With the December 31st deadline looming, commercial fleet operators who own or lease HGVs will already know all about the Euro 6 regulations. Now it's time for van users to start making preparations for the shift to stricter vehicle emissions limits.
Depending on the various weight definitions applicable to vehicles in the LCV category, Euro 6 is due to replace the existing Euro 5 benchmark between September 2014 and September 2015. It means van manufacturers will have to produce new vehicles that meet even lower emissions standards, with more efficient levels of engine cooling and exhaust after treatment required.
As we've seen in the HGV market, businesses that rely on commercial vehicles face some important decisions before the move from Euro 5 to Euro 6 takes place. The financial implications of the change may be significant, but there are ways to ensure your fleet costs remain manageable.
Leasing a Euro 5 vehicle before the deadline, instead of paying a premium for a new Euro 6-compliant model, is one solution. But first, let's look at exactly why the new regulations are likely to mean added expense for fleet operators.
The Cost of Euro 6
All LCVs produced in accordance with Euro 6 must achieve drastic reductions in nitrogen oxides and particulate pollutants. Manufacturers have therefore invested heavily in research and development to ensure their vehicles make the grade, with these costs then being passed on to the buyer.
Mercedes-Benz has won the race to produce the world's first Euro 6 van, as the new edition of the Sprinter meets all the latest emissions requirements and went on sale in September. However, such innovation doesn't come cheap, and you can expect other van makers to unveil pricier versions of their flagship models over the coming months. Manufacturers may claim some of this additional expense will be offset by the greater fuel economy of the new vehicles, but operators can be forgiven for feeling sceptical.
Returning to the HGV category for a moment, it's been estimated that a Euro 6-compliant truck will cost between 12 and 17% more than a comparable Euro 5 vehicle, so we can expect to see similar price hikes on LCVs. But with just under 12 months until Euro 6 starts to come into effect for LCVs, why can't operators just buy in new Euro 5 vans before the deadline? The answer is that they can, but they're likely to find it difficult.
As van production lines switch to Euro 6, businesses are racing to get their hands on Euro 5 LCVs, which means they're becoming increasingly scarce. Furthermore, the price of both new and used Euro 5 LCVs has shot up due to this spike in demand.
Fleet managers also need to consider whether purchasing a new Euro 5 vehicle so close to the introduction of Euro 6 makes sense. Do you really want to tie up your capital in a new model that will soon be outdated and lack the latest technology?
LCV & Van Contract Hire: The Euro 5 Solution
At Burnt Tree, we aim to make running a commercial fleet as straightforward and cost-effective as possible, supported by our huge range of vehicles and over 30 years' industry experience. We believe van contract hire is the perfect solution to problems posed by the switch from Euro 5 to Euro 6.
We have a large fleet of Euro 5 LCVs in all categories, ready to lease at economical rates that mean you can sidestep the expense of an early switch to a Euro 6 vehicle and also avoid the hassle of buying new Euro 5 vans less than a year before the deadline.
Whether you're looking to rent a single panel van, hire a pair of Luton vans or lease a whole fleet of double-cab vehicles, there are many advantages to letting Burnt Tree take care of your LCV and van contract hire needs.
Choosing our service means you'll benefit from:
- No maintenance costs - servicing, breakdown and maintenance are included
- Choice - thousands of new Euro 5 LCVs to choose from
- Minimal off-road time - our engineers come to you, and we offer replacement vehicles
- Flexibility - you don't have to commit to a lengthy contract, but if you want to secure your fleet for up to 7 years, you can with contract hire
If you're looking for the most cost-effective fleet options as the Euro 6 deadline approaches, van contract hire could be the best way to obtain the Euro 5 LCVs you need. Talk to us about your requirements today.