EUROPE'S largest fleet is set to save its customers a staggering £200 million during a typical lease by scrapping some charges and negotiating deals with suppliers to reduce others.
The fleet estimates that each of its customers is set to benefit from savings of up to £500 on leasing costs following the cost-cutting regime implemented by Motability Operations, the group behind the Motability schemes.
The UK charity helps disabled people and their families become mobile using Government allowances.
As well as reducing its own operating costs, Motability Operations has renegotiated deals with its suppliers, enabling it to cut costs for customers including lower leasing costs, scrapping replacement tyre charges and refunding some initial insurance excesses.
Alongside lower contract costs, as previously reported, users of Motability's fleet of about 400,000 vehicles will not pay replacement tyre charges.
Customers will only be charged in cases where tyres are lost, stolen or vandalised and in those circumstances customers can claim under their insurance. Motability introduced the initiative after negotiating a deal with Kwik-Fit Fleet (Fleet NewsNet, July 31).
Customers paying the initial £75 insurance excess on a claim when they are not at fault will also have this refunded within 21 days, according to Motability.
Mike Betts, chief executive at Motability Operations, said: 'We have listened to our customers and focused on what were the important issues to them. This latest package of scheme changes meets our customers' highest priorities, cost and choice.'
Motability has revamped other areas of its business, including the introduction of a customer helpline and closure of contract gaps which means customers keep their old cars until new ones are ready for collection. There are also extensions of contracts up to five years.
The group has also announced plans to trial an online application site, which could be rolled out by early next year. Customers will be able to log on to get immediate answers to whether they have been accepted on to the Motability scheme. Motability claims the service will provide a faster and more convenient application process for customers.
New directors appointed
MOTABILITY Operations has announced the appointment of three new directors – including Mike Wear, who retired as Ford's fleet director last month after 33 years with the manufacturer.
He will take the role of manufacturer and dealer relations director from Monday. Other appointments include Ashley Sylvester as pricing and asset director from October 20 and David Gilman as finance director from December 8.
Sylvester joins Motability Operations from LeasePlan UK, where he was director of risk management. Gilman joins from HSBC Commercial and Corporate Banking, where he is currently head of finance.