White van driving on the open road

How much does it really cost to own a van?

19 June 2019
In 2014, we produced an article looking at how much it costs a business to own a van. Since that was 5 years ago, we've updated the information to see how much owning a van has changed in that time.

We’ve used the What Van’s 2019 award winners as our examples and chose the most affordable version of the models, which were:

  • Small Van of the Year – Ford Transit Courier
  • Medium Van of the Year – Ford Transit Custom
  • Large Van of the Year – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Pick-up of the Year – Isuzu D-Max

 Read on to see how much you need to set aside for your commercial vehicle.

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This information is based on owning a vehicle for 4 years and doing the average annual mileage for a commercial vehicle, which is 20,000 miles a year.

Ford Transit Courier – Winner of Small Van of the Year 2019

The Ford Transit Courier comes with a 1.5 litre diesel engine, with 75PS coming from the 6 speed manual gearbox. Ford stated that this small van can reach a fuel economy of 75MPG, however it is more likely to be around 51.4MPG when combined. As a small van, it has a load capacity of around 535kg.

This is what you should be looking out for when considering buying the Ford Transit Courier:

  • Price: £16,074 inc VAT
  • Fuel cost: £9,536.47
  • Depreciation: £10,988.09
  • Service, MOT and maintenance: £420
  • VED: £1,040
  • Insurance: £2,819.36
  • Total: £40,877.92
  • Per year: £10,219.48

Ford Transit Custom – Winner of Medium Van of the Year 2019

The middle Ford van, known as the Transit Custom, also shares a 6 speed manual gearbox, but has the larger 2.0 litre diesel engine, which pumps out 105PS of power. The Transit Custom has a lower MPG, due to its larger size, estimated to be around 30.9MPG. It also has a much larger load capacity of 1,530kg, according to Ford’s brochure.

  • Price: £26,274 inc VAT
  • Fuel cost: £15,689.03
  • Depreciation: £17,960.74
  • Service, MOT and maintenance: £420
  • VED: £1,040
  • Insurance: £4,357.52
  • Total: £65,741.29
  • Per year: £16,435.32

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – Winner of Large Van of the Year 2019

For the second year running, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has won the prize for best large van. As you would expect, the Sprinter comes with the biggest engine of all of the winners, with 2,143cc, which gives out 143PS. The van also comes with a 6 speed gearbox, although higher spec models can come with a 9 speed automatic. Although a large van, the Sprinter has a smaller load capacity than the Transit Custom, with only 1,093kg.

  • Price: £41,748 inc VAT
  • Fuel cost: £13,895
  • Depreciation: £28,538.67
  • Service, MOT and maintenance: £420
  • VED: £1,040
  • Insurance: £6,322.72
  • Total: £93,247.66
  • Per year: £23,311.915

Isuzu D-Max – Winner of Pick-up of the Year 2019

The Isuzu D-Max is also the retainer of a title as it won the Pick-Up of the Year Award in 2018. The Isuzu is the most powerful of the 4 vehicles, with its 1.9 litre diesel engine giving out 164PS of power. The Isuzu is also capable of pulling up to 3.5 tonnes, and if you pick up the double cab D-Max, Isuzu say you can load up to 1,163kg. Isuzu also claim that the vehicle can reach up to 40.4MPG.

  • Price: £20,290.80 inc VAT
  • Fuel cost: £12,158.98
  • Depreciation: £13,870.66
  • Service, MOT and maintenance: £420
  • VED: £1,040
  • Insurance: £3,455.52
  • Total: £51,235.96
  • Per year: £12,808.99

All vehicles depreciate in value over time, but because of perceived brand quality, vehicle quality, tax rates, mileage, size and fuel economy, amongst a variety of other things, vehicles will depreciate at different rates. Because of this, we have used a blanket depreciation rate of 25% per year for all 4 of these vehicles.

We have also provided some tips below on how you can keep your vehicles depreciation to a minimum, to help keep their value for when it comes to selling on or trading in at a later date.

Cleaning your vehicle

If you regularly clean your vehicle and keep it in good condition, it will be worth more in the future. Repair any cosmetic damage as soon as possible instead of just leaving it, as it is likely to get worse the more the damage is exposed.

Keep mileage to a minimum

We have used the national average for commercial vehicles, which is 20,000 miles a year. You can help to keep your vehicle’s value by trying to keep your mileage below the average amount. It makes sense that the more a vehicle is used, the more wear and tear there will be on the parts.

Record services and MOTs

Although there has been a boom in vehicles being paid for on finance, which looks to save buyers money, the vehicles must be regularly serviced, usually at the brand’s dealership, which could be more costly than alternative garages.

When you buy a vehicle outright, you have no such obligation to keep your vehicle serviced. Whilst it is not a legal or contractual requirement to service your vehicle, keeping it well maintained and keeping record that you have had it serviced will help to minimise depreciation when it comes to selling your vehicle on or trading it in, as you can prove that your vehicle has been looked after.

Load weight

Only carry the minimum amount of tools or equipment that you will need for your work. Carrying weight means that your engine has to work harder to make your vehicle move. The harder it works, the more fuel it will burn. Minimise the amount of weight that you are carrying to only loading the essential items that you will need for that day.

Check your tyres

By regularly checking your tyres, you will be able to notice if they are the right pressure. Tyres that are too soft will cause more drag on the vehicle, which will also make the engine work harder.

Turn off cooling systems

It is estimated that air conditioning reduces your fuel economy by around 1-3MPG in real time driving, which can account for around 5-10%. Once you have reached a comfortable temperature, or have finished demisting, remember to turn your air conditioning off.

Premierline is a business insurance broker which specialises in finding bespoke business insurance quotes for a huge variety of different companies. We understand that all businesses have different insurance needs, whether you require business van insurance or contractor insurance, our insurance experts work with some of the industry's most well-known insurance companies to find the quote that is right for you.

If you are considering purchasing a new commercial vehicle for your company, get in touch for a quote to purchase alongside your current business insurance policy. You could even receive £30 Love2Shop rewards for taking out an additional policy.

It is important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built. Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to ensure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
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