When it comes to the pecking order for new vehicle technology, vans are usually a fair way behind passenger cars. We’re at a time, however, where some vans are now leading the way when it comes to technology that is offered on the official options list.
WHAT DRIVERS WANT THEIR VEHICLE TO TELL THEM VIA AN APP
Increased vehicle connectivity should allow drivers and fleet managers to do all manner of things from afar in the future, with Mercedes saying that operators will be able to even unlock the new Sprinter via a phone app. Drivers are fairly simple in what they want their vehicle to tell them from afar, though, with reliability the biggest consideration according to a recent AA survey.
For example, there are overload sensors and rear-view cameras on the new Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner/Vauxhall Combo. So, should new buyers have an eye on this sort of technology when considering future resale prospects?
Features that would have only appeared on the options list in the past are now being viewed as crucial by some. Safety and connectivity are two features that buyers are after, with Steve Botfield of Cap HPI saying that anything that adds value for security, safety and offers legal protection is desirable.
When it comes to future-proofing, any kit that is added on should provide a benefit, so ambient lighting and massaging seats are not likely to boost the value of your van any time soon.
“Having the ability to use connection services makes the standard satnav system redundant,” says Botfield. “Couple this with the ability to receive messages on the display connects the driver with the outside world without having to stop and respond.”
This technology is only set to rise, with manufacturers such as Mercedes and VW offering high levels of integrated telematics technology on their new large vans. Botfield says the merit in this depends on its use, though.
“The majority of telematics systems come via subscription packages but unless it is being used to full extent then the future value is zero,” he says.
One element that brought a bump to values in the past was ABS, and this could be the case with Autonomous Emergency Braking, or AEB.
“There is no price limit fleets are prepared to pay to safeguard employees and vehicles,” he says. “Having such systems will result in reduced insurance premiums and so there will be a payback for any additional cost in having AEB.”
However, this might not be a benefit forever, with Botfield pointing out that the technology’s widening popularity will eventually see the cost, and the resultant RV boost, wiped out.
TECH TO CONSIDER
BCA’s Stuart Pearson picks out the top tech to consider on your new van
“While the very latest driving and safety technology will be confined to the small number of nearly new vans that reach the wholesale market, there is a growing interest from professional buyers for LCVs that feature improved safety and connectivity features.”
With many larger light commercial vehicles being pressed into urban delivery duties, Pearson points out that a small piece of add-on tech could cut down repair bills. “Parking sensors are a good option for the 3.5-tonne market where low-speed reversing damage is more common,” he says.
Looking after the driver’s in-van comfort is more important than ever these days, with Pearson saying that “factory-fitted satellite-navigation, in-van entertainment and Bluetooth connectivity are all desirable. Vans sporting air-conditioning with a bulkhead, digital radio, metallic paint and alloy wheels will also attract a lot of attention from trade buyers and end-users alike.”
TECH FOR THE SHORTER TURNAROUND
If you’re planning on selling a van after a couple of years’ use then the technology it features could well play a more important role in attracting a buyer. “Increasingly, such extras as smart phone connectivity, touchscreen media systems and controls, driving and parking aids are desirable on younger LCVs, as well as multi-functional dashboard computers, rain-sensitive windscreens and light-sensitive headlights,” says Pearson.
“Going forwards, connectivity, data and safety are likely to be increasingly desirable in the used LCV market, such as systems that give drivers live information about their journey so blockages and accidents can be avoided, for example. An increasing number of safety and driving aids from parking sensors to auto-stopping to avoid accidents, will also become ever-more desirable,” he says.