Apparently this is the perfect time to buy or lease a new van

According to this report van prices have dropped by 9% in the last three months and dealers are now offering attractive low rate finance deals.

The article quotes Duncan Coleman of vansunited.co.uk as saying “We’ve not only seen retailers and manufacturers reduce their new and used prices, but they’ve applied finance offers to LCVs that were once the preserve of the car market. Now is the perfect time to buy for those businesses wanting to secure a strong deal.”

I suppose if you’re set on buying a new van in the next year or so then now might be the time to do it, but I’d question whether this is really the perfect time to buy.

While the last six weeks or so have been encouragingly busy for many same day couriers there’s no certainty about the future at all. Whether we’re on the brink of a cataclysmic recession or not it’s clear that many companies aren’t in a position to last the next few months, never mind considering investment in new vehicles.

There are many bargains to be had at auctions at the moment, nearly new vans being auctioned of by liquidators and the hire fleets getting rid of the excess vehicles caused by the slowdown in the construction and transport industries, but the simple fact is that there are more vans available than there are buyers.

I think that the only silver lining, from the perspective of a van dealer, may be transport companies taking the opportunity to replace some of their less efficient vehicles with newer models with better fuel consumption. That’s likely to be bad news for Mercedes with their heavy, thirsty, new shape Sprinter, but good news for Peugeot/Citroen & Fiat with their incredibly efficient little Bipper/Nemo/Fiorino van and for Vauxhall, Renault & Nissan with the almost unbelievably frugal Vivaro/Primastar/Traffic range.

On the whole though I suspect it will be the likes of Norflex, TLS & Reflex that will be the real beneficiaries of the cheap vehicles available at the moment. With high mileage couriers keen to own the newest and most fuel-efficient vehicles, but either unwilling to commit to long leases or unable to arrange finance on good terms, the flexible long-term rental option should quite rightly be seen by many operators as the most appropriate form of vehicle acquisition over the next few years. It would be very brave, if not foolish, to tie up funds by purchasing vehicles, or to commit to a three or four year finance deal, in the current economic environment.

Posted under Fuel Prices, Vans

Posted by Alec at 6:15 pm, September 9, 2008

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