Fleet News

Shopping around for maintenance offers fleets huge savings

FLEET managers could slash their costs by thousands of pounds if they shopped around for maintenance contracts, with potential savings of £20,000 over three years on a 100-car fleet, according to a new survey.

New fleet company Bethell Fleet Services claims the fleet industry is wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds a year because managers fail to shop around for the best rates when paying for maintenance.

And the firm, part of multi-million pound turnover parent company, argues lower maintenance costs could actually mean a better quality of service for vehicles.

The firm carried out its survey by taking the maintenance rates offered by a range of national contract hire and leasing companies, working out an industry average and compraing this with its own workshops. It found the cost of servicing a typical fleet car, such as a Ford Mondeo 1.8 LX or Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 LS, could be cut by £200 over its three-year/60,000-mile life, while savings on models such as the Volkswagen Passat could be double that figure.

The firm is offering fleet managers a 24-hour fixed price collection, maintenance, wash and return service through its network of independent garages, which it claims will improve service as well as cut prices.

The service will be offered through 1,000 fleet brokers in the UK, who will be able to provide a standard quote nationwide through a CD-ROM provided by the firm.

Commercial director Tim Jones, who was formerly corporate sales director of First National Vehicle Holdings, said: 'Our survey of maintenance rates has confirmed our suspicions that, in line with evidence cited in Office of Fair Trading and other reports, many franchise dealerships and other garages charge too much for maintenance while offering a poor service and fleet managers continue to be the biggest victims.'

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