Parkers Best Van Awards 2023
In July we posted a blog about the Auto Express Vans of the year 2022.
Now, hot on its wheels, comes the Parkers New Car Awards 2023, and so, as a useful comparison, we thought we'd share what Parkers feels represents the best in the world of light commercial vehicles.
Small Van of the Year 2023: Toyota Proace City (Runners up: Ford Transit Connect, Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo)
Medium Van of the Year 2023: Ford Transit Custom (Runners up: VW Transporter and Toyota Proace)
Large Van of the Year 2023: Ford Transit (Runners up: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, VW Crafter and MAN TGE
Electric Van of the Year 2023: Ford E-Transit (Runner up: Maxus eDeliver9 Van of the Year (overall): Ford E-Transit
Ford Transit (almost) sweeps the board
Apart from the small van category, where the Toyota Proace City edges the win over the Ford Transit Connect, Ford Transit vans are favoured by Parkers in their 2023 awards. Across the categories Ford is praised for a number of factors including:
- the multiple height and length variations available in the Transit Custom range
- the range of engines available
- the aftersales backup service, known as Ford Pro
And Parkers says that it's the introduction of the E-Transit that helped the range take top spot in all but one of the categories.
Blazing the way with electric vans
We think the reviewers at Parkers are fans of Ford's e-vans.
The producers of the monthly motor vehicle valuation 'book' describe the E-Transit as a "transformative vehicle" which has moved the electric-van game on due to its "unparalleled" driving experience, range and payload combinations.
Parkers don't rate Ducato
Noticeably, Parkers don't mention the Fiat Ducato in any of its category top spots or runner up places, but, just three months ago, Auto Express named it as the overall best van.
Make of this what you will. If you drive a Ducato, let us know on social media what you think of your van.
Van insurance for every van
Making sure you get the right van for your needs is, of course, crucial and these awards can sometimes be useful for pointing you in the right direction when you're about to make a purchase, but you also need to make sure your van insurance is tip-top so why not come to iVan to see if we can save you money on your quote.
Whether you need electric van insurance, any driver van insurance or fleet van insurance, we can put together the business van insurance package that's right for you.
Fill in our quote form, powered by City Insurance, to see what deals we can do for you.
Van Thefts on the Rise
Following on from our last blog which looked at the increase in property thefts from vans, it probably won't come as too much of a surprise that the number of vans being stolen in the UK is also increasing.
From annual DVLA figures, research suggests that 12 vans were stolen every day in 2015 (4,380 in total). This had risen to 22 vans per day by 2019 (8,030) and some clever statistical boffins have predicted that by 2030, 56 vans per day will be taken without the owners' consent.
Van thefts by region
Not unsurprisingly, Greater London is where most van thefts occur. The figures for 2019 showed that 1,504 vans were stolen from in and around the capital, with estimates for 2022 and 2030 suggesting that this total could rise to 2,232, then 3,827 per year respectively.
The next most prolific region for van thefts in 2019 was East Midlands (188 van thefts) then Yorkshire and Humberside (145 van thefts). North England had the fewest van thefts in 2019, (59) but the predictions still see a rise up to 149 in this area by 2030.
Is your van a target for thieves?
According to statistics provided by DVLA following a Freedom of Information request, in 2019 the most frequently stolen van in the UK was the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The Sprinter 313 CDI and 314 CDI models ranked number 1 and 2 in the list of most stolen vans in 2019.
Of all the vans reported stolen in 2019, 2,595 were Sprinters. The estimate for 2022 rises to 2,928.
Of course, all vans are potential targets and you should follow some basic rules to make breaking into or stealing your van less attractive to thieves.
Make your van as safe as possible
Various studies have revealed that van drivers can be a bit offhand about van safety. Research published by iCompario in July 2022 suggested that 77% of van drivers don't have an alarm or immobiliser fitted in their van and around 45% even admitted to not locking their van when they leave the cab.
We can't stress enough the importance of removing tools and property from a van, but 64% of van drivers admitted to leaving tools and valuables inside.
A common piece of advice given to van owners is to park the van in a well-lit area so that it's highly visible to lots of people or to park it against a wall to prevent thieves from being able to break the lock open. However, 81% of the van drivers polled said they didn't park their van using such advice. And just 24% said they parked their van in a secure parking place at night.
