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Sign writing your van as a tradesperson

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Branding your van is a quick win for making your business look legit and doing some low-cost local advertising

Types and costs

There are different methods of getting your van written up. The three common methods are:

  • Cut vinyl graphics - Creating a design that is printed, cut out and stuck to your van. You can even fit them yourself if you want to save cash. Typical cost per van - £150 - £200 for just the vinyl stickers, or £350 - £500 to have them printed and fitted for you.
  • Vinyl wrapping - Instead of a sticker on a single panel, you can cover your whole van, or a section of it, to really make an impact. Typical cost per van: £1,000 - £2,000 depending on the size of the wrap
  • Magnetic signs - Like giant fridge magnets, you can take these on and off your van whenever you like. Make sure they’re good quality so they don’t fly off when you’re on your way to the builder’s merchants. Typical cost per van: £100 - £200.
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Design and presentation

If you want your van to look good there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have all the key info on there - what you do is most important, as well as your business name, and your main contact details - phone, email and website.
  • Play around with different designs to find something right - keep it simple and readable, and don’t go overboard with distracting colours.
  • Get it right first time. A common mistake is the rogue apostrophe - for example ‘quality painter’s’. Double check with other people to make sure it’s free of spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Think about adding endorsements and logos from trade bodies you belong to, or trusted sites like MyBuilder that show off your reputation. If you use MyBuilder, we can send you stickers after your first piece of positive feedback.
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What are the benefits?

There are two key benefits to having a fully written up van:

Firstly, you’ll have a mobile billboard permanently on display in your local area, sitting outside all your jobs. It can be seen by hundreds of people each day, and is a great longterm, low-cost investment in advertising.

Secondly, it’s great for your reputation - it shows to customers you’re a legitimate business investing in promoting your name. After all, it’s hard to disappear with someone’s deposit if your name and number are parading around town.

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Are there any drawbacks?

There are a few things to bear in mind if you’re thinking of getting your van sign-written:

  • Obviously, there’s the initial cost, and the fact your van will be out of commission for a day if it’s being wrapped.
  • It’s also a hassle to get changed if you want to update any of your details, so make sure you’re 100% happy with what you go for.
  • There’s also your insurance to consider - sign-writing can count as modifying your van, which might affect your premiums, so you should inform your insurer. On the plus side, insurance costs can come down when your van is written, as it’s seen as a mark of professionalism.
  • When it comes to insurance, you should also think about security. While sign-writing can make your van a less attractive target for thieves as it’s easier to trace, it can serve as an advert for the expensive tools you might keep in there.

Remember, with a sign-written van your reputation is on the line every time you’re behind the wheel - everyone knows who to complain to if you go about cutting people up or parking on people’s flower beds.

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