Volvo is launching a new chauffeur programme which includes a pre-owned vehicle offering and a forward-facing camera to provide evidence in a collision.
Volvo's corporate sales team noted widespread dissatisfaction with current professional driver packages and the standard of new and used car offerings which would appeal to a range of customers from owner-operators to companies with larger fleets, following feedback from the industry and chauffeur companies.
Selwyn Cooper, Volvo Car UK national corporate operations manager, said: "The new product is not just about selling chauffeurs a car but about building long term relationships. We are confident our product will make us stand out from the competition and together with the accolades awarded to the S80 last year will entice a high number of chauffeurs and chauffeur companies to the brand."
The new Volvo Chauffeur Programme 2013 places new and used vehicles on the same programme for clarity, and to ensure chauffeurs receive the same exacting levels of service. Used cars will be chauffeur vehicles already ordered, used, serviced and maintained in this market, including vehicles from the prestigious Tristar Worldwide fleet which will be six-months-old with 30,000 miles on the clock.
Chauffeurs looking for a used vehicle will also receive the same exacting standards as if purchasing new. With more than 20 years’ experience in the market, Ethos Finance has been selected as Volvo’s partner to provide funding for both new and used vehicles, while Volvo Car Leasing will continue to offer contract hire for new vehicles.
The scheme includes a 12-month policy for fault and non fault incidents requiring the car to be off the road for a period of time, for both new and used cars.
Subject to terms and conditions, Volvo’s partner Proximo will supply a replacement vehicle - often the same day or at the very latest, the following day depending on distance, which is fully licensed for their local area. Alternatively, chauffeurs will be offered £40 a day to hire a car themselves. Legal support is also provided.
Volvo will also supply a Roadhawk in-car black box, forward-facing camera to continuously record the road so should a driver be involved in an incident, footage could provide evidence for insurance purposes.
Demand for the technology has come from a number of professional drivers concerned about so-called ‘cash for crash’ incidents whereby organised criminals ‘stage’ an accident to claim insurance. The Insurance Fraud Bureau, a not-for-profit organisation funded by the insurance industry set up to detect and prevent organised and cross-industry insurance fraud, estimates a staggering £350 million of motor insurance claims each year are fraudulent.
The new 2013 Volvo Chauffeur Programme includes:
• Accredited Chauffeur Centres throughout the Volvo network
• Service, repair and maintenance guarantees including pre-booked workshop slots
• Replacement licensed vehicles
• 72-hour demonstrator vehicles
• Contract hire advertised as fully maintained and 150,000 miles limit over three years to reflect realistic usage of professional drivers
• Roadside assistance
• Roadhawk in-car black box recording camera fitted
Cooper added: "We undertook extensive research to really understand the needs of the market and discovered aftercare and an attractive used offering figured highly on the lists of many.
"We received comments repeatedly that chauffeurs didn’t want to just buy a vehicle or be sold a car, they wanted a fully rounded service. We listened and set to work creating a programme that understands that their car is their office.
"This means we’ll be there to quote finance on the right terms, provide chauffeurs with the right tools to do their jobs and ensure that if they’re ever off the road, this is kept to the minimum amount of time possible."