The main issue for buyers when acquiring their next new van is reliability, according to the first edition of Company Van Trends quarterly research, carried out by GE Capital's Fleet Services division. 250 UK fleets running light commercial vehicles were surveyed and asked to rate eight key factors when purchasing their next light commercial vehicle, with reliability ranking top of the pile, ahead of fuel consumption, payload capacity and the importance of a like-for-like replacement. Simon Cook, LCV commercial leader for GE Capital UK, said: "The research reveals that operational concerns are front of mind for van fleet managers. "They want vehicles that can carry good loads, are going to start every morning, not need constant refuelling and which can be easily and cheaply repaired. "It is very much a picture of practicality. Van fleets are expected to deliver and van fleet managers are focussed entirely on doing so." Cook also highlighted the relatively low importance of residual values for van fleet operators in comparison to company car fleets who still view this as a key concern. "This is a reflection of the differing life cycles of company cars and vans," he added. "Other parts of our research indicate the way in which van fleets appear to be holding on to vehicles for longer. While four year cycles are still the most popular option, five, six, seven and even eight year fleet lives are now common and 11 per cent of fleets even hold onto their vans right to the end of their useful life. "In this longer term scenario, residual values stop becoming a major consideration because of the relatively low actual market values when the vehicles come to be sold. Day to day running costs, especially the repairs that keep older vans running, are much more important." At IT Fleet Automotive our industry leading range of fleet services are designed to keep vehicles and businesses on the move. With cost-effective fleet appraisal and refurbishment techniques, our experienced team can provide customised solutions to meet any fleet's specific demands. For further information call our friendly team today on 01473 313057 or drop us a line using our online enquiry form.