A new commercial agreement for vehicle funding, fleet management and vehicle rental has been struck by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) for public sector fleets.
Known as the Vehicle Lease, Fleet Management and Flexible Rental Solutions framework RM6096, CCS says it builds on previous deals by widening the scope and supplier participation.
A CCS spokesman said: “We have ensured that we’ve articulated that services required may vary and develop over time, as the market changes in response to external demands.”
The addition of a bespoke lot for flexible rental is the main increase in scope, along with wider reaching services provided for either by a leasing company or independent fleet manager.
He continued: “We have also increased from 19 suppliers to 42, making available more supplier offerings, specialisms and, indeed, competition.”
The fifth generation framework also differs from the previous agreement by separating out suppliers who fund vehicles and offer “sole supply” from those who are independent fleet management, using a panel of funders.
“This way, customers can direct their competition to the most appropriate suppliers to suit their strategy,” said the spokesman.
CCS says the industry has seen “unprecedented change and challenges” over the past 12 months, creating a demand for access to “specialist expertise and more flexible contracting”.
A wide range of vehicles of all fuel types can be leased through the agreement, including electric (EV), alternatively fuelled (AFV) and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs). Complimentary vehicle services are covered, too.
Vehicles and fleet management services range from cars, 4x4s, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, minibuses and coaches. Scope includes everything from standard production to specially modified vehicles.
In terms of leasing, an online fleet portal pulls real-time prices from each supplier’s website, based on the fleet’s profile, which is set at registration.
Prices will be displayed along with service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs and finance rates to enable quick and easy comparisons.
Prices are valid for 30 days subject to manufacturers’ price increases.
For fleets buying vehicles, the manufacturer framework discounts are applied to the manufacturer retail price to give the fleet a net discounted figure.
All vehicle technical information is available for fleets to compare one vehicle against another. Discounts are based on a purchasing volume of one unit.
Although online quotations can only be run for standard-build cars and vans up to 3.5 tonnes from the vehicle purchase framework, fleets will find all supplier and framework information covering the full scope of the framework within the fleet portal.
In terms of fleet management, services include vehicle selection, acquisition, driver and vehicle administration, telematics and fuel card management.
Access to flexible rental solutions for shorter terms requirements, typically 28 days or longer, is also provided.
CCS is the biggest public procurement organisation in the UK and this latest framework is available to all public sector bodies including central government, devolved administrations, NHS bodies, local authorities, police, the voluntary sector and charities.
It is also available to any private sector organisation procuring on behalf of the public sector.
CCS says “the collective purchasing power of our public sector customers, combined with our procurement expertise, means we can help you get the best fleet deals in the interests of your stakeholders and taxpayers”.
It argues there are multiple benefits to using the new agreement, including the discounts available to fleets.
Using an average market rate comparator, CCS discounts are currently 11.3% better than the average of the top 10 leasing companies in the market, it said.
The public procurement company also says the future is likely to bring closer alignment of fleet and business travel arrangements, as suppliers diversify and take advantage of newly developing technology such as booking tools.
Such total mobility tools aim to support employee decision-making in getting the most from their time and resources.
The spokesman concluded: “The agreement ensures the flexibility for suppliers to offer existing or newly developed services to support customers in meeting their total mobility objectives.
“This may include accessing specialist fleet advice and consultancy or fleet profile reviews.”
Photo caption: (left to right): CCS fleet team - Tammy Carter, Kim Harrison and Holly Brooks