Many organisations are acutely aware of the high cost of vehicle downtime, when vans and trucks are being serviced and repaired. Many operators do not have processes and support in place to handle it and may not be aware of how costs accrue.
Rental and leasing enable businesses to avoid these costs as maintenance and repair are included in the service agreement, and the cost of a replacement vehicle can also be factored in, so drivers can keep on going.
Those that do have a system in place are able to immediately notify their provider when a vehicle needs maintenance or has an accident, arrange for its repair and swiftly obtain a suitable replacement for use while the original vehicle is unavailable.
This process is in place among regulated HGV operators but could be better among LCV fleets. It’s in the interests of organisations to run fleets more efficiently and to avoid a scenario that results in greater legislation – but to do that operators need to ‘self-police’.
Operators may want to check that providers have a comprehensive workshop network and access to mobile repair so that both vans and trucks can be acquired, equipped and repaired swiftly. Operators could also check that the supplier is prepared to work flexibly with their preferred repair/maintenance network if that suits their needs better.
When it comes to minimising downtime, whether through accidents or when vehicles are off-road due to regular servicing and maintenance, the devil is in the detail. A range of factors come into play when fleet operators are looking for suitable suppliers, including the proximity of vehicle depots to where vehicles are needed and access to a national network of repair/servicing facilities.
The breadth of a replacement vehicle offering can also be a significant consideration, given that vans and trucks are usually bespoke models with specialist equipment. If businesses are looking to partner with a rental provider to ensure like-for-like replacements, that provider needs access to an extensive fleet with all the different vehicle types and equipment a fleet might require. Check for specialist vehicles, such as refrigerated or plant units. Are they readily available for hire?