The condition of a tradesman's work vehicle can have a significant impact on whether he gets a job or not, according to van specialist Vanarama.

Managing director Andy Alderson warned: “From both our own experience of using tradesmen, as well as hearing anecdotal feedback from our customers, we instinctively know that a van in poor condition could create the wrong impression about a tradesman, potentially impacting the amount of work received, the price charged and ultimately their business reputation.

“Our recent research of consumer perceptions not only confirmed this but crystallised just how important a tradesman’s vehicle is in winning new customers. More than half (51%) of respondents to our survey said that they would worry about how good a tradesman was if they couldn’t afford to drive a decent work vehicle, and over a third (39%) said they would be concerned about their reliability.

“With the economic outlook in the construction sector and related trades being particularly good at the moment, it would be easy for tradesmen to think they don’t need to worry about the condition of the van they drive. However, we believe our research highlights that to make the most of the current market opportunities, having the best tools for the job – including a smart and up-to-date van – will pay dividends.

“Of course, some businesses may be wary of replacing an older vehicle because of concerns about future income – but we believe this could be a false economy.

“At Vanarama, through the volume-related discounts we can obtain, we make it very affordable for a tradesman to drive a new van. Leasing payments on a brand new van can very often be cheaper than buying an old van on hire purchase. Plus, the reduced running costs of a new van with a more economic engine and no previous wear and tear can make better financial sense.”

Overall 63% of respondents said the condition of a tradesman’s business vehicle was important in giving them confidence in their work. Londoners appear to be the most concerned about the condition of a tradesman’s van, with 69% saying this was important to them.

For nearly half (49%) of respondents, the age of a tradesman’s vehicle is also important, and for almost two thirds (59%), being able to see a company logo on a vehicle is important.

“Our research reinforces what many of us already know – first impressions count,” concluded Alderson. “We think some tradesmen may not realise just how influential their work vehicle is in them being able to get work.”