet?


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*Correct at time of writing

** Subject to credit checks

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