As of September 2015, all mass-produced vehicles sold in Europe must meet ‘Euro-6’ standards, as part of attempts to significantly reduce the level of pollutants in exhausts. Still, the older Euro-5 standard is not by any stretch obsolete, and many in the haulage industry could benefit from bargain prices on these older HGVs.
In this article, we’ll give a quick overview of how buying used could help you save. Specifically, we’ll outline the benefits of the Volvo FH Classic, formerly the Volvo FH16.
Using Older Standards
Introduced in January 2011, the Euro-5 was the standard for all EU vehicles until very recently. While manufacturers now have to meet the higher Euro-6 standard, the haulage industry can still operate older models in many areas.
This is because restrictions on operations – as opposed to production – tend to vary from country to country and even city to city. If your business operates primarily in the UK, for instance, the only area that you currently have to worry about meeting up to date EU regulations is in London’s new ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ).
While other local authorities are pursuing their own low emissions zones (LEZs), there’s little solid information on what standards these will impose.
As with many sectors, the bottom line is crucial in the haulage industry. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that you can often pick up a decent Volvo at bargain rates, simply by aiming to meet older standards.
Many fleets have their eyes on the future – especially those who deliver in London. This means that a lot of companies are shifting away from older stock. Some, in the words of Matt Heath, general manager of fleet sales at Maritime, are also avoiding these models because they wrongly assume they’re ‘dirty and old’.
In fact, says Heath, ‘they aren’t’. But misperceptions here can actually help you out, as they’re ‘having a negative effect’ on residuals. It helps that the Volvo FH Classic was very well received at the time and remains a solid model.
Even better, the company lists all vehicles over five years old or with more than 500,000km on the clock in their ‘Volvo Economy’ portfolio, keeping prices lower still.
Doing the Job
Heath again notes the appeal of older models to the haulage industry. ‘All you have to do’, he says, ‘is look at where you can…[still] go with a Euro-5 and realise they still have a place in this country.’
Carl White, national sales and brand manager at Volvo Used Trucks, concurs. ‘The market for Euro-6’, he notes, is localised ‘in and around London.’ However, demand for older models is ‘strong’ elsewhere.
Both men also agree that uncertainty about LEZs outside of the capital isn’t a good enough reason to avoid older models entirely. Heath notes that ‘we don’t know’ any details about LEZs, specifically whether they’ll be ‘Euro-6 only’ or how much they’ll charge. And White is even more forthright. ‘Until we start seeing solid evidence’ of how LEZs play out, he says ‘people will keep buying Euro-5’. Even better: by then, the new standard ‘will have worked its way out’ into the market.
Comfort and Fittings
Finally, drivers in the haulage industry have no need to worry about missing out on the mod cons associated with newer models. Citing a stunning 1,000,000 pounds’ worth of extras installed by Volvo alone this year, White notes that the market has changed. ‘Ten years ago’, he says, ‘people would have bought a truck and taken it away to get fitted.’ Now, Volvo does it themselves.
We hope that all this has offered some insight into the market and how you can benefit from the misunderstandings and fears of others. If you’re interested, why not look up Volvo Euro-5s on sale?
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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