Fleet News

Warning over unexpected end of contract sting in the tail

FLEET operators should be on the lookout for inflated end of contract recharges as contract hire companies seek to claw back cash lost on over-optimistic residual value forecasts. AT&T Automotive Services has warned fleets to beware of a sting in the tail at the end of a contract which could leave them facing unexpected bills.

'Fleet managers could be in for a nasty surprise when faced with the cost of bringing vehicles up to scratch before disposal,' said Mark O'Callaghan, AT&T Automotive Services' operations director. 'Some unscrupulous companies may therefore look to recharge as a way to offset losses when it comes to disposing of their clients' vehicles.'

While recharges are clearly justified where cars have suffered unreasonable damage - and fleets which outright purchase their vehicles still pay indirectly for above average damage to a car in terms of a lower residual value - they remain a grey area. The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association has sought to clarify this with a fair wear and tear guide, published in association with the RAC, which serves as a valuable defence for fleet managers.

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