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There’s no getting away from the extra costs associated with servicing and repairing your van, and on top of this we know that wear and tear can cause some confusion when it comes to the return of a leased vehicle. Whilst every leasing company will have their own small print, generally the options are similar.

If it’s a brand new van being leased, a manufacturer’s own vehicle warranty will be included as part of the purchase. For many, however, this standard cover doesn’t offer everything they’re looking for, and for peace of mind look to add a maintenance package, designed to cover a range of other potential issues.

In this guide we take a look at the key differences between a manufacturer’s warranty and an additional maintenance package, and also outline your own responsibilities for looking after your van from the start to the end of your leasing period.

What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

A manufacturer’s warranty is simply a guarantee that comes directly from the vehicle manufacturer which obligates them to fix a range of faults, mechanical breakdowns or vehicle impairments that might happen to a van during the period of time it is under the warranty. Generally a manufacturer’s warranty will last for a certain number of years, or for a certain amount of mileage. Standard is 3 years for a new vehicle, or 36,000 miles. The length and mileage limit of the manufacturer warranty depends on the actual manufacturer, but the basics of the cover will be the same.

A manufacturer warranty period starts from the vehicle registration date. This is the date your vehicle is first registered with the DVLA and not your own delivery date of the vehicle.

You can find out the registration date for your vehicle by checking on the DVLA website.

What is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty?

It’s always important to check the details, but a manufacturer’s warranty should cover any electrical or manufacturing faults during the full term of the warranty. It can vary from vehicle to vehicle, but generally this will cover:

  1. Engine
  2. Fuel and ignition systems
  3. Cooling systems
  4. Electrics
  5. Gearbox
  6. Clutch transmissions
  7. Steering
  8. Suspension

What is a maintenance package?

Like most standard manufacturer warranties, there are a list of things that won’t be covered. For vans, this is normally things such as:

  1. Tyres and wheels
  2. Brakes and clutch
  3. Paintwork
  4. Headlights
  5. Exhaust
  6. Catalytic convertor.

Designed to cover more than a standard warranty, this gets people thinking more about the benefits of taking out additional cover. For a fixed monthly fee, a maintenance package takes the worry out of getting your new van serviced and maintained and the peace of mind that you are covered for a range of features. Packages will vary by provider, but will be similar. Here we’re using our own maintenance package to illustrate what you can expect to be covered for:

The petrol vs diesel van debate has gone on for years, now add electric and hybrid engines into the mix and it doesn’t seem as simple a decision as it once was. With four main fuel types to choose from we know it’s not always a straightforward decision and that there’s lots to think about.

In this guide, we will examine the latest information on each fuel type, along with the pros and cons associated with them to help you make the right choice.

Petrol

It’s fair to say that in the commercial van market place, the diesel engine still dominates, with around 75% of owners opting for this engine type. There have been attempts from manufacturers in recent years to launch petrol options in larger vans, but it’s proven to be a difficult task to compete against their diesel counterparts.

That said, there are plenty of petrol vans available, and actually, they are increasing in popularity within the small van category. Why? Because petrol vans have greater fuel efficiency for shorter distances and so it suits the driver looking to do shorter trips around towns and cities with less reliance on carrying heavy loads.

Some of the most popular choices today are:

  1. Citreon Berlingo
  2. Peugeot Partner
  3. Volskwagen Caddy

When it comes to green credentials, petrol engines are seen to be more environmentally friendly than diesel with lower C02 emissions, but because they consume more fuel comparatively, most are not eligible for free operation in ultra-low emission areas.

Petrol vans are often a little cheaper to lease or buy, but we should point out that they also have lower residual value and this affects the chance of selling the van for the desired price when it’s time to move on to the next vehicle.

Pros

  1. Vehicle choice – especially in the smaller van category.
  2. More environmentally friendly than diesel engines.
  3. Good fuel efficiency for shorter journeys.
  4. Less expensive at the pump than diesel.
  5. Can be cheaper to buy or lease.
  6. Slightly less noisy.

