The UK van business sector is currently valued at about £1.8 billion. The market has expanded over the last ten years and is growing increasingly competitive. Venturing into the industry requires you to have a balanced perspective of the pros and cons as well as the technical skills, energy, time and resources.
Is the business financially rewarding? Yes, if you are well prepared and have the perseverance. Although it can be quite lucrative, there are no shortcuts for success in this business. Despite the difficulty in getting your van business off the ground, you can still succeed at it if you have the necessary know how and resources.
A Few Things to Know
There are no rewards when starting a van rental business in the UK. Some of the initial challenges you will likely encounter as you go are that:
- There are no definite earnings. If you don’t work hard in this competitive market, you won’t survive.
- It requires a lot of managerial skills. You must be personable and friendly with good customer care.
- You’ll need a proactive marketing approach. Your vans must be properly and creatively branded – big, bold and attention-grabbing in a pleasant way.
- With competition getting ever digital in this global village world, you’ll do well to get your SEO strategy right and establish your venture as a competent and trusted brand.
Exploring the Opportunities
The right mindset to have when launching into the van rental business is always to keep an eye on the bigger picture and seize opportunities as they come. From daily hire to long term contract opportunities, from finding a great business location to identifying your various target audiences, you must have the business acumen to see and explore the windows of opportunities available quickly. Being able to take advantage of this approach will help you earn more than the average vehicle hire startup owner.
The key to success in this business is how well you utilise your vans. You’ll lose money with a van sitting around without being rented out, and it may take a long while to recoup the cost. The scale of your fleet will play a major role in your income as more rentals mean more earings, which will help you recover the significant overheads.
Gauging Startup Costs
In this business, you will need to buy or lease some vans; so, the cost of setting it up could appear high. There will also be a few high essential costs such as van insurance, MOTs, tax and rental space, that you will need to bite the bullet an pay.
Then there are vital overhead costs such as marketing and branding budgets to deal with to get your target customers to notice and take an interest in your venture. Considering all of these, it’s best to start small with just a couple of vans to minimise costs.
New Driving Laws and Regulations
In 2019, several new driving laws have come into effect which affect van drivers. One such law is a clampdown on ‘close passes’ and significant penalties for van drivers using lanes marked X on smart motorways. Further changes have also been made to MOT tests, for example, taking into consideration vehicles with outstanding recalls.
2019 is also the first year where those learning to drive will be allowed to take lessons on the motorway, so this is something that all drivers, but van drivers especially, should be on the lookout for to avoid causing an accident.