How To Choose Your Next Van

With so many configurations and specifications, choosing your new van can be complicated.

Four Reasons For Signwriting Your Van

Cost effective, highly visible and a great first impression - it's a thumbs up for livery.

Diesel Particulate Filters

DPF's are great at reducing emissions of diesel vehicles, but how do you clear the filter?

AdBlue Solution For Diesel Engines

Does your vehicle use AdBlue? Here's what you and your drivers need to know.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

AdBlue® Solution For Diesel Engines

AdBlue® is the registered trademark for a solution that reduces emissions from the exhaust of UK diesel vehicles in order to comply with Euro 6 emissions standards.

What is Adblue®?
AdBlue® is the registered trademark for a solution that reduces emissions from the exhaust of UK diesel vehicles in order to comply with Euro 6 emissions standards. The odourless, colourless solution is made up of high-purity urea and de-mineralised water and is neither a fuel nor a fuel additive. AdBlue® is stored and used separately to the vehicle engine in its own dedicated tank. AdBlue® is a consumable and it is therefore the drivers responsibility to ensure that the AdBlue® tank is topped up and to pay the associated costs for doing so.

 How does AdBlue® work?
AdBlue® works by triggering a chemical reaction during the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) process. This chemical reaction results in significantly reduced levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The AdBlue® tank of the diesel engine must be refilled when required in order for this process to function correctly, as vehicles will not operate adequately without sufficient levels of AdBlue® in the tank. AdBlue® must not be poured into the fuel tank. Only AdBlue® can be poured into the AdBlue® tank. Failure to meet these instructions will result in severe damage to the vehicle.

How do I know if my vehicle needs AdBlue®?
The only way to establish if a vehicle uses AdBlue® is to contact the manufacturer, as this information isn't typically published in the vehicle brochure or technical specification.

When does the AdBlue® tank need to be refilled?
AdBlue® solution should last anywhere between 3,500 and 13,000 miles, but is dependent on the make and model of the vehicle. Driving styles and road conditions need to be taken into account and will affect the maximum range of a tank. All vehicles that require AdBlue® solutions will have warning systems to notify drivers when a top up is required. These warnings must not be ignored or dismissed, as vehicles will not restart once they run out of AdBlue®. On average, the consumption ratio of AdBlue® use to diesel use in the UK is 5 litres of AdBlue® to every 100 litres of diesel.

How is AdBlue® topped up?
The method by which AdBlue® is replenished can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, as the tanks can be located in different areas of the vehicle. Always refer to your vehicle handbook before attempting to top up AdBlue® yourself, or alternatively contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information.

How Much Does AdBlue® Cost?
The cost of AdBlue® is dependent on both the quantity purchased and the place of purchase. AdBlue® refill bottles can be purchased from dealerships and some retail shops. Typically, it will cost more to top the AdBlue® tank litre by litre than it will to refill the entire tank.

Diesel Particulate Filters

Diesel Particulate Filters, or DPFs, are used to reduce the exhaust emissions of diesel vehicles and ensure that the vehicles are compliant with European legislation.

What Is A Diesel Particulate Filter?
DPFs dramatically reduce the amount of particles emitted from diesel engines by using a simple filter system. They trap approximately 85% of the soot that is produced during diesel combustion, rather than allowing it to travel down the exhaust and be released into the atmosphere.

Particulate Filters Must Regenerate
Just like with any other filter system, the filter itself must be cleared in order to continue working effectively. This is known as regeneration and occurs when the filter reaches a sufficiently high temperature, which allows the soot to be converted to a much smaller quantity of ash. For the majority of systems, regular use of the engine at a sufficient speed will result in a high enough temperature of the exhaust gas to trigger regeneration. These high temperatures may result in a slight smell during regeneration, particularly during the first cycle. In order to automatically regenerate the filter a vehicle must be driven at 50mph or above for at least 20 minutes, although this may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

What If It Doesn’t Regenerate?
If the vehicle is not driven in a way that triggers the regeneration process, the filter will become blocked. This will result in damage to the filter and will reduce overall vehicle performance. If the filter does experience a build up of soot, a warning light in the vehicle will alert the driver. Usually, the problem can be resolved by driving the vehicle in such a way that triggers the regeneration process; each vehicle handbook will have specific guidelines on how to do this. In the event that it is not viable to drive the vehicle in a way that clears the filter - e.g. due to traffic conditions or speed limits – the vehicle can be taken to a dealership for forced regeneration. Any damage to the vehicle that occurs as a result of failure to follow the regeneration process will not be covered by the manufacturer warranty package or the funder’s maintenance agreement.

Will These Vehicles Be Suitable For You?
Drivers operating in urban environments may not be best suited for vehicles fitted with a DPF, as these conditions may not allow for the vehicle to be driven in such a way that triggers the automatic regeneration process. Cars with diesel particulate filters are not recommended for those driving less than 5,000 miles per annum, or for those who drive in urban only driving conditions.

