Fleet News

Check contracts before renting vans, says Enterprise

Businesses and public sector organisations need to make sure they drill down into the detail of their contracts when it comes to van hire, according to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Danny Glynn, head of Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, said: “Van rentals are a key component of effective business. They can help generate revenue and are often hired for longer periods than cars. That means companies need to understand every aspect of cost and usage right from the beginning if they are to get the perfect fit for the job.”

So in addition to looking at the top line numbers such as the daily or monthly rental rate, Enterprise is advising all van-using businesses to pay closer attention to other key areas:

o       Vehicle downtime is one of the biggest areas of concern for businesses that hire vans, so they need rental suppliers that have truly national coverage – both for quickly accessing rental vans from branches and also, in the case of long-term rentals, for ensuring that the vehicles can be quickly and locally serviced

o       Do you need the vans to be liveried? Does your business require specialist equipment or capabilities? Every business has different commercial vehicle needs and may require different specialist equipment – anything from wheelchair access to reinforced shelving to Bluetooth. Make sure the vans you’re renting will fit your needs exactly both internally and externally

o       Damage is a vital area, especially at the end of a contract when incidental damage can lead to surprise costs. Check in advance how your van rental supplier manages damage recharging both during and at the end of the rental contract. Are repair invoices itemised and transparent? Is every last detail repaired, or only those aspects of damage which could impact the resale value of the vehicle?

o       Related to damage is the issue of ‘loss of use’. Businesses should check how their supplier calculates it – for example, if a rental van is off the road due to repair and it’s taking a while to resolve the repair costs, is the van still considered on-rent during that period?

Glynn added: “Renting a van isn’t a one-off, short-term cost as is typical with daily rental. It’s often to cover a specific project, which could be anything from a day to several years.

“Most businesses that use vans understand their commercial imperative and know what type of vehicles they need and with what equipment. However, the tendering or contract negotiation process is also the time to ask about the details of managing vehicle downtime, accident replacement and damage recharging.”

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