Surprising Things You Never Knew About Van Drivers

There seems to be more vans on the road than ever before. The number of vans on the road in the UK has increased by 800,000 over a ten-year period between 2002 and 2012. So why are we seeing more vans? Interestingly, there has been a decrease in the number of heavy goods vehicles, and an increase in smaller, light commercial vans. Many analysis point to the sustained growth of online shopping, with consumers in the UK spending almost £2000 per year online. There certainly seems to be a link between online shopping and the number of vans on the roads – all those items need to be delivered somehow!

Fewer white vans

Ten years ago, 95% of the Ford Transit vans were white. Today, only 84% of them are finished in white – still very much the majority, but a decrease of 11%.

This is partly because a significant percentage of new vans are being used for supermarket deliveries and courier work. Therefore, a higher percentage of the vans are finished in a range of other colours. Most vans, regardless of their base colour, feature a company’s brand in some way. Fifty percent include the company’s name and 29% have a logo.

More interesting van facts

This is just one of the ways in which van ownership and usage has changed in the UK over the past few years. I found several additional fascinating facts about the type of people who drive them after taking this quiz. I had great fun filling it out and discovering what type of van driver I am. If you’re a van driver, I highly recommend that take the quiz too. In the meantime, here’s a flavour of the van driver trends and surprising facts that the survey uncovered:

Van drivers are good Samaritans

Seventy eight percent of the van drivers that responded to the survey said that they would stop to help if they saw an injured person. In fact, a staggering 65% would risk their own safety to help someone who is injured.

Van drivers are neat freaks

This one surprised me.My van is messy, so I didn’t expect to find that 39% of van drivers claimed to keep their cab clean and tidy. Only 19% confessed to having a cab full or loose paperwork and expenses receipts like mine.

How van drivers manage the stress

Driving a van all day on busy roads can be stressful to say the least, so 73% of van drivers listen to the radio to keep them happy and chilled. When they get home, 28% said they unwind by soaking in the bath. Thirty six percent of the survey participants said that they listened to music at home to help them to unwind.

The ‘Vanthem’

When asked what their favourite song to play in their van, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody pipped Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” to first place. Interestingly, van drivers seem to have diverse musical tastes. The hits that featured in their top 10 spanned the decades with songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s making the top ten.

As business in the UK evolves, all kinds of everyday things are changing. Including, so it seems, the famous white van man.


Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on

Read More from Pete White