Highways England New Van Driver Toolkits
Highways England's Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention team has, for many years, directed its primary attention on the truck sector rather than light commercial vehicles. After all, HGV crashes are the ones that make headlines, cause major problems for road users, and typically involve multiple casualties.
However, as the van sector increases more focus is going to be put on van fleets and van drivers.
Prevention of van accidents is top of the list
Mark Cartwright, head of the Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention team, says in an interview with Van User that the team wishes to focus on accident prevention rather than on enforcement. The team believes driver education for businesses and their van users is key as issues such as bad driving and overloading can be prevented.
As part of the initiative, the Highway's England Driving for Better Business brand has developed a series of Van Driver Toolkits on more than 30 topics including vehicle awareness, driver hours, speed limits and vehicle roadworthiness.
These free resources are available to all businesses; from those with large fleets to SMEs with only one or two van drivers.
Highways England is also promoting van driver wellbeing with resources assisted by CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably); including CALMDriver graphics, videos and leaflets to reinforce the importance of the driver's health as well as the health of the vehicle they are driving.
Enforcement is still key
While Cartwright states that van accident prevention is crucial, he acknowledges that enforcement will still play a fundamental role in Highways England's van-related strategies on the UK's roads.
In May and November, as part of Operations Vertebrae and Orbital respectively, the Highways England DAF tractor units will be loaned to police working on the M6 to act as elevated observation platforms so that officers can see into truck and van cabs more easily and take the kinds of high definition video that will assist them in prosecuting offenders.
Cartwright says that the trucks are not working covertly, their use is well-publicised, and the most common offences caught during such operations are drivers failing to wear seatbelts, and the use of mobile phones and other devices while driving.
Good van driving has lots of benefits
As well as keeping van drivers out of the hands of the law, good van driving habits have other benefits as well. For instance, it helps to keep any driver van insurance costs as low as possible, and reduces overheads associated with bad driving and overloading of vans such as increased tyre ware, axle and suspension damage and increased fuel costs.
If finding cheap van insurance is an important factor for your business, why not try iVan to see if we can reduce the cost of your cover.
Information on the Van Driver Toolkits and CALMDriver initiative are available at:
Van Drivers Have Saved the World During COVID (and pushed up van sales)!
The world has probably been saved by delivery drivers during the coronavirus pandemic.
And no, we don't think that's stretching the truth – it's (probably) a cold, hard fact.
Van drivers, van manufacturers, van insurance companies, van mechanics and van sales teams have been instrumental in keeping the world supplied with goods when the shops were shut and our lives lost meaning because we couldn't get hold of board games, slippers and food blenders.
But does that mean van sales have increased? Well – yes.
New van registrations have increased
Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has shown that in February 2021, registrations of new vans, 2.5 to 3.5 tonnes, were up 30% from the same time in 2020, while registrations of all vans up to 3.5 tonnes were up 22%. However, registrations of small vans, under 2 tonnes, were down 25.3%.
The annual figures show slightly more fluctuation. February year-to-date figures suggest that while overall registrations of all vans up to 3.5 tons were up 9.5%, registrations of smaller vans have seen a decline – in 2020 the February YTD registration figure for vans under 2 tonnes was 3,387 while the 2021 figure was 1,920, representing a drop of 43.3%.
The second-hand van market is growing
Some of the drop in small van sales and registrations could be explained by the surge in purchases of second-hand vans, also reported on by SMMT. Back in November 2020, they reported that demand for light commercial vehicles being sold through auction had remained exceptionally strong – with the market showing continued buoyancy and growth.
One auctioneer suggested that economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic meant that SMEs were turning to second-hand vehicles rather than saddling themselves with swingeing finance deals.
While another said the growth in sales could be attributed to three major factors: the increase in home delivery services, vans being used more in lockdown and delayed van replacement cycles because new vans were unavailable.
Cheap van insurance quotes are still the van driver's friend
And in the light of the number of people taking up delivery jobs and the increased demand of home delivery services, the availability of cheap van insurance is still a major issue for van drivers and fleet managers.
iVan can help you find the van insurance policy that's right for you. Contact our sales team today or click on the Get a Quote button now.
