UK tradespeople increasingly living out of their vans, study finds

Direct Line research finds work vehicles used for eating, sleeping and mobile offices

Tradespeople in Britain are finding more uses for their vans than just carrying tools, with many working from, eating and sleeping in their vans, a study has claimed.

A poll conducted by business insurer Direct Line found that almost a third (31%) of plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople used their van as a mobile office to manage their business.

In addition, 45% of respondents admitted using their van as a mobile dining room on occasion whilst 11% revealed they were also sleeping in their vehicle.

To cope with the increased amount of time spent in their vans, a minority of tradespeople have installed mobile entertainment centres – 4% of respondents had installed a television in their vehicle whilst 2% had also set up a games console.

14% of tradespeople also revealed they smoked in their work vehicles; a statistic Direct Line claimed was worrying. Research from the British Lung Foundation found the level of toxins in a smoke-filled vehicle can be up to 23 times higher than in a smoky bar.

Melissa Hunt, business manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “With tradespeople working long hours on the job, it is no wonder they often end up eating, managing paperwork and even sleeping in their vehicles.

“However, customising their van with the latest gadgets and installing entertainment centres may not only be a distraction and compromise their safety but it is unlikely to be covered if stolen.”

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