Fleet News

Leasing industry welcomes car pricing report

CONTRACT hire companies have greeted the arrival of the Competition Commission's New Car Inquiry report as potentially good news for the entire industry. The report sets out proposals which could radically alter the way new cars are sold in the UK and seeks to create a level playing field between fleets and dealerships by ordering manufacturers to offer them equal buying terms.

At present, dealerships complain that they are offered smaller discounts than many fleets, despite buying as many vehicles. The report, which is open to consultation until May 19, recommends manufacturers are stopped from varying discounts to leasing companies depending on whether the customer is a private buyer or a fleet buyer, which contract hire firms agree is a problem with some manufacturers.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association director general Norman Donkin said: 'I welcome the fact the manufacturers will have to give the same discounts to all buyers' leasing schemes. There could be an explosion in PCPs and structured personal leasing schemes which will be additional business, rather than people switching from company cars.' Simon Richmond, managing director of ACL autolease, said: 'There are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but it does seem to be good news for personal leasing schemes, particularly from the view of smaller fleets of 100 to 200 vehicles because they could see prices decrease.'

But Jon Walden, managing director of Lex Vehicle Leasing, said: 'There are some manufacturers which already offer equal terms to all personal leasing scheme buyers and even so, there has not been the expected rush of demand.'

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