New “hours to years” car provision has potential to transform fleet management

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New services available to businesses means that company cars can now be obtained for exact periods of time needed – from hours to years –  with the potential to transform fleet management.

Manchester-based Equalease says that fleet managers are starting to wake up to the potential of provision such as medium term leasing and car clubs.

Managing director Paul Ashton, explained: “For decades, businesses have had no more than a couple of choices when it came to car provision – to hire for days or weeks, or to buy or lease for periods running into several years.

“Now that has begun to change. Car clubs mean that businesses can also have use of cars for hours in urban areas, while medium term leasing operators such as ourselves offer cars for periods measured in months.

“The result is that fleet managers have the potential to match provision method to car need exactly. The possibility of having a range of methods ranging from hours to years has the potential to transform fleet management.”

Ashton said that he expected to see the development of a flexible approach to car acquisition during the next few years on the part of fleet managers.

He said: “There will remain traditional core fleets, probably running on four and five year cycles, but these will be augmented by medium term leasing to account for relatively short term, perhaps seasonal shifts in demand.

“Daily rental and car clubs could then be used to meet needs such as vehicle off road requirements or perhaps as an alternative to grey fleets. There is enormous potential for each fleet to develop its own acquisition model.”

Ashton added that Equalease already had customers who used medium term leasing as an adjunct to their core fleet to meet fluctuations in demand.

He said: “If, for example, a fifth of your fleet is almost unused for three quarters of the year, it makes little sense to use a traditional long term lease while daily rental would be prohibitively expensive. Medium term leasing a number of cars for three months makes perfect sense in these situations.”

Vehicles provided by Equalease on 3-12 month leases are taken from its fleet of cars, all of which are less than two years old. Leases include a standard annual mileage allowance of 15,000 miles a year or 1,250 miles a month and include all maintenance, breakdown recovery and road fund licence.