Motoring: Preparing for Christmas
- Credit: Getty Images
I am sure most of you have ordered at least one thing over the internet during this pandemic. It may not have been your preferred way of making a purchase but during lockdown and trying to stay safe subsequently, gave one little choice.
Therefore, it is in no way surprising that many of us will be buying at least some of our presents for family and friends through this method.
My daughter-in-law has asked my wife and I to help by receiving and storing the grandchildren’s presents purchased through the net, to ensure the surprise element.
Over the past two weeks I have been amazed at the different number of vehicles which arrive with these and my wife’s Christmas purchases.
From the professionals who have modern sign- written vans to individuals turning up in all sorts of private cars or vans, some of which have obviously seen better days.
Is this by design, as I am aware some delivery companies have regional depots and use local car owners to complete the journey and delivery? Or is it just advanced buying to ensure that popular toy is firstly available, and secondly arrives on time.
This boom in online purchases has helped to stimulate the commercial vehicle market but the real growth has come from businesses, large and small, who have taken advantage of the contract hire and leasing offers which now account for the majority of sales. Whether it is large vans for mass delivery of online purchases mentioned earlier, or smaller vans for those who have decided to start or expand their own enterprises. Also 4x4 pick-ups are not only for builders and garden services but have developed into sophisticated lifestyle products for all age groups to pursue their hobbies.
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Whereas, in the past families would not put up with a commercial vehicle on the driveway now they are happy to show their neighbours they are part of the active world.
The development of these vehicles range from luxurious motorhomes, which have been an absolute bonus during the pandemic, to individual attachments for skiers, surfers, paddleboarders and many other leisure activities.
The growth of the people carriers has allowed much more flexibility, with folding or swivelling seats, side-loading doors, and tail-lifts to adapt for the school run, a number of the junior sports team, or holidays with the grandparents.
Furthermore, the commercial vehicles of today not only have the latest in safety devices you would naturally expect, but also have every comfort that today’s top specified cars offer and are just as easy to drive.
The Ford Transit and its smaller sibling, the Transit Connect, have dominated this market for over 50 years and already have a plug-in hybrid with a full electric model not very far away to help remove pollution from our cities.
A Ford Ranger from Vospers is currently helping the English Olympic surfing team prepare for the reorganised Olympic Games in 2021.
Finally, congratulations to Exeter Chiefs for a magnificent double, and to Lewis Hamilton for bringing the record number of World Motor Racing Grand Prix back to Britain.
Stay safe and keep smiling. Please join me next week.