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According to a survey commissioned by the Department of Transport (DfT), the cost of buying a low carbon van is the main barrier to the slow take-up among commercial vehicle buyers.

Questionnaires were sent out by the Government department in the summer of last year, to owners of both low carbon and non-low carbon vans. The results were a little confusing, but some interesting results were found. It may be surprising to know that ignorance was not a contributory factor, as 65{67875dbbb75e239e1327433ad0a9237bcfc99dda436c4cdd620a2780dac0bd40} of those owners with a non-low carbon vehicle revealed that they were aware of the ‘environmentally friendlier’ options.

The main reason for not buying a low-carbon van was reported as being the cost. 65{67875dbbb75e239e1327433ad0a9237bcfc99dda436c4cdd620a2780dac0bd40} of those surveyed conveyed this as being the main deterrent. When quizzed as to what might be an incentive to review their opinions and switch to the ‘greener’ technology, reducing the cost of purchase came out on top, followed closely by reduced operating cost. Some people were also worried about the performance of these vehicles, including the reliability of components such as the battery life of electric vehicles.

Of course, what is being discussed is the purchase cost of the vehicles, which is always going be a little on the steep side. One of the best alternatives to purchasing a new van, is to examine the options for van leasing. There are many advantages to leasing, including lower monthly cost, and a trade-in for a new van at the end of the contract period. Leasing contracts also generally throw in the maintenance as part of the deal, and the beauty of this is that you will always have the latest technology at your fingertips.

Finally the survey reported no difference in the weekly distance travelled by those operating low carbon vans compared to other less environmentally-friendly vehicles.

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