Fleet News

Branson set to move into fleet

SIR Richard Branson is planning to move into the fleet market via internet and direct phone operations with cheap cars, contract hire, finance, insurance and a swathe of aftersales services, including disposals. Virgin Cars, to be launched at the end of April, says it will offer vehicles with on-the-road prices up to 30% lower than those through UK dealer networks - achieved by negotiating direct with manufacturers and importing from European dealers and agents.

However, the company is refusing to reveal what deals fleets will be offered and exactly what services customers could expect. A Virgin spokesman said: 'We will be talking to fleets but we cannot talk about discounts nor timing as we are still formulating our strategy.' Virgin has said it expects direct sales operations to dominate the new car market within three years, although fleets continue to fight shy of direct selling

Announcing the new group, Virgin boss Branson said: 'The industry needs shaking up because prices are too high and service is mediocre. It is ripe Virgin territory and I believe we can shake it up.' And Virgin Cars chief executive officer Ian Lancaster said: 'You would be insane to buy a new car in the UK right now.'

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!

Login to comment


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