Van drivers uncertain of their vehicle’s insurance category
Is it a car or is it a van? This simple-seeming question is, it appears, rather more difficult to answer than many drivers might imagine. This revelation comes after one non-specialist van insurance comparison website revealed that last year 129,000 van drivers attempted to insure their vans with car insurance products. Interestingly, the phenomenon is not confined to van drivers; the insurance website revealed that nearly 50,000 car drivers attempted to get van insurance quotes for their cars.
The fact that hundreds of thousands of drivers are confused about the type of vehicle they drive would once have seemed both laughable and highly improbable; however, such increasing confusion is understandable as recent years have seen growing numbers of so-called “crossover” vans that offer the same kind of comfort, style and performance typically associated with cars.
Perhaps the confusion arises partly because of driver ideas about van use, with around 4 in 10 van insurance applicants using their commercial vehicles for personal use. Many vans now feature three seats or more and are smaller than the traditional van, so, it is easy to see how many might make the mistake.
Examples of the types of commercial vehicle that could easily be mistaken for a car include the Vauxhall Corsa Van, Renault Clio Van and Ford Fiesta Sport Van as there is really very little difference between the van and the domestic car versions, so it's not surprising that drivers are mistakenly applying for car insurance rather than van insurance.
Five other vans that drivers often mistakenly categorise include:
- Volkswagen Caddy
- Toyota Hilux Invincible
- Citroen Berlingo
- Nissan Navara
- Mitsubishi L200
Are you driving a car or a van?
When you apply for a van insurance quote with iVan, you might want to check whether you are driving a car or a van. This can easily be done by checking your vehicle’s V5 logbook.
Volkswagen van driver stopped for insurance omission
When is the best time to buy van insurance? Well, if you do not yet have cover for your vehicle or your existing cover is due to expire, the answer is a resounding “now”.
This reality was brought home to a Volkswagen van driver from Leeds who, after being caught speeding by police in the vehicle he had just bought, was found to be driving without van insurance. Police officers from Derbyshire Roads Policing Unit stopped the van driver in December last year as he made his way along the A38 from Burton, where he had just purchased the vehicle, to his home in Leeds.
The result? Well, the van was seized by police, leaving the man's livelihood in the balance as he waited to discover when he would get his van back.
Local news media reported that when police asked the driver if he had van insurance cover for his commercial vehicle, the driver replied by answering, “Insurance? Not bothered."
Reports do not detail how the van driver managed to get home, but it is conceivable that he had a very long and very cold walk indeed.
Competitively priced van insurance quotes from iVan
Whether you are looking for a van insurance quote for a fleet, an any driver van insurance policy for a single van or for an electric van, iVan can help you find cover that is right for you. Simply use our quote engine today or call to speak with a specialist van insurance advisor.
Van drivers working for free 45 days a year
A new piece of research by one of the world’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers, Volkswagen, has found that van drivers routinely work for free on behalf of friends and family, with their generosity effectively meaning they carry out a combined £14.9 billion of pro bono work each year.
And This is to say nothing of the four hours a week van drivers regularly spend pricing work that is never performed. The losses caused by this element of a tradesman's work are significant, working out at an average of £4,300 a year.
Celebrate the generosity of mates rates
The German automotive giant has calculated that all this free work is equivalent to working for nothing for 45 days each year. As such, it decided to name October 27 as “Mates’ Rates Day” as the time from this date until the end of the year represents the 45 working days that the nation’s van insurance customers annually work for nothing. All in all, the Volkswagen study found that nearly eight in ten van drivers regularly carry out unpaid work – at an average of three hours of free work a week.
Furthermore, the study found that van drivers in London and Northern Ireland were the most generous when it came to offering their services for free to friends and family, with drivers from these regions spending an average of eight to ten hours working for free each week.
iVan, for all your van insurance needs
Whether you are looking for an any driver van insurance quote, a fleet van insurance quote or a quote for a new generation electric van insurance policy, iVan can help you find the policy that is right for you. Simply use our quote engine today or call to speak with a van insurance advisor.