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The many faces of fleet uses – what can you use your vehicles for?

Fleet uses range from the everyday to the unusual, but there may be more than you might think. Here, we outline just some of them.
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There are millions of fleet vehicles on the road, and popularity seems to be growing. Here, we explore the range of uses.

Fleet vehicles are on the rise in the UK, although it may be hard to tell at first glance – a lot of fleet vehicles look just like normal consumer cars.

In fact, 2016 saw the highest ever number of new cars demanded by UK customers, with 2,692,786 registered in 2016, up 2.3 per cent year-on-year, and fleet vehicles were responsible for most of the growth.

This is according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which reported that demand for fleet grew to a record 1.38m units last year.

“Despite 2016’s political and economic uncertainties, the UK’s new car market delivered another record performance as car makers offered an incredible range of innovative and high-tech models,” explained Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“2017 may well be more challenging as sterling depreciation raises the price of imported goods but, with interest rates still at historic lows and a range of new models arriving in 2017, there are still many reasons for consumers to consider a new car in 2017.”

What is a fleet?

If you were to ask someone to picture a fleet, they might think of anything from a group of cargo trucks to an average road car. In truth, you can have a fleet of any kind of motor vehicle.

At one of the spectrum, we have commercial vehicles. A commercial vehicle will typically be larger than a regular fleet vehicle, and often refers to trucks and vans used to transport goods.

At the other end, we have what can be called the “grey fleet”, which is composed of everyday road cars – personal cars driven for business purposes, such as travelling to and from work, to meetings and so on.

So, with all of these fleet vehicles on the roads, what sort of things are they being used for?

Fleet uses testimonials

The sort of things businesses use fleet vehicles for can include company cars for staff, making deliveries, running a taxicab service, car rental services and driving schools – any many more.

Here, we look at three “snap-shots” of what fleets can look like.

Red Driving School fleet uses:

“We are one of the largest driving schools in the UK and we are one of the largest training schools for instructors in the UK. Our fleet is essential in training our driving instructors and in teaching learners to drive,” said Ian McIntosh, CEO.

“We have around 900 cars in total and we’re in the process of making the change from primarily Vauxhall Corsas to BMW Mini Coopers. The changeover is going well and we should have 530 Minis by January 2018. All our fleet is branded up with RED Driving School signage, the cars are our best advertisement.”

Fantastic Services fleet uses :

“We are an ‘on-demand’ business which means ‘always-available-to-be-booked’ and we need the flexibility and mobility to be right where the customers want us to be. The fleet allows our handymen, plumbers, gardeners and cleaners to transport their equipment from each job and to arrive on time, travelling to customers,” said Rune Sovndahl the CEO and co-founder.

“Mainly our fleet is composed of brand new and modern panel vans with Fantastic Services branding. We know it’s essential that vehicles display our details, so that potential customers may see a vehicle and know where to go, to book.”

EDAM Group fleet uses:

“EDAM Group provides credit hire and post-accident services to business partners in a range of markets who recommend customers who have had a non-fault motor accident. We operate our own fleet of over 1,500 vehicles and are the UK’s largest privately-owned service provider. Our fleet mix is made up of cars (predominantly prestige), commercial vehicles, and motorbikes. We also have a growing number of specialist taxi models,” said Sean Consadine, fleet director, EDAM Group.

“When involved in an accident that requires the car to have repair work, the driver is entitled to a ‘like-for-like’ replacement vehicle until their vehicle is repaired. We also consider the requirements of our business partners, who may require a brand-matched vehicle, which again will influence our fleet purchasing decisions.”

A fleet can take many forms, and can vary from a couple of cars to a nationwide network of vehicles. The important thing is to match a fleet to specific business requirements, and make sure the vehicles are fit for purpose.

“The decision on whether you need to run a vehicle for your business is not always a clear one but there are a plethora of choices in the market place. From running a vehicle for a few days to acquiring a long term and extensive fleet. We work with daily rental customer, small to medium businesses, large corporations, public sector and leasing partners,” said Simon Wheeler, FCA fleet and business corporate marketing manager.

“Every sector of the market has a different requirement so it’s important to select a manufacturer that’s going to be able to support your decision; not only by being able to provide vehicles through your chosen channel, but with the provision of a great aftersales network and a focus on keeping the whole life costs of the vehicle to a minimum.”

You could be surprised how versatile the fleet industry really is.

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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