Van drivers face longer hours as costs squeeze profits

A new study by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveals that the UK’s van drivers are working significantly longer hours due to rising costs and an uncertain economic outlook.

The survey of 1,000 drivers found that nearly two-thirds (60%) are putting in extra hours, with the average working day increasing by 7% year-on-year to 9 hours and 10 minutes.

Worryingly, 40% of drivers now work more than 10 hours per day.

These extended hours come despite a slight dip in inflation to 4.2% in January 2024.

However, van drivers remain concerned about the high cost of materials, with essential supplies seeing big price rises.

‘The pressure UK van drivers are feeling’

Craig Cavanagh, the national fleet manager at Volkswagen, said: “Faced with longer hours and concerns around the rising cost of materials, it’s easy to understand the pressure UK van drivers are feeling around the day-to-day running of their businesses.

“As part of our ‘Working with You’ commitment, we’re supporting those feeling this added pressure, to keep their businesses moving and running costs to a minimum.”

New online tool to simplify the van buying process

Meanwhile, Volkswagen has launched a new online tool to simplify the van buying process – in recognition that more than 80% of van purchases begin online.

The new tool allows potential buyers to easily search for available vehicles based on location, model and desired features.

It also enables users to compare in-stock vans to their customised online configurations, highlighting the closest matches.

Find the perfect van quickly

This user-friendly approach will enable van buyers to find the perfect van quickly and efficiently, without the need for lengthy dealership visits.

Key functionalities of the tool include:

  • Instant vehicle browsing: Users can search by various criteria, and the tool will display matching vehicles available for immediate purchase
  • Compare: The tool compares user-configured models with similar vehicles in stock, providing a match percentage.
  • Signposting: For immediate purchases, the tool directs users to the nearest centre with their specified vehicle. For configured models, it guides them to the centre with the closest match for further inquiry.

Volkswagen’s initiative aims to enhance the customer experience, offering a more intuitive and client-focused vehicle shopping process.