Fleet News

Service beats costs in contract hire deals

GOOD communication is more important than price or vehicle choice for fleet operators when dealing with a contract hire company.

And in the search for the ideal relationship, a least one-fifth of fleets are planning to change their supplier, while 14% feel the service they receive from their current leasing company is deteriorating.

Fleets views on the standard of service in the leasing industry are revealed in the Contract Hire Survey 2005, produced by Fleet News’ sister-company Sewells Information & Research.

The main objective of the survey is to assess the quality of the relationships that exist between fleet operators and the contract hire and leasing industry.

The survey asks fleet manager respondents to give a rating for their ‘overall experience with their contract hire company’ and asks them to give a satisfaction rating on 60 individual areas of their interface with the contract hire company in question. Fleet operators were asked to list the factors they take into account when deciding which contract hire companies to deal with.

Communication heads the list with monthly rental, quotation speed, payment terms, changeover procedures, supply lead time, vehicle range, maintenance options, advice and assistance, supplier size and location other considerations in descending order of importance, according to fleet operators.

Price ranks at 38 in a list of the top 50 performance drivers in the survey, but was rated second when it actually came to choosing a supplier. The survey also reveals the changing shape of the fleet market. It shows that 45% of fleets are changing their petrol company cars at between 61,000 and 99,000 miles and 16% up to 40,000 miles. A total of 18% leave it until after 100,000 miles.

It also found that 13% of fleet operators are actively encouraging their staff to choose a cash-for-car or PCP option. The Sewells survey reveals that 69% of fleets now use the internet to obtain contract hire and leasing quotes from prospective suppliers, ahead of both telephone and fax.

And it also claims that the focus in the contract hire market is now less on fleet size and more on the range and quality of services.

  • For further details of the report, contact Berta Collins on 01733 468270 or email berta.collins@emap.com
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