The Strange Case Of The Disappearing White Van

There seem to be fewer white vans on the road and concern that the stalwart of automotive history is on the verge of extinction.

But according to the Manheim Group, this observation isn’t backed by the numbers. And as one of the largest players in the global vehicle remarketing industry, their recommendations carry a great deal of weight.

In commenting on this generally held perception, James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said: “Perception and reality are often at odds with each other and this certainly seems to be the case where white vans are concerned.

“While there’s a widely held view that we’re seeing fewer white vans on the roads, industry figures don’t really support that. In fact, our data shows that the proportion of vans going through the auction halls has actually only dropped by 2% (from 68% of used vans in 2005 to 66% in 2013).

“So, this idea that we’re seeing fewer white vans is something of a mystery.

“There are probably other factors at play here, skewing our perception of the number of white vans we’re seeing.

“From our market intelligence, we can say that while the volumes of white vans seen at auction have dipped slightly since 2008, we’ve seen the volumes of silver vans jump by more than 5%.

“This is a significant shift in the colour mix of vans, that may simply be catching our attention, thus prompting us to register new van colours entering the market, to the detriment of your 𔄀common or garden’ white Transit.”

Intriguingly, the Department for Transport’s latest statistics actually show that the number of miles driven by light goods vehicles - typically white vans - has increased by 5.1%, which suggests that perhaps the tradesmen have been quiet during the recession and have just been keeping their vans at home.

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