Operators increasingly choosing pickups over vans
The arrival of prestige models within the pickup sector is leading to a growing growing proportion of buyers choosing to run them instead of vans.
So says Arval, adding that models such as the Volkswagen Amarok and newly launching Mercedes-Benz X-Class are leading to more and more smaller fleets swapping their company van and their private car for a pickup with a double cab, potentially moving from two vehicles to one.
Eddie Parker, LCV product manager, said the impetus for considering this move was often the lower tax paid on pickups compared to company cars as well as the prevalence of comfort and luxury features on such models and their image.
Parker commented: “Many pickups can be specced up to match the kind of equipment levels that you might find on a £40-50,000 prestige car or SUV, yet the benefit in kind is still based on a relatively low flat rate. Even a 40% tax payer will only pay around £100 per month.
“Also, the fuel economy is probably comparable with a 4×4, so they are not expensive to run.”
Other pickup advantages include good towing capacity, off-road ability if needed and comparatively good payload – although Arval highlighted that downsides include less loads space, limited availability of specialist fitments and reduced security.
Parker also noted that pickups were effectively filling the gap in the market left by the demise of the Land Rover Defender, something that was also powering sales.
“For certain businesses with certain needs, the end of the old Defender has definitely left a gap in their fleet provision. Many of these are turning to pick-ups, which offer a similar mix of off-road ability, load carrying potential and seating for four of five people,” he explained.