Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBSs) decision to wind down Lombard Vehicle Management is the latest sign of a fundamental shift in the fleet market, it has been claimed.
The move by RBS to continue lending to fleets without running a leasing arm follows similar decisions over the last two years by Barclays, Santander and Clydesdale bank.
That leaves just three operators wholly-owned by banks in the FN50 – a fact that will have a significant long-term impact on the market as a whole, according to fleet management and monitoring specialist Motiva Group.
Motiva Group managing director Peter Davenport said: “Lombard and RBS have been looking for a buyer for LVM for about three years without much success.
“I think that’s partly because LVM was so price-driven, which meant it ran at profits that weren’t attractive to potential buyers – especially in this climate.
“As banks retrench to what they see as their core offer, their relentless downward pressure on prices becomes diluted.
“Price will always be a critical factor, and competition will continue to be fierce, but over the next few years I can see there being a bit more leeway to sell on value rather than just price.
“Anything that independents can do to retain or grow margin is a help in a downturn, and as long as we combine that with services and products that genuinely add value for the customer then everyone benefits.”
Motiva Group, based in Stoke-on-Trent, offers vehicle rental, contract hire, fleet management and fleet monitoring solutions.
It is number 31 in the FN50 and it operates a contract and leasing fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles and access to a rental fleet of more than 25,000 vehicles from 400 locations across the UK.