Fleet Assist says that almost half of its UK servicing outlets have remained open during the lockdown to keep key worker fleets on the road.
It reported that on average 46% of its garage network remained open during the April lockdown, equating to 2,177 sites. That figure is forecast to rise above 50% during May and is expected to further increase in June and into early July when it anticipates its network of over 4,700 garages should be fully operational.
Fleet Assist has been providing its contract hire, leasing and rental customers, who collectively operate more than one million vehicles, with regular updates on its garage network coverage throughout the lockdown.
They have been using this to help companies plan their employee and vehicle return to work strategies.
Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s managing director, explained: “The servicing network has remained very resilient during lockdown, particularly across the independent and fast fit sectors.
“Even those franchised dealers that had officially closed were willing to open to maintain key workers’ cars. They have been at the top of every garage’s priority lists.”
He continued: “The maintenance network is already scaling up to manage the expected backlog of service jobs that will be forthcoming when lockdown is relaxed.”
Fleet Assist says the UK MOT network is also in good shape with 2,101 Class 4, 308 Class 5 and 811 Class 7 sites open for business at the beginning of May.
“Fleets should be aware that the maintenance and MOT networks remain robust in terms of coverage as we come out of the pandemic lockdown,” said St Claire.
“We have added several new garages to our network and parts supply has yet to be an issue, with a number of suppliers continuing to report good parts availability despite factory shutdowns. This spells good news for when companies start back to work.”
Cars, motorcycles and vans were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing, allowing people to carry on with essential travel, when lockdown social distancing measures were introduced.