Cons

  1. Higher CO2 emissions than electric or hybrid vehicles.
  2. Less fuel efficient for longer journeys.
  3. Vehicle choice is more limited than diesel engines.
  4. Lower residual value.
  5. Not eligible for free operation in ultra-low emission zones.

Diesel

Pretty much all van manufacturers have a diesel van in every make and model, so it’s hardly surprising that it remains the number one choice when looking for a large commercial vehicle. Despite some negative publicity around diesel engines, the benefits to the driver generally continue to outway the  current alternatives. Some of the biggest benefits are around fuel efficiency and their ability for moving heavy loads and travelling long distances. Let’s look at the Ford Transit as an example. The Transit not only has a wide range of models, it’s practical, comfortable and ranks in the top commercial vehicles year in year out.

Like the Ford Transit there are lots of other popular large vans, such as the Vauxhall Movano and it’s the huge variety of payload ranges that these manufacturers offer; anywhere from 2.6 to 4.3 tonnes that helps with this popularity.

The main issue with Diesel vans is the harmful gasses that the engines emit. As a direct result of this, the Government is taking steps to limit the use of diesel vans in towns and cities by 2025 – with a full sales ban from 2030, forcing people to seriously consider alternatives. Another common drawback is that diesel particulate filters (DPF) are easily blocked, especially if it’s used more often around urban areas. It’s a costy fix, up to a few thousand pounds in some cases, and a reason that modern diesel vans aren’t really suitable for those only doing short town and city centre distances.

Pros

  1. The best fuel economy for longer distances.
  2. Van choice – small, medium and large.
  3. Huge variety of payload ranges.
  4. Efficient and powerful engines.
  5. No restrictions on driving range.
  6. Hold their residual well.

Cons

  1. Higher fuel price.
  2. Not environmentally friendly – high CO2 emissions.
  3. DPF (Diesel Particulate filters) can clog and prove expensive to fix.
  4. Create more noise.

Electric

Research from the Freight Transport Association (link), suggests that up to a third of the vans we see on the road never actually travel more than 80 miles in a day – making electric vehicles a viable option for many. There are lots of positives; not just the obvious one of helping the environment, but also cost saving too, with running costs starting from as little as 2p-per-mile. It’s also less expensive to service and is exempt from road tax and congestion charges. Battery technology is also constantly improving in terms of  both power and range seeing the main benefits and there are currently more than 10,000 charging points in the UK, with ambitious plans to increase this.

Van choice is often noted as one of the main factors holding people back, and there is definitely truth in that. There is simply not the volume of larger vehicles on the market, and this contributes towards its current status of being a more expensive option. That said, the signs are promising. More manufacturers are investing heavily in the production of eco-friendly vans. We’ve already seen Peugeot, Citroen, Nissan and Renault add electric to their ranges of small and medium sized vans, and the choice is set to increase rapidly with Mercedes, Ford and VW joining them soon.

Pros

  1. Zero emissions – it’s the best option for the environment.
  2. Less expensive to run vs diesel and petrol engines.
  3. Perfect for urban and shorter distance journeys.
  4. Growing number of charging stations.
  5. Servicing can be less expensive.
  6. Exempt from congestion charges.

Cons

  1. Van choice is limited.
  2. No Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
  3. Less reliable for small journeys.
  4. Reliant on the availability of charging points.
  5. More expensive to lease or buy (then petrol or diesel engines).

Hybrid

Hybrid vans have come a long way in recent years, with the principle of a combination of a traditional combustion engine and a battery powered one seen as a good step forward to a greener transition.

They fall into three categories:

Full hybrid – can run solely on the combustion engine, or the battery powered engine, or a bit of both.

Mild hybrid – where the electric motor and the combustion engine have to work together for the van to run.

Plug-in hybrid – where the van runs on electric, and when that runs out the petrol or diesel engine kicks in.

