The 250-car fleet now has more than two dozen vehicles acquired from dealerships on the Continent, with discounts of about £1,000 below list prices in the UK. The buying programme formed the test-bed for the launch this week of the ferry operator's own car buying scheme. Under the scheme, would-be car buyers can save cash by using the cross-Channel ferry operator to source vehicles for them. Purchases will be delivered to customers' doors.
The firm teamed up with import specialist Burbank Automotive Holdings to offer British specification cars through a special hotline. Claimed savings for the service include £19,145 off a Mercedes CL500's UK price of £83,045 and £3,870 off a £31,095 BMW 528iSE. A Peugeot 206 1.4LX is available with £1,348 off its £10,450 UK list price.
The company does not buy all its own fleet vehicles on the Continent - for example there are no Fords, Vauxhalls or Rovers. Instead, P&O Stena Link cherry-picks the best buys from abroad that beat the deals it has available from the fleet market in the UK. The choice list for the company car fleet of both perk and essential-user drivers includes BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and Volkswagen.
The scheme operates for P&O Stena Link's company car drivers in the UK only and the operator has still to overcome occasional severe delivery delays, sometimes with a wait of up to 16 weeks. The P&O Stena Link spokesman added: 'Our fleet cars are delivered to drivers' doors and we tell them to immediately go to their local dealership and register. Drivers are told of the need to do this so the vehicle can be located if there is a recall.'