Fleet News

Public Eye January

Public sector fleets must be ruthless with their suppliers this year. It’s an approach I’ve had to take in the wake of budget cuts and things are only going to get tougher, particularly for local authorities who, from next year, are expected to be self-financing rather than benefiting from a central Government grant.

We all know that things like end-of-contract damage charges, early terminations and administration fees for processing fines can be a source of additional income for suppliers, but I’ve told my vehicle provider I won’t accept these any more. 

I’ll pay a parking fine, but not a £35 admin charge. I want the flexibility to return a vehicle early without penalty and I’ve agreed it works both ways – my provider can also take a vehicle back sooner to achieve a higher resale value. 

I will ensure the vehicles remain in good condition but I will not pay an end-of-contract damage charge.

I’m being more robust with commercial vehicle manufacturers, too, by asking them to stand by the quality of their products. A lot of heavy goods vehicles’ standard terms are still one-year warranty and I’ve negotiated up to five-year warranty terms with an additional premium. 

Does this approach ultimately lead to less choice? Well, some suppliers have walked away from tenders, but they are missing out on a customer who will pay them without fail. I wouldn’t be surprised if they come back next time. Don’t be scared to be demanding.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee