Mercedes-Benz Vans launches Vantasy Football campaign

Mercedes-Benz Vans has partnered with former Sky Sports football pundit Chris Kamara to launch ‘Vantasy Football’, the UK’s first five-a-side football tournament exclusively for van drivers.

The company says that bringing van drivers together through team sport will improve their mental wellbeing, after its ‘Under the Bonnet’ report showed that van drivers spend up to 25 hours a week alone with no one to talk to, while more than a third (35%) have three or fewer conversations a day at work – compared with the national average of 27.

Almost nine in 10 van drivers (87%) said they felt lonely at work and almost half (47%) said loneliness was a regular occurrence in their working day. Two thirds (65%) said they suffer with depression or anxiety – four times the national average.

To help tackle the issue teams can apply to take part in the Vantasy Football tournament, the UK’s first football tournament exclusively for van drivers, which takes place at St George’s Park, England’s football training ground, on 23 August 2024.

The five-aside event will be hosted by TV star Chris Kamara, who has faced his own battle with isolation and loneliness after being diagnosed with apraxia, a condition that causes difficulty with speech and communication.

He said: “Spending time on your own, not talking to people, these things have a real impact on mental health. I know what isolation does to you.

“Sport is such a major part of my life and my recovery. The camaraderie of sport – being part of a team – is such a great way to overcome loneliness.”

Paul Murphy, a van driver at Alliance Healthcare UK, added: “As a driver, the amount of time you spend on your own can sometimes make you feel like you’re living in your own head with no one else – particularly those who undertake longer routes and only have a few conversations every day.

“Without talking to people, one small problem can fester in your mind over the day. And then before you know it, it’s snowballed into a worry that wouldn’t otherwise pose you any problems.

“That’s why it’s essential to give drivers a space for people to talk about what’s going on in their lives and share the burden of what might be on their mind – whether that be through nights out or getting together to play team sport.”

To find out more or to get your own team together, sign up here.

Ask HJ

I'm buying a used Ford Transit - how do I check the service history?

I'm looking at a 36,000 mile 2019 Ford Transit which has been a company vehicle. The seller says it was a lease vehicle with Enterprise and possibly an ex-utility company. Is it right that the dealer won't have any previous service records from the lease company and that if I was to buy the van I could obtain this information directly from the lease company? It looks okay and seems to drive well but I just want a reliable van. Would you consider this van?
It's very common for leasing companies such as Enterprise to maintain their own vehicles, especially when they're on long-term lease to other companies. Indeed, the history of this Ford Transit seems quite normal. Enterprise should hold a record of the maintenance history of the van but we'd corroborate the story with the vendor before agreeing to buy it. If you're buying from a dealer then there are levels of protection in place to ensure you are not ripped off - if the dealer says it has a service history then it must be sold with one. It sounds here like the dealer is being ambiguous as the only way you can get this is from the leasing company. That said, it really is very common for ex-lease and rental vans to be maintained at the leasing companies' own service and repair depots. On its own, it wouldn't be a reason to discount a van if its otherwise well-prepared and in good order.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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