Fleets will be able to road test the new Volkswagen Crafter for up to six months thanks to a ‘try before you buy’ scheme being launched by the manufacturer.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will be making about 80 units available to large fleet operators in the 3.5-tonne market.
The try before you buy vehicles will supplement the fleet department’s current demo vehicles, along with the extensive demo fleets the Volkswagen Van Centre Network operate.
Meanwhile, the Van Centre Network is also looking to strengthen the number of demonstrator vehicles to support local initiatives.
“We have found that simply supplying a vehicle to a customer for a week does not allow them to fully experience all of the benefits,” said Alastair Hemmings, national fleet manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
“Customers need vehicles that are to their specific requirements, that they can operate in their own individual environments and over a prolonged period of time in order to fully test them.”
The manufacturer said there are currently no plans to extend the scheme further. However, if successful then it could be developed for other new models.
Fleets will be expected to cover insurance, fuel and the installation of any specialist racking/equipment/conversions. The vehicle depreciation will be covered by Volkswagen.
Hemmings said: “As part of the scheme, we will be in regular contact with the customers and asking for feedback throughout the review period. We believe that at the end of the six-month period, customers will want to buy them as they will have seen some the significant benefits that the Crafter offers – increase in payload and torque, reduction in fuel consumption and lower emissions.”
The programme will be managed through the area fleet teams, who have been asked to identify key Crafter customers or prospects.
“We would prefer that the vehicles are sold to the customer at the end of the period although we do understand that some customers may wish to return them,” said Hemmings.
Volkswagen has experienced huge success with its Caddy and Transporter models, and is determined that the new Crafter can follow suit.