Fleet News

BMW boss predicts further growth in fixed cost motoring schemes

COMPANY and private car drivers will increasingly seek fixed cost motoring solutions and avoid the hassle of arguing with dealers, according to BMW (GB) managing director Jim O'Donnell.

In recent years more fleets have switched to full service leasing contracts and an upsurge, all be it small, in personal leasing packages has occurred as both companies and individuals seek to exploit 'known cost' motoring.

However, the potential market for fixed cost motoring for both new and used cars is huge, as fleet executives and drivers avoid the unwanted headaches over surprise bills, said O'Donnell.

'Customers - fleet and private - want a package up front which gives them known service and maintenance costs,' he said, highlighting the package developed on the MINI as a first move.

As well as servicing and maintenance, O'Donnell says he would also like to add in wear and tear items such as brake pads so fleets and private buyers have 'greater certainty' over motoring costs. Such packages are available in South Africa, where O'Donnell spent three years before returning to the UK last year, and they are also available on used vehicles.

'Totally fixed cost motoring is the general route the industry wants to go down,' he said. 'As service intervals get longer manufacturers must ensure owners when they have a problem go back to the dealership and not elsewhere. The more uncertainty that can be taken away the better, but I don't see us underwriting residual values for anyone. Instead I see us doing as much as we can to make residual values as strong as possible'.

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