Alternatives For Urban Drivers
Most manufacturers fit their diesel vehicles with a diesel particulate filter that requires a high speed drive cycle in order to regenerate, although some manufacturers fit their vehicles with a self-heating particulate filter. Some will inject fuel straight into the filter, which burns and therefore increases the temperature in the filter. Others have heaters built into the filter. Alternatively, a petrol, petrol hybrid, or electric vehicle may be more suitable for a driver operating only in urban areas.

All drivers must ensure that their desired vehicle is fitted with technology both suitable and appropriate for their driving conditions and requirements. If a vehicle with a diesel particulate filter is selected, the driver must ensure that the manufacturer recommended DPF regeneration program is adhered to.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

What's All This About AdBlue?

With the Euro 6 changeover fast approaching, it's time to talk about AdBlue, as it may have implications for you if you lease a Euro 6 vehicle that requires the solution.

What is AdBlue?
Without going too much into the science of it all, AdBlue is the name of a solution that reduces certain emissions from the exhaust fumes of UK diesel vehicles so that the vehicles will comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards.

How do I know if my vehicle needs AdBlue?
The only surefire way to establish if a vehicle uses AdBlue is to ask the manufacturer, as this information isn't typically published in the vehicle description or specification.

How does AdBlue work?
AdBlue, like fuel, is a consumable and it will be your responsibility as the hirer to keep the solution topped up throughout the course of your lease. Also like fuel, you will be responsible for paying for the AdBlue, not the finance company.

Although the liquid is treated like fuel in that it's a consumable, it is important to remember that it is not fuel, nor is it a fuel additive. It will be used in a dedicated tank of your vehicle, separate from the engine. If your vehicle does require AdBlue, you will need to make sure that the levels are kept topped up when needed, or the diesel engine will not function correctly.

How long does AdBlue last?
Generally speaking, AdBlue solution should last anywhere between 3,500 and 13,000 miles but will be dependent on the make and model of your vehicle. On average, the consumption ratio of AdBlue use to diesel use in the UK is 5 litres of AdBlue to every 100 litres of diesel. Of course, driving style and road conditions need to be taken into account and will affect the maximum range of a tank.

All vehicles that require AdBlue solutions will have warning systems to notify you when you need to top up. It is absolutely imperative that these warnings are not ignored, as most vehicles will not restart should the AdBlue run out.

How is AdBlue replenished?
For a lot of drivers, the AdBlue solution top up will coincide with service intervals, and you can have this carried out at the same time as your scheduled service for an extra charge. Please be aware that if you have a funder maintained agreement with CVC that includes full maintenance and servicing, AdBlue will not be included as standard.

Every manufacturer will have a different method of topping up the AdBlue solutions and the tanks aren't located in the same place in each vehicle. Some may be in the boot, some may be located under the bonnet and some may be by the fuel filler.

The manufacturers will prefer to replenish the AdBlue tanks themselves, rather than drivers and hirers of the vehicle attempting to do so.

How much does AdBlue cost?
Again, this varies from manufacturer to manufacturer - you may find that more premium brands incur higher costs for the solution and this should be taken into account before leasing a van. The price will also depend on the quantity purchased. Generally a complete tank refill will cost you less than it would to refill to buy by the litre, as you will have to take into account the labour charge to undertake the top up.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Euro 6 Emissions Standards - What Do They Mean?

New Ford Transit EcoBlue Engine
What is Euro 6?
New Euro 6 legislation seeks to reduce the negative impact of vehicles on the environment by limiting the harmful emissions vehicles produce. It sets out industry wide standards that all new vehicles introduced into the market must meet.

Lower CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy - meaning your vehicle will gain more miles to the gallon - are two of the most widely acknowledged benefits of Euro 6 - a result of Reducing certain vehicle emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter will bring with it various benefits including less trips to the petrol station.

NOx has been shown to have serious health implications for the public as well as being notoriously damaging to the environment, so Euro 6 standards are set to cap the permitted level of NOx emissions from diesel cars at 80mg/km - a dramatic decrease from the 180mg/km within the Euro 5 standards. The limit for NOx for petrol cars will remain the same as the Euro 5 standards at 60mg/km.

When will Euro 6 arrive?
Euro 6 Compliant Van EngineThe latest emission standards were rolled out in September 2015, meaning that all new models introduced into the market from this point on had to be compliant with Euro 6 standards.The deadline for all light commercial vehicles to adhere to Euro 6 is set for September 2016.

Many vehicles have already been brought up to speed with the Euro 6 legislation, with cleaner engine alternatives available on a host of renowned vans, including the Mercedes Sprinter and Volkswagen Transporter.

How will this affect you?

Vehicle Availability
If you're in the market for a new van that you need yesterday, you may find that stock levels are dwindling and your choices for some vehicles are limited. While manufacturers transition from Euro 5 engines to Euro 6 and the new vehicles are in the pipeline, you can only order from the vehicles that are already in physical stock or due to land in the UK over the next couple of months.

