Van drivers could save up to £86 million on fuel by ditching junk red van

Van drivers could save up to £86 million on fuel by ditching junk

Direct Line for Business reveals that just under half of van drivers admit that 50% of their cargo is unnecessary

  • 1.53 million van drivers admit that most of their cargo is unnecessary
  • Van drivers in the UK drive on average 715 miles per month
  • Van drivers could save £58 a year in fuel costs

London, 1 May, 2015: New research from Direct Line for Business1 (DL4B), the small business insurer, reveals that 1.53 million (44 per cent) van drivers2 admit that half of their cargo is unnecessary, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) stating that at least 70 per cent of their payload is not essential.

Van drivers in the UK drive an average of 8,600 miles per year, the same as driving to Florida and back.

The total excess weight carried by the 1.53m drivers who say most of their cargo is unnecessary is approximately 350,000 tons, around 250kg per van, or the equivalent of around 200,000 Ford Transits.

Direct Line for Business estimates that a five per cent improvement in fuel consumption can be achieved by van drivers if they remove 250 kg from their vehicles. Should the 1.53 million van drivers who admit to carrying around mostly unnecessary cargo discard this weight they can make a fuel saving of almost £583&4 per year. This works out to be a saving of £89 million for the year across all offending van drivers, or 79 million litres of fuel, enough to drive around the world in a van more than 25,000 times.

Jazz Gakhal, Head of Direct Line for Business said: “As van drivers jump from job to job it’s almost impossible for them to know how much of their cargo is essential, but every kilo they can leave behind will provide real cash savings.

“It’s important to note however, that it’s not just money at stake. Weight limits vary between different van models and carrying too much, or not distributing the weight evenly between axels, can be a safety hazard for both drivers and pedestrians.”

For further details on Direct Line for Business Van Insurance visit

Notes to editors

1 Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence among a representative sample of 284 van drivers between 12th September and 1st October 2014

2 Number of vans on the road: Department of Transport, Table VEH0411,

3 Prices based on 2.2 TDCi Ford Transit, 37.7 MPG, 1,836kg

4 Department of Energy and Climate Change, Weekly road fuel prices,

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Amrit Nijjer
Tel: 020 7282 2803

Direct Line Group
Simon Henrick
Head of News and Issues
Tel: 0208 313 5965
Mobile: 07833 166 717

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting

Van Insurance Press Release

ADDED: 28th April 2015