UK Transport Awards 2023

8 | UK Transport Awards 2023 Feb23081 Van Leasing Broker of the Year 2023 Crusader Vehicles is a company that always provides its customers with the very highest levels of customer care. As a supplier of small to medium sized commercial vehicle fleets, it aims to provide its client businesses with excellent value for money. The industry is facing certain constraints at present owing to country-wide vehicle supply chain issues. Crusader Vehicles is helping its customers to navigate these issues by virtue of its long-standing experience within the sector. It’s using its knowledge to help seek out physical stock available with short lead times. This is alongside its popular special offers for factory orders. The company keeps clients informed throughout the buying process from sale to delivery. It is forever able to provide a consistent point of contact through the life cycle of the vehicles it supplies, and any associated finance contracts. It is an important consideration for Crusader Vehicles to ensure its customers understand their end of contract options. Furthermore, its customers are never put in the position of having to make pressured, lastminute decisions when considering replacement vehicles. The increased costs that have arisen due to the ongoing supply/demand imbalance is one of the biggest challenges facing Crusader Vehicles at present. Unfortunately, this also happens to have coincided with an increase in interest rates. Inevitably this has led to some customers weighing up their options when it comes to fleet vehicle costs. They are questioning the value of current deals on offer within the marketplace, against waiting to see if something better comes along. Is a long wait for a better deal preferable to a short-term snap decision on the used vehicles currently available from physical stock? It’s hard for anyone to say, but the indecision the market is prompting is certainly causing problems for many customers. Crusader Vehicles has witnessed some potential customers panic buying vehicles at nearly full retail price just to, as it were, get the job done. The HMRC had introduced a potential tax-saving super deduction scheme, which stimulated many outright purchases. But with this scheme coming to its end, Crusader Vehicles is expecting it will soon see buyers moving back towards contract hire and finance lease. This should become a more cost effective alternative once again, meaning Crusader Vehicles will be back in demand, no doubt. Crusader Vehicles is a family-owned business based and operating out of East Sussex. It’s helpful and friendly staff have been supplying vans since 2004 with one simple aim – to make acquiring vehicles as hassle free as possible for its customers. “We do this by combining experience with quality. Having supplied over 16000 vehicles to customers nationwide, we have developed relationships with some of the UK’s best-known manufacturers, dealer groups and finance companies. This means that we deal direct, negotiating savings on new vehicles through bulk buying power, that our customers can then take advantage of.” Over the years much has changed for the company. It has had to go from feast to famine in terms of van supply. As little as two years ago it had compounds full of unsold vans, compared with today when its compounds are full of sold vans all still waiting to be delivered - with lead times of anything up to 18 months! There are several factors at play here. A shortage of semi-conductors, and other global influences, has made the manufacture and subsequent supply of new vans more expensive and slower than ever before. Other problems affecting the industry are high interest rates and the current cost of living crisis in the UK. There is also the rise of electric vans and vehicles, though granted this does come with a lot of scepticism in terms of viability and availability of infrastructure. This is causing people to ask questions about whether the vehicles are actually as green as they are supposed to be. Electric vehicles also have disputed range, payload, and cost of ownership. Such issues are causing many people to turn back to diesel or petrol engines. Crusader Vehicles has noticed how locally there are far fewer people going into dealerships and booking test drives. There seems to be trend for customers to buy online, and just trust whatever they buy to Crusader Vehicles is primarily a fleet van lease business based in East Sussex. The award-winning family company is an expert in sourcing and maintaining a huge range of vehicles for its customers to choose from. It combines experience with quality to provide a service that is second to none.