Mercedes Euro 6 Compliant Van
Pricing
With the introduction of the Euro 6 compliant vans comes an increase in the retail prices of vehicles across the board due to development and researching costs. Euro 5 vehicles aren't subject to the price hike, which can vary from around £500 to £1000 dependent on the make and model. You may even find some leasing companies are offering cheaper deals than usual on Euro 5 models while they are being phased out.

Technology
The majority of new vans will incorporate Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to meet Euro 6 standards, which uses a fluid known as AdBlue to reduce emissions. You will be responsible for keeping the AdBlue levels topped up and covering the costs, as it is considered a consumable similar to fuel. For those operating a fleet and switching over to Euro 6 vans, the effects on payload must be taken into consideration - a full AdBlue tank can take up 30-80kg out of your payload, depending on the size of the van.

London Low Emission Zone
You may have heard of Boris Johnson's proposed new ultra-low emission zone in London. With plans for this to be in place by 2020, it is likely that drivers of non Euro 6 compliant vans will find themselves penalised in the city centre. If you operate in the capital, it may be worth future proofing your fleet sooner rather than later.

How will the new Euro 6 legislation affect you? Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Your Guide To The Nissan NP300 Navara Grades

The arrival of the restyled and renamed Nissan NP300 Navara has brought with it a much more varied choice in models. The grades we recognise from pre-2016 Navaras are still available by name, but the equipment in the standard specification of each is a little bit different to what we've seen on the ever popular pick up truck offering from Nissan.

This time last year, you would have the choice of driving a Nissan Navara Visia, Acenta, Tekna or Tekna Connect. These days, there's a few more to choose from - the Acenta+ gives you more equipment over the Acenta, and the addition of a completely new grade that goes by the name of N-Connecta sits between the Acenta+ and the highest spec Tekna.

All new NP300 Navaras come fitted with the basics - the Nissan approved alarm system and Anti Theft System immobiliser, Bluetooth telephone integration, automatic headlights, Hill Start Assist and Vehicle Dynamic Control. The basic Visia model features manual air conditioning as standard on the 4WD version and all double cab Visia's come with cruise control and a speed limiter.

Move up a grade to the Acenta and you'll find all that is present on the Visia with a few more highlights such as 16" alloy wheels, exterior chrome styling (door mirrors, rear step bumper, door handles, wheel nuts and the front grille) and the 5"HD full colour screen in the cab. Opt for the next level up and the Acenta+ will provide you with more features that give it a more sophisticated edge. 18" alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, side steps, LED door mirror indicators, front fog lights, automatic air conditioning, heated door mirrors, leather steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake and even a rear colour reversing camera - with the image shown in the rear view mirror - all combine to create a more dynamic driving experience.

The introduction of the N-Connecta trim level will throw the NissanConnect system into the mix which features a 7" touch screen navigation and entertainment system with DAB radio, Smartphone App integration, Bluetooth audio streaming, traffic updates and eco driving tracking. The highest specification of the bunch, the Tekna model adds roof rails, LED headlights, heated front seats, rear parking sensors, leather seats and an around view monitor to the Navaras already healthy list of standard equipment.

For the full specifications and best deals for each of the Nissan NP300 Navara pick up trucks, visit our website here.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Say Goodbye To The Nissan Primastar

The Nissan Primastar has had a good run - competing with the likes of the Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, the medium sized van has proved popular in the medium sized segment of the commercial vehicle market.

All good things must come to an end however, and Nissan have announced that next year, the brand new Nissan NV300 will take the throne. Based on the new shape Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic, the NV300 seems to join the party a little late as it's sister vans were launched with new shapes back in 2014, although this van will feature unique front end bumpers, lights and grilles in the trio (soon to be quad - watch this space!) as well as a longer standard warranty.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Joys of Leasing a Citroen Berlingo

The first Citroen Berlingo vans first hit the roads in 1996, but the model we know and recognise today was initially released in 2008 with regular updates and improvements since. The most recent changes saw Euro 6 compatible engines and clean new styling added to the Berlingo's arsenal to push it ahead of it's fellow car derived vans, like the Volkswagen Caddy or new Ford Transit Connect.
The zippy Berlingo van has a multitude of uses and is is utilised in nearly every sector with great success thanks to it's versatility and maneuverability. Most popular in its panel van form, the Berlingo is one of the small vans on the market that comes with three seats in the front as standard.

Strong residual values on the Berlingo Enterprise mean that leasing the top spec model will usually cost you less in terms of finance than leasing the basic X or mid-level LX models. With modern technology present throughout the van such as a built in satellite navigation system, parking sensors and air conditioning the Enterprise model is an all round winner. Taking a Berlingo panel van on Contract Hire also means that you don't have to worry about depreciation - the finance company take on this risk and you get fixed rates throughout the contract. Also, you can opt for our full maintenance package for complete peace of mind driving, knowing that all routine servicing, breakdown recovery and tyres are recovered. You can even request an immediate relief vehicle for a small additional cost.

Whatever you decide to use your Berlingo for, it's important to research your options when it comes to leasing - Contract Hire, Finance Lease and Hire Purchase are the three most popular leasing options available and each comes with different perks. Always check with your CVC account manager that the product you are being quoted for is the right one for your business.