Fleet News

Tyre replacement move puts fleets closer to 'cost-free' contracts

INTENSE competition between fleet suppliers has moved company car operators a step closer to running 'cost-free' vehicles.

In a bid to win business, growing numbers of leasing suppliers are introducing fixed cost pricing in key areas such as tyre repair, a problem area that can cause unexpected costs.

This month, Britain's biggest leasing company Lloyds TSB autolease has revealed it is scrapping customer charges for tyre repairs and replacements. Its 'Fair play on tyres' initiative means the company will cover any costs incurred by a puncture or a kerbed tyre.

Director of operations David Kershaw said: 'Fair play on tyres is designed to avoid hidden costs and hassle for our customers. Instead of charging it back, we'll absorb the costs and remove the hassle and paperwork.'

Since April 7, every new vehicle under Lloyds TSB autolease's management has automatically had this service as standard when on a full-maintenance contract, regardless of mileage. The company said theft or malicious damage would be the only exceptions.

Its initiative follows a move by HSBC Vehicle Finance's decision in 2001 to abolish tyre damage charges for drivers who made unscheduled tyre replacements under maintenance contracts.

HSBC Vehicle Finance said at the time it would add £1 a month to maintenance contracts, but could save businesses £41 every time a tyre was unexpectedly replaced. It has also introduced a new dilapidation policy offering fleets a £400 damage waiver on wear and tear costs and offers the suppression of invoices for amounts below £10.

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