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Volkswagen van owners can take their commercial vehicles to VW’s van service centres for a free winter health check.

Volkswagen camper in snowUp until 28th February 2015 owners of the VW Caddy, Crafter and Transporter vehicles are eligible for a 29-point check involving the battery, lights, wipers and tyres – plus a number of visual checks.

Kevin Rendell, Head of Service and Parts at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK says, "Ensuring your vehicle is safe for the roads throughout winter is extremely important to prevent accidents and breakdowns.

"We are providing these free checks as a preventative measure as minimising downtime is crucial for our customers."

According to a survey undertaken by Auto Express more than 30 per cent of British drivers do nothing to prepare their vehicle for winter. This figure is verified by breakdown cover providers, who typically see an increase in callouts over the winter months.

So, thanks to Volkswagen, if you own one of their commercial vehicles you can get a free winter health check-up to ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition for the colder months.

Consider it an early Christmas present!

Iveco are set to release a new special edition of their immensely popular Daily van model, the ‘Platinum’.

This latest incarnation is designed to appeal to owner-drivers who are looking to combine the great features and functionality that the Daily already offers, but with added style and comfort.

Iveco Platinum Daily

The new vehicles come fitted with the top-level options pack that Iveco offers as standard; this includes electric windows, air conditioning with climate control, cruise-control, heated electric mirrors, a spring-suspended driver’s seat and many other useful features.

As an added bonus each model comes fitted with the super high-tech Clarion NX502E entertainment centre built-in. This top-end entertainment system features a 6.2” high-resolution display paired with satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, reversing cameras with rear sensors – all of this can be controlled with the vehicle’s wireless remote controller.

The manufacturers have also included a five-year Iveco elements servicing contract with every Platinum Daily – this comes with a mileage allowance of 40,000 km per annum which is transferrable between owners. Servicing, routine checks, greasing, oil changes and fluids are also included.

Plus Iveco are offering Iveco Origin replacement parts should anything need replacing. Owners are also entitled to the Daily’s standard three-year unlimited mile warranty.

The Product Director at Iveco, Martin Flach, says: “With Platinum Daily, we’ve taken a winning package in the fleet sector and fine-tuned it to offer additional luxuries for the retail customer.”

For more information on the Iveco Platinum Daily visit the Iveco website to get full details of the vehicle specifications and features - Iveco Daily Platinum.

Renault are making a play towards providing the nation’s best electrical commercial vehicle – yes, the Kangoo ZE shows they’re taking things seriously.

The French vehicle manufacturer are now offering the battery as an additional extra that is available for purchase at an additional £3,166, higher than the £16,161 plus VAT after the Government’s new Plug-In grant.

This brings the Kangoo ZE within the price range of the Nissan e-NV200 which is priced at around £16,562 – an extra £3,169 more than the battery lease agreement.

These newer offerings are referred to as ‘full purchase models’ and are protected by a five-year/60,000 mile warranty on the batteries, a tasty addition to the standard four-year/100,000 mile vehicle protection that Renault offers as standard.

Renault Kangoo

Hire deals are also changing

For those who aren’t looking to buy the batteries outright there is still the option of a lease hire. Hire agreements have also seen a reduction in costs and are currently £33 plus VAT per month, whereas the hire of the battery would have cost you £61 plus VAT previously.

Batteries on the lease agreement are still covered by a Lifetime Performance Guarantee which means that they will be replaced or repaired if they fall below 75 per cent of their original capacity – luckily this guarantee also covers you if you run out of charge when away from a charging point.

Renault have already sold a total of 2,000 electric vehicles in the UK and currently offer the widest range of all-electric vehicles available for purchase.

It is also possible to make a saving on your yearly ‘vannual’ outgoings by making sure that you get the best possible Renault Kangoo Van Insurance cover possible.

FRUIT 4 LONDON is one of the latest businesses to take part in the ‘Nissan e-NV200 £2 Challenge’. This challenge tests the e-NV200, the new electric commercial vehicle from Nissan.

The challenge is for a user to run their busy daily routine using the e-NV200 across London and see just how far a full charge would take them, it is worth noting that a full overnight charge costs just £2.

Nissan e-NV200

The e-NV200 is the electric sibling to the Nissan NV200, a former winner of the ‘International Van of the Year’ award and is running from British-built Nissan LEAF technology, which is behind the world’s bestselling electric car.

The new vehicle can cover 106 miles on a single charge and can be charged from zero to 80 per cent battery in as little as 30 minutes, the vehicle also costs only 2 pence per mile to run.

The e-NV200 also has the benefits of not being effected by the congestion charge, there’s no road tax to pay and there are less moving parts within the vehicle, so there’s less to go wrong, all of which helps to make you more efficient.

Here’s a small video by Nissan showing the Director of FRUIT 4 LONDON, Laszlo Mulato together with TV personality Tommy Walsh as the pair do a days’ worth of deliveries in the Nissan e-NV200.

Electric vehicles are becoming more common although still not an established part of the mainstream vehicles market. However, we can definitely see the benefits of running an electric vehicle for daily jobs, especially in London where substantial savings can be made yearly.

Besides running an environmentally friendly van, how else can you save money? Well iVan insurance can help you to lower the costs of your van insurance by giving you a competitive quote for your vehicle.

You may be surprised to hear that the number of commercial vehicle registrations is on the rise. We recently covered this in a blog posted ‘It’s Vanageddon! at the beginning of the year.

Well the figures are still going up so we thought that we’d share with you some of the latest data for your reading pleasure.

According to figures produced by The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) October saw the number of van registrations rise by 18.2 per cent. There were 26,570 new vans registered during that month alone which saw the total year-to-date growth increase to 18.1 per cent.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive has stated that, “Van registrations performed well, yielding solid growth for the total commercial vehicle market.”

By far the largest number of new van registrations belonged to Ford with 7,230 new Ford vehicles being registered during October. This gives them a 27.2 per cent share of the sector this year compared to the 24.5 per cent share back in Oct 2013.

So as new van registrations continue to rise we hope to see this reflected in the number of van insurance policies being undertaken – thus making sure that those new vehicles are being kept safe.