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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.

It feels like we’ve only just had our summer, autumn seems to be flying by and we all know what comes next – the dreaded winter!

Van snowed under

We all know what that means, cold winds, ice and snow. These conditions can make any journey dangerous; one way of making your journeys safer is to make sure that you keep on top of your vehicle maintenance.

Tyres

Your vehicle tyres are possibly one of the first things to check on your van, the legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm but the recommendation for tread depth during the winter is 3mm, anything lower than this can dramatically increase the emergency stopping distance of your vehicle.

It is also important to check your tyre pressure as having the incorrect pressure can damage the inflatable tubing that keeps your wheels inflated. It is advisable whenever possible to have winter tyres fitted to your vehicle during the colder months as they will help you gain traction and much needed grip on the slippery road surfaces.

Anti-freeze

Making sure that your van is topped up with adequate amounts of anti-freeze will go a long way towards preventing breakdown caused by water in the engine’s cooling system freezing and damaging the radiator and other components.

Anti-freeze lowers the freezing point of the water and helps to ensure that everything flows smoothly. Don’t be fooled by the name though, anti-freeze also raises the boiling point too! Which helps prevent the engine from overheating – wonderful stuff!

Warning! - be aware that you should never add coolant to a hot engine! If you need to add more liquid, wait until the engine has cooled down and never unscrew the caps on engine when it is hot; if you do, hot coolant may be ejected causing burns.

Oil

I’m sure that most of you know why we need to use the correct oil in our vehicles but for those who aren’t so sure I’ll explain why!

The oil disperses heat caused by friction and reduces wear as it stops the metal surfaces in your engine from grinding together by creating a separate oil film between surfaces, protecting the engine. Plus oil helps to prevent dirt build-up and helps protect against oxidation – that’s ‘rusting’ to you and me.

Besides the above properties different oils have different levels of ‘viscosity’, which is a measure of the liquids thickness or resistance to flow (think of the difference between syrup and water and you get the idea).

Why am I telling you this? Well as you’ll learn in a minute it’s important!

It is possible to use oils with different viscosity levels, so you can have one oil that is ‘thinner’ than another. Going back to the syrup analogy, you know that cold syrup is more ‘gloopy’ than syrup that has been warmed – well it’s the same with the oil in your van, cold oil has greater resistance to movement whereas warm oil moves more freely.

So as you can imagine when it is colder outside the ambient temperature has dropped so thicker oil is harder for your engine components to move, creating more strain on the engine. This is why in the winter is it a good idea to use an oil with a lower viscosity so that it is easier for the engine to move from a cold start.

Batteries

Cold weather can have a debilitating effect on your vehicle’s battery with performance dropping when the weather does the same.

It’s more likely that batteries will die in winter when the cold weather hits with power output dropping, recharge ability reduced and increased demand as headlights, windscreen wipers, internal heating, and other power draws are used more often.

The AA have reported that patrols were called to more than half a million battery breakdowns in 2010 and replaced more than 140,000 batteries. If your battery is more than five years old and has difficulty starting it is advisable to get it replaced as soon as possible to help you in the colder months.

It’s also important to make sure that that everything electrical in the vehicle is turned off when you park the vehicle – for example an interior light, boot light, or radio left on overnight can kill a battery when it's cold.

Anything else?

There are plenty of other preventative actions that can be undertaken to help secure a safer journey and the longevity of your vehicle during the winter months, parking in a garage for example is one such example.

The Royal society for the Prevention of Accidents have a great list of measures that you can use during the colder times for increased winter safety. It is also important to make sure that your van insurance policy is up-to-date. It is also worth knowing that breakdowns needn’t be a nightmare as if you are unfortunate enough to need assistance our van insurance policies come with free RAC breakdown cover included as standard!