Van delivery driver

Van sales are on the up largely thanks to a spike in internet shopping

  • A study of the tremendous boom in van sales this year has put the increase down to a steady rise in home shopping and deliveries.
  • Online sales in the UK hit £103bn last year, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, creating a booming market for home delivery of orders.
  • The figure is expected to rise by 12% in 2015 to about £1 in every £4 spent by Britons and this is expected to see van sales continue their upward trend.

VAN operators and owners are facing the prospect of tougher new laws to crackdown on the worst safety issues, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

It has up to now successfully opposed a tightening of legislation to bring the CV sector in line with HGV operators, but that could change in future.

At the CV Show this week, the SMMT launched a van maintenance campaign to help van operators take better care of their vehicles, and to keep their drivers and other road users safe.

Almost two thirds (63%) of the 10,800 vans stopped by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) at the roadside each year have a serious mechanical defect, while more than nine out of 10 (93%) are overloaded.

Around half of all vehicles stopped posed a road safety risk and were subsequently taken off the road at a cost to their owners of some £4,000 per day.

Meanwhile, 50% of vans also fail their annual MOT test first time, compared with just 22% of HGVs, whose operators are bound by strict and costly licensing rules.