The new survey from Northgate Motor Holdings is the latest attack on inefficient fleets (Fleet News September 6). It reveals that not enough management time is put against vehicle acquisition policies and while the fleet managers and financial directors questioned believe fleet flexibility is crucial to business survival it is a view often contradicted by their own fleet policies.
Too many companies automatically purchase or agree to long-term hire contracts on fleet vehicles without considering alternatives, says Northgate, which has its own flexible rental package called NORFLEX under which fleets have the opportunity to take vehicles on a flexible basis - altering the type or size of the fleet without incurring fleet penalties.
The survey claims that most companies plan their overall strategy on an annual basis, however, of those who purchase their vans (81%), 66% expect to keep the vehicle for up to five years and a further 33% expect to keep vehicles for more than five years. Just 12% of respondents said they took penalty charges for excess mileage into account when entering a contract.