The stereotypical image of a white van man is often portrayed as an aggressive and inconsiderate driver, with low intelligence and an even lower level of fitness. This outdated image of a van driver couldn’t be further from the truth. The modern day van driver is as concerned with their health and fitness as any other profession with over 65 percent getting regular exercise and eating healthily. When you hear the term van driver most people automatically assume that you are talking about a man, but a recent AA survey has revealed that over a third of the UK’s commercial van drivers are now women.
This increase can be attributed to a rise in the number of women entering into a skilled trade such as carpentry, plumbing etc along with women business owners making use of vans for their deliveries. As regards the level of a van driver’s intelligence although many may not have a degree over 53% of women and 43% of male van drivers are either self employed or business owners.
Most modern day van drivers likes to keep up to date with the latest technology with over 72% owning a laptop either for business or personal use. Social networking is also extremely popular with over 60% of van drivers regularly using sites like Facebook or MySpace. To keep themselves mobile when away from the laptop’s over 57% of van drivers own a smart phone which is handy for the 20% that regularly tweet when their out and about.
When it comes to van related trades men will usually have the advantage of physical strength over women which is why you will more often than not see male furniture removal companies. Women on the other hand have the advantage of statistics namely the driving ones, where they are seen to be a lower risk than their male counterparts and as such are rewarded with cheaper van insurance. Female van drivers are statistically shown to be more cautious than male drivers and if a claim is made it’s much more likely to be for a minor scrape or bump instead of a write off.
Driving a van is now a lot safer and less physical than it used to be with the aid of power assisted steering and many of the features found in modern cars such as sat-nav, abs, air bags, electric windows, immobilisers and even air conditioning. It’s not surprising many women are now choosing vans as a sound business investment as they are so practical. Many vans are now available with 5 or even 6 seats making them versatile for both business and family use.
So what does this mean for the future of the van industry? It means that van manufacturers certainly need to make sure that their vans appeal to both their male and female customers both on a performance basis and aesthetically. While you’re unlikely to see a sudden influx in pink vans on the road as most women prefer either white or silver, I’m sure a wider selection of colour choice would be welcomes by both sexes.