How much the electric motor is used therefore varies between models, generally the more basic the model, the less ground is covered by the electric motor alone. Whilst their popularity is some way off the traditional diesel or petrol, manufacturers continue to invest in hybrid technology with Ford leading the way on the number of models available and Mitsubishi as one of the longest serving hybrids available.

A hybrid van is a great choice if a business or individual is environmentally conscious, but worried about committing to a full-electric van and the potential limitations they bring around charging points or running distance. Similar to electric vans, the hybrid is particularly good for urban journeys, and most vans will be able to go through the low emission zones with no charge. They offer lower running costs than diesel or petrol engines since they use the electric motor and are known for keeping their residual value well. That said, they are generally more expensive to lease or purchase.

One downside is that maintenance is known to be expensive for hybrid vans, with specialist skills required and replacement batteries expensive to purchase.  On the whole, they come with smaller engines which aren’t seen as favourable for carrying heavier payloads.

Pros

  1. Lower emissions  (in comparison to petrol and diesel engines).
  2. Less expensive to run.
  3. Most models are congestion charge free.
  4. Vans are quiet – ideal for evening deliveries.
  5. Great for shorter, urban journeys.

Cons

  1. More expensive to lease or buy.
  2. Less reliable for longer journeys.
  3. Expensive to repair.
  4. Reliant on the availability of charging points.
  5. Less environmentally friendly than fully electric vans.
  6. Van choice is limited.

As you can see, there is lots to think about when it comes to making the decision on fuel type, and it largely depends on each individual business and the factors that are important to them. Hopefully this article has gone some way to helping clarify the difference and supporting the decision when it comes to leasing or buying your next van.

If you’d like to know more our team is alway on hand to help.

Understanding Credit?

Credit is what allows our customers to lease vans with us; we use it to place new vehicle orders and our customers repay this cost in monthly instalments by the way of a van lease or contract hire agreement. The vehicle leasing industry itself all comes down to credit, and if you can’t get it, you can’t lease a van – so it’s important to understand how your own credit rating is calculated, how it’s used and what you can do to improve it.

Take Control of your Credit Score

Your credit score shows how well you’ve managed credit in previous years. Simply put, the higher your score, the more likely it is that any credit applications you make will be accepted, whereas if you have a lower score, you will find it more difficult to borrow.

We always suggest that a good starting point is to visit Credit Monitor, where you can access your credit score for free. Not only does it give you access to your current score, but you will also be provided with some useful information that will help you improve your score based on your unique circumstances, along with a tracker to see how it’s changing.

How your Credit Score is Used

Each lender scores their applicants by their own criteria, so if you do get declined it might just be because you don’t match their ideal customer profile. A declined credit footprint isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but if you start to get a few declines racked up against your name it could become a concern. The possibility of obtaining credit could be further reduced as each time you are declined for (or apply for) credit, an electronic footprint is left on your record. Comparison websites (e.g. www.moneysupermarket.com) allow you to use your credit report to see if you’re likely to be accepted for a particular form of credit and this is something well worth doing to avoid being declined and this showing on your record.

Improving your Rating

Credit history is generally built up over a period of time, and this increases with the number of correct payments you make on time. If the debt goes unpaid, your credit score goes down. The good news is, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score – here are a few practical things you can do:

Keeping your details up to Date

Lines of credit will stay on your file if you forget to cancel them so make sure you terminate old credit cards or phone contracts that you no longer use. Links to ex-partners, old addresses or failing to register for the electoral roll can also negatively affect your rating so make sure all your details are kept up to date.

You Can Ask

Just because your credit report shows a few missed payments, you may still be eligible for the credit to lease a van so it’s always worth asking. One outcome could be that due to the increased risk of lending, you might be charged slightly higher interest on your monthly payments.

The most important thing to remember when applying for van leasing credit is that lenders want low risk and stability.

Other Sources

The main credit reference companies are, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, and you should be able to get a record of your credit rating free of charge from any of these. Your standard free report will give some information about your credit history, but it won’t include any of the extras such as monitoring your credit score.