A FORD survey carried out by poll company GfK has revealed the myths and realities of today’s White Van Man and how road users perceive him.

71 per cent think of white van men themselves of as careful and considerate drivers and take trouble to ensure their van is clean and tidy (69 per cent).

Ford claims they want to look good, too, because 24 per cent are into designer clothes brands. On the other hand, 76 per cent aren’t, so must sport the uniform of old football shirts and plaster-spattered shirts. Around a third sport a tattoo, the sign of true white van man aristocracy.

WVM likes to be healthy: 62 per cent do not smoke and 73 per cent try to eat healthily.

It was in the early 1990’s that van drivers first became know as ‘White Van Man’. The Ford survey found that 98% of van drivers have heard of the term although 74 per cent of them think it is an insulting term or doesn’t apply to them personally.

Today’s definitive White Van Man is male, about 42 years old, married and wants to retire early. His favourite foods are curry and roast dinners, so the stuff about eating healthily only goes so far.

True to stereotype he reads The Sun (38%) and listens to local music stations (32%) and BBC Radio 2 (28%). Other favourite media are News of the World (39%), Daily Mail (21%) and Mail on Sunday (22%).

His favourite drink is beer and he doesn’t smoke. Top factors in the job satisfaction stakes are client satisfaction and finishing jobs on time. He feels he is professional and wants to be perceived as such. Women road users are more wary of van drivers than their male counterparts.

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