Pets at Home, the UK’s largest pet care retailer with over 350 stores across the UK, has opted to continue to use leasing and fleet management specialist, Fleet Alliance, to manage its growing fleet of over 240 vehicles.
Pets at Home, with its support office in Handforth, Cheshire, employs over 6,300 people in the UK and has just opened its 352nd store in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.
The company has expanded in recent times and now has a total fleet size of 243, encompassing Pets at Home, Companion Care Services Limited and the recent acquisitions of Vets 4 Pets and Ride-Away.
The fleet mainly comprises vehicles from seven different manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen, with an emphasis on premium grade cars because of the high mileage nature of the fleet, with many cars travelling more than 100,000 miles over the three year period of their lease contracts.
The most common category of company car users are area managers, who visit a number of stores within a given area on a daily basis. They typically drive premium grade saloons.
New vehicles are sourced through a combination of Fleet Alliance’s competitive tendering solution, employing a panel of major leasing companies, and the special terms that Pets at Home has negotiated with supplying dealers.
As a consequence, the company has been able to reduce acquisition costs by a typical 14.7% over the last 12 months.
Fleet Alliance is also responsible for all day-to-day fleet administration on the Pets at Home fleet, including invoice consolidation, licence checking, insurance updates, servicing and MOT reminders.
All of the fleet is recorded electronically through Fleet Alliance’s state-of-the art online e-fleet fleet management system, which offers an extensive and comprehensive suite of reports allowing the interrogation of any aspect of the fleet operation.
Simon McKee (pictured), travel and fleet manager, at Pets at Home, said: “Fleet Alliance’s first rate service levels and their ability to reduce acquisition costs have been major factors in our decision.
“The new e-fleet app for drivers which Fleet Alliance launched recently will improve the effectiveness of the e-fleet platform and support me further by providing a more effective interface with drivers on an individual basis.
“We are currently integrating all vehicles within the group and applying them to the same tendering process.”
Pets at Home has a green car policy in place which promotes low carbon vehicles, and has recently taken delivery of a batch of six liveried Toyota Auris Hybrid hatchbacks for the successful pet grooming side of its business, the Groom Room.
“We will continue to promote environmentally friendly vehicles as long as the tax regime remains favourable because of the tax benefits for our drivers,” added McKee.
“The policy tends to be self-policing as our drivers opt for the greenest models to keep their tax bills as low as possible.”
Fleet Alliance managing director Martin Brown said: “Naturally, we are delighted to have been re-selected by Pets at Home to help manage its growing fleet throughout the UK.
“We will work closely with them to provide the measures and solutions to drive efficiencies across the fleet and generate significant cost savings in a number of key areas.”