Leasing companies place more than a quarter of their SMR business with independent companies rather than franchised dealers, new research has shown.
The Fleet Industry Barometer has shown that 26% of business now goes to independent companies, although franchised dealers still currently retain the lion’s share of business with 74%.
Studies for the annual FN50 listing of Britain’s largest contract hire and leasing companies have revealed a steady trend among leasing companies to offer more business to independent servicing companies to reduce costs.
This has also prompted a strategic shift by fast-fit companies including Kwik-Fit to offer more extensive servicing capabilities to capitalise on the trend.
Last year, Kwik-Fit revealed a modernisation programme to invest in facilities, equipment and staff training that the company believes will put it on a par with franchised dealers for everything – except pricing.
The investment comes as studies claim that visiting an independent garage could cost £40 an hour less, on average, than visiting a franchise dealer.
The study was carried out by the Independent Garage Association (IGA).