A new dashboard tool from Arval UK aims to give customers with complete visibility over contracting options for their company cars and vans.
Shaun Sadlier, head of consultancy at Arval UK, explained that it had been created in response to customer demands for greater flexibility when they needed to deviate from their original contract terms.
He said: “One of the major benefits for businesses when leasing company cars or vans is budgeted costs. However, we increasingly see customers needing some elasticity and wanting to undertake an exercise that we call recontracting.
“This can sometimes refer to simply lengthening or shortening contracts or changing the mileage parameters. More often, though, it refers to the way that we monitor whether vehicles are, over time, staying within the expected parameters of their lease contract and, if it is clear that they aren’t, suggesting options to the fleet operator.”
For example, if a customer has taken a 36 month/75,000 mile lease and, after 12 months, it is more likely to total 60,000 miles, customers can look at increasing the length of the contract or reducing the annual mileage allowance.
“Similarly, if it became obvious that you were going to overshoot the mileage by some distance, there is the option to reduce the contract length or increase the payments,” said Sadlier.
“All of this can be done in conjunction with other in-contract measures such as swapping cars across the fleet to balance out mileage extremes.
“This more flexible approach is good for both us and our clients. End of contract surprises benefit no-one and allowing customers access to better total cost of ownership and fleet budget control is crucial.”
Sadlier explains that, historically, recontracting often meant reviewing and analysing large amounts of data, but that the company wanted to make it clearer and more accessible with the introduction of the new dashboard tool.
“This is all about transparency and choice,” he said. “If a customer wants to understand the implications of extending contracts, for example, then the new dashboard tool will provide them with the means to look at the overall financial impact on their whole fleet, assisting them in making informed decisions.
“We will always provide consultative support where it is needed, helping customers to work through the implications of contract changes, but we believe that the kind of openness this technology creates will be widely welcomed.
“The fact is that we, as a company, work less and less in a world where the initial lease agreement is the final word. We increasingly provide an approach where there is a higher degree of contract flexibility to meet customer needs over time.”
The dashboard tool had already been trialled with some customers and received positive feedback. It is expected that as more and more fleets needed to be agile with their fleet contracts, it would be used to support larger numbers of customers in the future.