In making the report Nissan surveyed 252 fleet managers, aiming to understand more of the challenges faced by the people running vans.
The chief challenge identified was the price of fuel. Since 2001 diesel prices have doubled to an average of 139.8p per litre and 75% of fleet managers surveyed said they are now taking measures to control or reduce fuel use, although that figure means a quarter are still doing nothing.
One half (51%) of respondents said driver training is the most popular measure to reduce fuel use, along with technological interventions such as speed limiters (37%) and telematics (35%).
Costs are a big driver for respondents adding vans to their fleet, with whole life costs (25%) and front-end prices (18%) major considerations. Contract hire monthly rates (12%) and strong residuals (8%) were also important but vehicle reliability was only listed by 7% of fleet managers.
The main appeal of running vans at below 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) is the lack of operating restrictions. Just 27% said they were in favour reflecting an increased focus on ‘duty of care’ by companies, while 67% of respondents weren’t in favour of further legislative measures being introduced.
Of this 27%, telematics devices (48%) were the most popular choices, while 42% supported adoption of an official driving test to allow drivers to drive a van.
When choosing features to add to their vans fleet managers mostly chose satellite navigation systems (40%) followed by vehicle tracking (13%) and Bluetooth (11%).
Looking at how far vehicles travel on a daily basis nearly 40% of fleet managers said their drivers travel 100 miles or less per day, indicating that they could use Nissan’s eNV200 electric van on their fleets. Just one in five (22%) cover more than 200 miles each day.
Like van drivers, fleet managers are a loyal bunch with more than half (56%) saying they had been in their current job over 11 years.
“Our research gives an insight into what fleet managers are thinking and the challenges they face running a modern van fleet,” explained Jon Pollock, Nissan’s corporate sales director.
“It also gives the industry a better idea of what fleets are looking for when buying and running light commercials,” he added.