However, parking a van in a secure compound, workplace car park or locked garage at home may not be as safe as you would think, as 32% said they had previously suffered a van break-in or van theft when their van was parked in one of these places.
It seems that the determined van thief will make an attempt to steal a van whatever the measures taken to secure it, so other methods, such as tracking devices, are becoming necessary pieces of kit (although van owners are urged not to track a stolen vehicle themselves using a GPS device, but to inform the police of any known whereabouts and let them attempt recovery of the vehicle).
Van insurance and peace of mind
Lastly, having good quality business van insurance in place for your van is possibly the best way to make sure you won't be out of pocket if your van is stolen.
Talk to iVan today about the options for your vehicle, including any driver van insurance, fleet van insurance and electric van insurance.
Diesel Emissions Claims for Van Drivers
The 'Dieselgate' emissions scandal first hit the headlines in 2015 when the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA found that motor manufacturers had fitted cheat devices (also known as defeat devices) to their domestic and commercial vehicles.
These cheat devices allowed sophisticated software to detect when the car or van was being tested for emissions and adjust the way the engine performed so that lower levels of pollutants were recorded. Such standardised tests are used across the globe to validate a new vehicle model before it's approved for sale and during regulatory testing such as MOTs.
In real-world driving conditions, the cars and vans were actually creating far higher levels of pollution. Some models exceeded European nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission limits by more than ten times.
The scandal started with Volkswagen and became known as 'Dieselgate'. Now, it's believed that cheat devices were fitted by almost all motor manufacturers, including Citroën, Fiat, Renault and Jaguar Land Rover.
Could you be owed compensation?
If you purchased or leased a van between 2007 and 2020 you might be eligible to claim compensation.
Motor manufacturers breached European pollution regulations because any car or van fitted with a cheat device was almost certainly creating more pollution in normal driving conditions than tests showed.
Many drivers, like you, chose to drive vehicles marketed with fraudulent claims regarding their emissions and this was false advertising. Just like any other type of mis-selling, you are now entitled to seek compensation.
Since January 2017, when the first claims against a motor manufacturer were successful, more and more vehicle makes are being investigated and found to have breached regulations and falsified their marketing claims.
How to make a diesel emissions claim
The claims against motor manufacturers are being made as group actions and you will need to find a law firm that's handling these claims.
Many firms have dedicated sections for diesel emissions claims and there are lots of emissions claims websites out there as well. Some provide registration checker tools that allow you to enter the GB registration of your van and a rough idea of when you owned it and it will tell you immediately whether the van could be eligible.
You don't have to have bought or leased the van from new and you don't have to still own it. Basically, if you owned a van that was fitted with a cheat device you can now make an application for compensation.
You could be owed thousands of pounds.
Keeping costs down
There's no denying it, any amount of compensation would be welcome at this time, so there's nothing to lose by checking whether your van is eligible.
If you can't make a claim, iVan can still help you keep your van driver costs down by providing cheap van insurance to suit your needs.
Tool Theft from Vans is Going Up
According to a new study by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, there has been a marked rise in tool and equipment theft from vans across the UK from 2020/21 to 2021/22.
In 2020/21 the rate of tool and equipment thefts from vans was around one in four but in the latest figures, this has jumped to one in three.
According to VW, with an average value of tools kept in vans coming in at £2,500, this works out at replacement costs of £4.4 billion each year.
The regional figures for tool theft were interesting in that, despite London having the greatest percentage of thefts, the latest figures dropped – 47% in 2021/22 from 55% in 2020/21 – this was the only region where a fall in tool and equipment thefts from vans was recorded over the two 12-month periods.
The region with the greatest rise in tool thefts was Wales where thefts rose from 4% to 36%. This was closely followed by Yorkshire and the Humber where the increase was 31%. The lowest increase was in the West Midlands where the rise was a mere 3%.
What do thieves steal from vans?
The research found that, unsurprisingly, the most commonly stolen items from vans are tools (66.7%). However, items of general equipment, such as ladders, storage items and units and van safes, are the second most commonly stolen items (55.6%). Personal items, came in third (41.7%) while electronic devices ranked fourth (25%).
Thieves will also steal goods, customer supplies, van equipment, van parts, cash and, to be honest, just about any other item they can easily remove.
