Self-employed van ownership sees a steep increase in the UK

✓ Since 2000, there has been a 59% van increase in the UK

✓ British van drivers cover 49.7bn miles every year

✓ 4.6m vans now in the UK

Self-employed van ownership sees a steep increase in the UK

We love online shopping in the UK. With an estimated £125.2 billion added to the UK economy through online shopping and van-driving businesses in 2017, 32% more than 2012, it’s clear that the convenience of shopping online is here to stay. But who delivers all of those packages? The UK’s white van men and women, of course.

“Both individuals and businesses expect to get goods faster, more flexibly, and – in the case of consumers – at low or no delivery cost.” - PWC report

With millions of orders being placed each year, somebody needs to deliver them. The logistics sector is booming and, with the growth of online shopping, the number of vans on UK roads has skyrocketed too.

According to a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 3.4 million people now rely on a van to earn a living; that’s around one in every ten of the UK’s workforce.  That’s a 59% increase since 2000, twice the rate of growth for cars!


Online shopping boom

In a press release, the SMMT stated: 'The boom in online shopping, in particular, has seen a surge in demand for delivery vans. The UK is now the EU's biggest online retail sector, with 83% of consumers here buying goods and services online, compared with the EU average of 60%.'

'Meanwhile, the rapid rise in the number of self-employed people, up from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8m in 2017, has also been a key driver of van growth.'

'Without a van, 3.4 million people – 10% of the UK's workforce – would not be able to do their jobs, with an estimated 500,000 driving one as their main role'.

Approximately 900,000 vans change hands annually, the annual new light commercials market is now estimated to be worth £10bn and vans are playing a more and more important role in the UK’s economy. With the recent launch of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), the commercial vehicle sector is one that will see a lot of investment in the coming years; particularly from logistics businesses who operate large fleets of vehicles.

There are significant barriers to entry for those looking to become a driver. The cost of renting a van is routinely in excess of £200 per week, greatly eroding any profit the driver might make from the deliveries they’ve made.


Unique van finance

Buying a van outright can also be difficult for newly self-employed people. Without a solid history of work, a strong credit rating and a sizeable deposit, drivers can often struggle to get the van they want.

We introduced van finance specifically for self-employed people in 2018. We realise that being self-employed is difficult at the best of times, so we decided that there must be a better way of helping people to buy their vans without just relying on their credit score.


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