Marmorated stink bugs — a great reason to upgrade your business vehicle!

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There are a number of really good reasons to consider upgrading your business vehicle, but here’s one you probably haven’t thought of — bugs. 

Stink bugs in fact. Yes, brown marmorated stink bugs, which have already seen four cargo ships – with somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 vehicles bound for New Zealand aboard — sent to Australia for decontamination.

And a good number of those vehicles were used imports out of Asia, which means there’ll be a shortage of older vehicles to replace those already here which are already well past their sell-by dates.

Good thing then, that the new commercial vehicle market is so very strong at the moment. Coming off a record high in 2017, the commercial vehicle market is enjoying a boom time at present, but don’t be fooled into thinking everything’s rosy.

The decreased availability of used imports will put pressure on the availability of new product too, so if a replacement vehicle was on the “to do” list this year, don’t wait — start looking to buy or lease now.

You’ll find you have quite a bit of research to do too — assuming you’re a smart buyer, of course — with the light commercial market having seen some remarkable changes over the past three or four years, which was probably the last time you thought about purchasing a replacement vehicle.

 

More tech, more spec and more to check 

Because of massive worldwide growth in the automotive industry, there is more tech, more spec and more to check when it comes to vehicle ownership as a business expense.

The smart vehicle operator should be constantly looking at vehicles with one major consideration in mind — is it right for the role? Is it fit for purpose?

It is, after all, easy to be swayed by various considerations, not the least of which is tradition. Just because your grandfather’s grandfather drove a (insert your family fave brand here), doesn’t mean you should.

A vehicle which may have worked for your organisation five years ago may not have kept up with the demands of your business, so start looking with a clean slate and don’t be swayed by irrational prejudices, gut feelings or even words of wisdom from your mate at the pub.

Evaluate with a clear head and an open mind because, matey, you might be dicking yourself over if you don’t

New Zealand has one of the greatest ranges of vehicle availability on the planet, and it would be criminal to ignore that just because “we’ve never owned one of those models before”.

In fact, over the past three years, we have seen a significant handful of new brands arrive to further broaden the selection, and there are more surprises coming this year too.

It’s a safe bet that — for the moment — there are probably brands represented whose names are not familiar to you, and yet some of those brands will offer some outstanding attributes in specification and new technologies.

Can you name the van supplier that is first to offer an electric van? How about the ute manufacturer who uses Cummins diesels? What about the naming the commercial vehicle supplier which still offers petrol engine product?

If you can name any of these, great. But had you considered buying from them? Probably not, and that makes them all candidates for your “give it a go” list.

Of course, we’re not saying you should write off the tried and true either, but given the stink bug crisis, you may find that if yours is a small operation, a volume player may already have its stock assigned to a larger corporate — not always, but it’s a possibility. Which is another good reason for you to examine all the available options.

While the reality facing business vehicle buying is ultimately down to cost, the first and highest consideration should always be safety.

While ANCAP ratings out of either Australia or Europe don’t necessarily tell the whole story, the results (www.ancap.com.au) are a good starting point from which to base a buying decision.