Fleet News

Is a broker better when it comes to van leasing?

BROKERS and leasing companies often deal with different types of customer requirements.

Our experience is that brokers tend to deal with smaller businesses which need vans for their operations right now, so the focus is more likely to be on immediate availability and the need for an inexpensive vehicle. A leasing company may focus on the wholelife cost for the vehicle, the most suitable vehicle for the customer and options such as fuel cards. Leasing firms come into their own when there is a need for more detailed reporting and a nationwide service.

Beware! Excess damage can cost you dearly

AS these pictures show, while fleet managers may see vans as a massive investment, some drivers treat them very much like dustbins or stock cars.

Whether a vehicle is outright purchased or leased, driver damage costs money. The only difference with a leased vehicle is that the damage results in a bill, so you know just how large a hole drivers have blown in your accounts.

Leasing companies are not charities, so expect them to rigorously enforce their fair wear and tear policies when vehicles are returned.

Recently the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) aimed to avoid disputes over damage by launching a fair wear and tear guide, in association with Manheim Auctions.

BVRLA director general John Lewis said: ‘An LCV is a working vehicle and a far greater amount of everyday wear and tear is not only accepted, it is expected.

‘But just because wear and tear is greater it does not mean that anything goes. Far from it. There is still a need for an objective standard to be set – a guide for both the rental company, short or long term, and the customer.’

According to LeasePlan, common return damage examples include broken wing mirrors, dented bumpers, buckled roofs from overloaded racks, damage to side panels and lower panel damage.

Inside, abuse cases have included drivers leaving mixed concrete in the rear to solidify.

A spokesman for Arval said: ‘Leasing companies usually allow for more damage to vans than cars, reflecting the environments in which they work and the tolerance of minor damage at re-sale. However, van cabs tend to take quite a battering and serious damage to upholstery, dashboard and fascias is rechargeable.

‘Similarly, the odd minor bump in the bodywork is permissible but multiple dents and heavy scratches, especially where paint has been removed and/or rusting has occurred, is unacceptable.

‘It is also common to see trims and bumper parts missing, damage around the wheel arches, panels and bulkheads due to unsecured loads and around door sills where heavy items have been loaded.’

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