Circle Leasing, a supplier of courtesy cars to the body repair industry, has announced that Fix Auto Dagenham is the first Fix Auto bodyshop to implement its new Vehicle Hire solution following an extensive pilot project with the network.
Vehicle Hire, an extension to Circle Leasing’s My Fleet on-line fleet management tool, provides a suite of tools and access to information to enable bodyshops to create, track and invoice hires more effectively.
A feature of Vehicle Hire is the facility for bodyshops to book-out courtesy cars on a Circle Leasing-branded hire Agreement.
The process of putting in place a formal hire agreement aims to improve customer behaviour in terms of the care they take with the vehicle and helps increase cost recovery for any vehicle damage, fuel shortfall charges and extraordinary costs such as parking tickets and speeding fines.
It also aims to shield the bodyshop from any negative customer perceptions that may arise should it be necessary to collect any outstanding monies. This in turn reduces any negative impact on Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
“Customers rarely treat courtesy cars as if they were their own vehicle, because they are supplied free of charge by the bodyshop, they are seen as having little value,” explained Neil Parker, operations director, Fix Auto Dagenham.
“It is not unusual for a car to be returned with an empty fuel tank and bodywork damage, then to be followed by unpaid congestion charges, speeding fines and parking tickets.”
Using Vehicle Hire, customers collecting their courtesy car are made aware that the vehicle is supplied by Circle Leasing and are asked to read and sign Circle Leasing’s Vehicle Hire agreement.
By setting the parameters for the use of the vehicle up-front, there is less pressure on the bodyshop and Fix Auto Dagenham is finding that once customers realise that the courtesy car is the property of a leasing company, they accept that there are consequences if the car is damaged or any costs are incurred.
Parker concluded: “When Circle Leasing approached us with the concept of Vehicle Hire we immediately saw the opportunity to manage our courtesy cars differently.
“We have been using the system for two months now and are already benefitting from increased cost recovery, a reduction in administration time and costs and more upsell opportunities. It’s a great product.”
Circle Leasing is in the process of training and implementing Vehicle Hire in a growing number of Fix Auto bodyshops and independent and group organisations throughout the UK.