Fleet News

Independents win SMR business

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).

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