DfT Van statistics released for 2019 - 2020

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DfT say most vans carry equipment, tools and materials.

A business-owned van is typically less than three years old.

Van mileage up over 100% to 55.5 billion miles

Van mileage as a proportion of all vehicles up to 16%



Final findings by DFT for Great Britain’s van keepers in 2019 to 2020 indicate:

-the most common primary usage of licensed vans was for ‘carrying equipment, tools and materials’ (54%)
-over half (57%) of business kept vans were new
-most privately kept vans were second-hand (82%)
-over two-thirds of vans (67%) travelled on local or rural roads regularly (4 or more days per week)
-around half of all vans (51%) in Great Britain stayed local, within 15 miles of their base, on a typical day
-the most common primary usage of ultra low emission vans was ‘carrying equipment, tools, materials’ (59%)

This Statistical Release presents the results of a survey of van activity in Great Britain. This is the first DfT statistical research into this sector since surveys in 2008 and 2009. It looks at van keepership, van mileage, where and when vans are traveling, and environmental factors. These statistics are compiled from responses to a detailed questionnaire, employing data on around 19,900 vans driven by private and business keepers. The survey field work was carried out in 2019-20, prior to the beginning of Covid-19 restrictions in Great Britain.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) road traffic estimates indicate that van travel has grown substantially over the last 25 years, increasing 106% to 55.5 billion vehicle miles in 2019. Van travel as a proportion of all motor vehicle miles has increased from 10% to 16% over the same period.

The likelihood of a van being second-hand was much greater if privately kept. Over half (57%) of business kept vans were new; 35% owned outright and 22% owned via a hire purchase agreement. Most privately kept vans were second-hand (82%), with 77% of private vans second-hand and owned outright.

The 2019-20 van survey found that just over a quarter (27%) of vans were 3 years old or less, 4 out of 10 (40%) were between 3 years and 10 years old, and a third were over 10 years old (33%). The survey indicated that the age of vans kept varies greatly between the private and business sector. Over half of vans (54%) driven by private keepers were more than 10 years old, compared to 17% by business keepers.

When looking at the age of vehicles and how they were purchased, the likelihood of a van being purchased second-hand or owned outright increased with van age. Vans aged over 10 years were most likely to be purchased second-hand and owned outright (84%). Vans aged under 3 years were the most likely to be purchased new (81%), with 49% purchased new: owned outright and 32% new: hire purchase agreement. Overall, the least likely purchasing method was second-hand: hire purchase agreement at 7%. Vans aged 3-10 years had the highest frequency of second-hand: hire purchase agreements at 10%, compared to 3% for vans over 10 years old and 5% for vans under 3 years old.

Around two thirds (65%) of van fleets contained up to 10 vans. Van fleets were most frequently made up of 2 to 5 vans (31%). Fleets over 100 vans accounted for 9% of vans and fleets of 51 to 100 vans were 8% of vans.

To take a look at the full final DfT 2019-2020 report click here. Other DfT statistical releases are also in the IOC Standards Archive here.