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Hire or buy? Things to consider about commercial vehicle hire

The majority of businesses require some form of transport, whether it’s a van, truck or minibus. Choosing whether to purchase, lease or hire commercials vehicles is a big decision and it can have a long-term impact on both your business functions and your revenue.

For business owners who are unsure whether to invest in commercial vehicles or opt for van hire,  we’ve complied a handy list of issues to consider…

1. Can you afford to buy commercial vehicles?

Whether you need one vehicle or a whole fleet, purchasing a commercial vehicle can be costly. Even second-hand vans and trucks can run to tens of thousands of pounds, and this level of investment may simply exceed your current budget. Similarly, purchasing a brand new commercial vehicle can be expensive and, like all new vehicles, it’s an asset which begins to depreciate quickly.

If you’re unable or unwilling to invest such a large amount of capital into the purchase of a vehicle, commercial van hire may be a viable alternative. With low-cost offers for long-term commercial vehicle hire and cost-effective short-term rentals available, you can ensure access to the right type of commercial vehicle for as long as you need it, without having to make a large, upfront investment.

2. How will you maintain your vehicle?

All vehicle owners are legally obliged to ensure their car or van is roadworthy and business owners must apply the same stringent rules to their commercial fleet. Of course, commercial vehicles often face additional testing and maintenance requirements, so upkeep can be time-consuming and costly.

If you’re unable to finance an in-house maintenance team or reluctant to outsource the maintenance of your commercial vehicle, van hire might be an easier option. Typically, hire companies retain responsibility for maintaining the vehicle and, if any problems occur, a replacement vehicle should be made available to you in a timely and efficient manner.

3. Does owning a vehicle give you flexibility?

Business needs change over time and the type of vehicle you require may evolve too. If your business expands, for example, you may want to switch from a SWB Transit van to a 7.5 tonne curtain side truck. If you’ve already purchased a commercial vehicle, you may need to sell your existing asset in order to invest in something more appropriate for your changing business needs and this can be time-consuming, as well as costly.

In addition to this, businesses may face increasing charges and fees when using commercial vehicles. If ultra-low emission zones are introduced in cities outside of London, for example, you may want to use a different type of commercial vehicle in order to avoid unnecessary charges.

By opting for van hire, as opposed to vehicle purchase, you retain flexibility. If you need to switch from one type of vehicle to another, your van hire firm should enable you to do this with the minimum of fuss.

Whilst purchasing and owning commercial vehicles does have advantages, hiring a van may be the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to gain access to the type of commercial vehicle you need.