Fleet News

Insight: What is the best service, maintenance and repair solution?

Around 75-85% of car leasing contracts have a ‘with maintenance’ agreement whereby the fleet pays a monthly rate that covers the cost of both the contract hire and the service, maintenance and repair (SMR).

It’s the ultimate peace of mind approach: no unexpected charges from unbudgeted repairs and the admin/payment process is largely handed over to the leasing provider.

But a growing number of fleets are considering alternative ways to manage and pay for their SMR needs.

And, of course, fleets that outright purchase their vehicles – particularly those with vans – already use different processes.

The reasons? Cost, convenience and service. Leasing companies themselves are increasingly switching repairs from franchised dealers to independents, which reduces costs and – according to some – improves service levels.
But what can fleets do?

It’s important to state that a move away from a ‘with maintenance’ contract is not for everyone: any variation in the process will increase the admin involved which will increase the need for an in-house resource.

With many companies preferring to outsource their fleet functions, this will not be an option.

However, companies that do have dedicated staff handling fleet policy could consider several alternatives.

We’ve spoken to four fleets, each of which takes a different approach to their SMR needs, including one that has the conventional ‘with maintenance’ policy.

Each outlines the key reasons why they have adopted that process, including any pitfalls they’ve encountered.

And we’ve provided a summary of the type of fleet each option will best suit.

The best method for your business will depend on the type of fleet you operate (car/van, leased/bought), the type of usage of that fleet (job need/perk) and the company’s view on in-house/out-source controls.

It is always worth looking at how the various options fit into your existing and future fleet strategy.

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  • Trevor Bowman - 11/04/2013 23:45

    An extremely useful article which encapsulates the options available in an easily presented and understood format. It has helped me considerably whilst building my presentation to senior management.

  • Kev - 21/04/2013 08:41

    It is pointless going outside the franchised dealer as in the long run it is not cost effective. Any mechanic who works for an independent is a second rate mechanic. Who hasn't been on any training for years. A modern car is very complicated and needs the best not the cheapest working on it. The independents use cheap parts, usually the wrong oil which ends up causing turbo problems when the car is out of warranty. Then any goodwill is a no NO. Stick to the dealer it is cheaper in the long slog. Most franchised workshops will do a deal on labour and parts as long as you give them the throughput. I know some garages think pads are worn out at 70% but ask for a photo. 1 link has an image facility and its works. Ask for a good parts discount 10-15% but leave the oil price as normal. They think its a two way street then but at least you know the right oil is going in the engine. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys!

  • Jekaterina Repina - 08/07/2016 20:47

    I am in total awe of your website, I have nothing to do with cars or driving, but I had to research for the accountancy project at the college, the information proved to be priceless and very useful even to the "dummies" as myself, thanks a million for the brilliant article

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