Fleet News

Lease companies get behind industry charity

The majority of the top ten FN50 lease and rental companies have agreed to donate a proportion of the sale price of every car they de-fleet through auctions to the industry charity BEN.

The charity supports members of the automotive industry – including dedicated fleet managers – who need help.

This support ranges from help acquiring new white goods for those in financial difficulties to providing long-term residential care.

It is hoped that within two years the new initiative will see up to £500,000 added to the charity’s funds annually.

The Fleet Disposal Contribution Plan will see BEN receive a contribution – expected to be £1 - for each fleet vehicle sold by subscribing lease companies through auction.

“The amount they agree to contribute is very much down to the individual company,” said Nigel Williams head of national development at BEN.

“If we get half-a-million-pounds a year from this it will be a fantastic result – it is a realistic but challenging target.”

The BVRLA has put its full support behind the new initiative, which will see many of its members providing a guaranteed contribution to the charity for the first time.

“This simple scheme provides companies with an easy, low-maintenance way of making regular contributions to their industry charity,” said BVRLA chief executive John Lewis.

“Hopefully it will help to replace some of the financial income BEN has lost due to falling new car registrations.”

This new source of sustainable income is badly needed by the charity, which has seen demand rise by 10% since the start of the recession but has also seen income fall by a similar amount.

The charity needs £200,000 a week to support the 15,000 people – 500 of whom are in full-time care - currently under its care.

To be able to care for more people in the industry, including those working in the vehicle lease and rental industries and dedicated fleet maintenance staff, the charity needs more funds. It is hoped this new revenue stream will help fill that need.

The scheme is similar that already operating in the new car sector, where carmakers agree to donate a small amount from every new vehicle sale to the charity.

“This should give us more strings to our bow – allow us to help more people that need our help,” said Charles Davis, the charity’s director of fundraising and communications, who pointed out that the charity is already one of the most efficient with 86p in every pound that is donated going directly to care for those who need it.

Manheim and BCA, which both already support the charity, will administer the scheme, collect the money and pass it on.

It is expected that when the first car is sold under the new scheme within weeks, the remaining smaller auction houses will also have subscribed, as will the remaining top FN lease companies.

David Brennan, managing director Leaseplan said: “A small contribution for each car sold will, collectively, provide a significant income steam for BEN and enable it to continue caring for our industry colleagues.”

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