Fleet News

Read small print, fleets warned

CONTRACT hire brokers often advertise in the back of car magazines and offer cut-throat rates, but fleet managers must read the small print before signing on the dotted line. Intense competition between brokers means they want to print the lowest prices possible, so stripping out details including maintenance and cutting annual mileages helps make the headline price more competitive.

Buyers tend to compare headline prices, but not look at what they include before picking up the phone. Therefore, brokers generally quote non-maintenance contracts and mileage of 10,000 miles a year in adverts, so paying for a standard three year/60,000 mile contract would increase the price. Chris Hart, managing director of Freedom Vehicle Contracts, said: 'We used to include maintenance costs in our figures, but it just did not work.

'Buyers do not take notice of the small print, so if you have a vehicle offered for £199 a month without maintenance and one for £229 including maintenance, then the cheapest price will win. I think that in some cases, it could be just the colour of the advert which gets their attention.'

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