Van hire and small fleets: Perfect partners

Brendon Lansdowne, Burnt Tree Vehicle Rental


Fleet services can be invaluable for companies [Small fleets rely on swift maintenance solutions and clever fleet management to flourish] of any size, but for businesses that only require a small fleet, the benefits are practically endless. Whatever the industry, from construction to catering, van hire can offer huge financial and practical advantages to small businesses.

Cost Cutting

Venson Automotive Solutions recently conducted a survey of its customers, and a huge 89% majority agreed that containing costs was their biggest worry for the coming year. Many small businesses are feeling ongoing pressure to keep a constant close eye on their cashflow, and in light of ever-rising fuel prices, vehicle costs are an unsavoury subject. Without millions to spend on transport and logistics, small businesses could avoid the many costs associated with transport and logistics through van hire.

Van hire when you want it, where you want it

Short term van leasing could allow your small company to hold off on long-term commitment, letting you test out a fleet expansion while gradually adjusting to changes in the workplace, such as seasonal staff hire, or team expansions. If your company doesn’t need the extra vehicles somewhere down the line, you’re not under any obligation to keep them, allowing real flexibility and making great financial sense.

Avoid Breakdown Disasters

Venson cites that only around 20% of organisations consider a vehicle’s whole life cost when calculating the expense of running a fleet, ignoring the multiple factors that can potentially add huge costs on to your transport throughout the year. Downtime and maintenance costs are serious matters for any size of business, but can potentially cripple a small fleet, as it is far harder to make up for the fall in productivity, and financial repercussions may be more severe in the context of small business budgets.

Ford Retail conducted research with 250 small business owners in late 2013, and revealed that fleet vehicles each spend an average of four days off the road per year, typically costing a business at least £200 per day in loss of manpower and productivity.

Leasing your fleet can take away this stress, as dedicated and knowledgeable fleet management teams will provide constant customer care for breakdown and recovery. The reality with private ownership is that all responsibility falls to you to arrange for maintenance and repair, which is performed by a garage on commission. In contrast, when maintenance and breakdown recovery is provided by your fleet leasing company, you are the number one priority, and no one will be taking you for a ride.

Hired Help

Last year, Rob Gray of HR Magazine stated that dedicated in-house fleet managers are becoming more and more of a rarity, as companies increasingly outsource the function, in order to benefit from the insight of an industry expert and navigate tightening budgets. Specialist fleet managers are, naturally, experts in the fleet services world, and can quickly and easily deal with any difficulties you might have with speed, experience and professionalism.

For small businesses with limited resources and manpower, organisation is everything, and having a talented fleet manager on hand can make the difference between chaos and perfect co-ordination.

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