How to safeguard your tools and belongings in a van
First and foremost, it's advisable to leave as little as possible in your van, especially when the van is parked out of your sight and at night.
Likewise, thinking carefully about where you park your van is important too – it may sound obvious, but parking your van in a high visibility, busy place when you're working, but out of sight of passing opportunists when at home is possibly the best method for keeping your van and its content safe.
If you must leave items in your van, then making sure you lock it fully, close all windows and enable any security devices are also key if you want to stop thieves stealing your possessions.
Van insurance with tool theft cover
Lastly, having adequate business van insurance cover in place is essential if you are at risk of theft from your van. Some van insurance providers will include personal possessions cover as standard, but you should check the small print to make sure that the entire cost of your tools and equipment would be covered in case of theft.
Get a quote with iVan today to get the cover that you need. Powered by City Insurance, we work with the UK's top van insurance providers to make sure you can choose the van insurance policy that's right for you and your business.
UK Van Drivers – Check your Licence and Insurance Today
Van driving is a booming business. Delivery drivers are in high demand and more and more entrepreneurs are taking their business models to the streets (in vans) to help get their products and services to their customers near and far.
Making sure you are driving your van legally is an important consideration, so here we explain all you need to know about UK driving licences and van insurance.
When did you pass your UK driving test?
As a van driver, the date you gained your standard UK driving licence is important because if you passed your driving test in or after 1997 you can't drive the same categories of vehicle that can be driven by someone who passed their UK driving test before 1 January 1997.
Take a look at your driving licence – on the back, there is a chart which shows all the types of vehicles you are able to drive using your current licence.
If you passed your test before 1997, you are usually able to drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg) GVM/MAM (see our blog on van payloads for more about GVM/MAM). Your driving licence will also show several other categories of vehicle that you can drive, such as categories B1, C1, D1, BE, C1E and D1E.
If you passed your UK driving test on or after 1 January 1997 and have taken no further driving tests, it's likely that your licence shows just two categories of vehicles you can drive legally: AM and B vehicles.
'A' vehicles are generally two or three-wheeled motor vehicles including mopeds and motorcycles. 'B' vehicles are generally classed as cars and light quad bikes. Many light commercial vehicles such as car-derived vans and panel vans can also fall into this category.
Then, the vehicle categories are grouped according to maximum GVM and usage: e.g. goods transporters, buses, tractors, etc.
Check out the Gov.UK website for more about driving licence vehicle categories.
When you start driving a van you must ensure that you are licensed to do so and this will mean checking your driving licence, understanding what category the vehicle falls into, and knowing the GVM of the vehicle or the vehicle and trailer combination.
Getting behind the wheel of a van if you passed your test before 1997
If you passed your test before 1997, you will usually be able to drive a vehicle or vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8.25 tonnes GVM. You may also be able to drive vehicles with larger GVMs without additional training or testing.
Getting behind the wheel of a van if you passed your test in or after 1997
If you passed your test in or after 1997, you can usually drive vehicles with a GVM up to 3.5 tonnes (most van manufacturers make a range of vans, including panel vans, with a GVM of under 3.5 tonnes). You can also tow a trailer up to 750kg GVM.
If your vehicle is lighter than 3.5 tonnes, you can tow heavier trailers, as long as the total GVM of the combination does not exceed 3.5 tonnes.
In order to drive higher category vehicles, such as larger, heavier vans and trucks (HGVs – categories C, C1, C1+E) you will need to apply for a provisional licence (you can only do this once you have passed your standard category B driving licence) and then take the appropriate driving test once you have undertaken training.
Any driver van insurance and driving licence checks
If you drive a van without the right driving licence – for instance driving a category C vehicle, such as a 7.5 tonne Luton van on a standard driving licence gained after 1997 – then you are breaking the law.
You could face a fine and penalty points on your licence and your van insurance will also be invalidated if you need to make a claim.
If you buy any driver van insurance, you will need to check that all drivers are entitled to drive the insured van(s). Many insurers will also have a restriction on the age of your drivers and may require all drivers to be a minimum age of 25.
Other van-related considerations
Making sure you have the right driving licence to drive a van is important, but there are some other important factors to think about as well. You can find out more in our blogs:
- Staying Legal While Operating Vans in Europe and EEA
- Electric Van Payloads And Category B Driving Licences
Van insurance specialists making sure you get the best deal
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