CommercialFleet

Van fleets drive new standards for SMR

Mobile services

Mobile services are already widespread in parts of the LCV service, maintenance and repair sector, particularly with suppliers such as glass repairers and tyre fitters.

Kwik Fit Mobile has 200 vans that undertake tyre-related work on vehicles and  Autoglass announced plans in December to close 73 of its 100 branches and focus more on its network of 1,200 mobile technicians.

However, while a number of maintenance providers offer collection and delivery facilities, mobile services are less common.

Tony Grove, LCV manager at Arval, says: “We provide mobile servicing. This is  a really effective approach for routine work, especially minor manufacturer  recall work.

“If the location is the customer’s premises, it also provides the opportunity to work on a batch of vans in a single visit.”

However, Steve Chandler, SMR supplier network manager at Lex Autolease, says: “Mobile service work is a relatively niche offering. Lex Autolease has a number of mobile service providers, but the services are specific to individual customers who require them, rather than generally available.

“There are limitations on the work that can be carried out without workshop facilities. Variables like weather, location and the safety of operators and the public also play a significant role in establishing what services can be offered more widely.

“For the most part, franchised dealers do not support mobile working, which in turn has a limiting effect on the available vehicle parc since warranty work cannot be accommodated in a mobile setting.

“Even routine service work carried out by non-franchised suppliers can adversely impact the level of manufacturer support provided and so can carry an unpredictable additional penalty for the vehicle operator.”

What manufacturers offer fleets

Citroën

Has about 80 LCV dealers within its retail network, which offer a collection/delivery service within stipulated areas, use of Epyx 1link fleet menu pricing, the ability to carry out Class 5 and Class 7 MOTs, and Citroën Racing Service (one-hour van service scheme). Citroën dealers aim to conduct initial diagnosis on urgent (VOR) vehicles off the road, order parts within two hours of arrival and complete most repairs on the same working day. Customers can upgrade to Business Class package with Citroën Assistance for four years/60,000 miles.

Fiat Professional

Counts 78 CV dealers within its network, 60% of which are HGV dealers, with each dealership offering extended opening hours to its fleet customers. They also count a total of 153 after-sales points, 75 of these being after-sales only mandates.

Every Fiat Professional vehicle is issued with an extended warranty (up to three years/120K miles) and three years roadside assistance.
All of their dealers have committed to a Fleet Charter, which identifies key criteria for not only diagnosis but also repair timings and procedures (a fixed labour rate is also implemented).

Large corporate customers can receive a parts discount at a national level along with a dedicated fleet after-sales team, which comprises of HQ and field-based staff who can manage and expedite solutions for VOR vehicles.

Fiat Professional also offer specific solutions tailored to customer requirements such as Mopar Fleet Advantage, which is an efficient central billing facility, throughout the UK, where a range of parts can be ordered. A Right First Time programme is also provided for their entire network, which aims to accelerate repair timings.

Ford

Centres offering aftersales service standards and extended opening hours. A Transit24 aftersales programme offers while-you-wait servicing, including late-night appointments, and will respond within 20 minutes to online service booking requests. It provides priority
treatment for urgent work with the aim of completing vehicle off-road repairs on the same working day or within 24 hours. Collection and delivery of vehicles can be arranged. Fleet national pricing is available for 25-plus fleets.

Mercedes-Benz

Mobility guarantee for the life of the vehicle (up to 30 years), including free on-the-spot breakdown or starting assistance should the vehicle break down or fail to start for three years after initial registration, including payment of taxi fees and provision of replacement vehicle.

Will also keep customer mobile and pay costs if a vehicle has to go into workshop under warranty and the repairs are likely to take more than two hours. Service 24h is available round-the-clock for roadside repair or, if a problem cannot be resolved at the roadside, at the nearest authorised Mercedes-Benz dealer.

Nissan

Aims to keep customers mobile free of charge when a van is in for service or repair. Nissan roadside assistance is free when vehicles are serviced at a franchised dealership. Price match like-for-like competitor within 10 miles of local dealer, while the dealer will propose how to resolve any problem within two working days.

Peugeot

Its network aims to offer out-of-hours service appointments at least once a week. Dealers can offer collection and delivery within a stipulated area. The manufacturer offers web-based fleet menu pricing which shows the recommended maximum parts and labour price a fleet can expect to pay. The dealer network aims to conduct initial diagnoses on urgent vehicles, order parts within two hours of arrival and complete most repairs the same working day.

Renault

Introduced the Renault Business Quality Commitment for all dealers five years ago. Its Pro+ 12-point customer promise for its 34 Pro+ dealers supports requirements of larger corporate operators and includes 120-minute pit-stop servicing, free collection and delivery, replacement vehicle if off the road, full transparent pricing, less than 73 hours’ booking lead time, four years’ Renault
Assistance and a dedicated customer service hotline.

Vauxhall

Manufacturer says its 100 sites cover 90% of UK businesses within a 30-minute drive. It also offers vehicle collection/delivery within 10-mile radius (five miles within the M25), free courtesy vehicle, Class 7 MOTs and five-tonne lifts on-site. Epyx 1link is used for online service booking requests, while network also offers fixed labour rates, and companies will be invoiced within five working days.

Volkswagen commercial vehicles

Manufacturer has had a dedicated van centre network since 1998, which currently has 71 van centres. The network offers free visual inspections, initial diagnosis within one working day following a breakdown, like-for-like courtesy vehicle if vehicle is under warranty, fixed national pricing, while-you-wait servicing, guaranteed appointment within five working days, and a two-year parts and labour warranty.

What independent SMR providers are offering

ATS Euromaster

ATS Euromaster last year announced it was investing nearly
£1 million in its LCV MOT facilities. This was used to upgrade a 15 centres so they could perform Class 7 MOTs, joining the 49 sites where this service was already available. The company says its latest development is part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing its services for LCV customers. Already, 95% of the company’s sites can accommodate long-wheelbase high-roof vans, while 186 centres offer menu-driven servicing for vans.

Halfords Autocentres

Halfords Autocentres offers one- or 2.5-tonne ramps in all new sites, while five-tonne ramps are being retrospectively fitted in a number of other centres where space permits. Class 7 MOTs can be carried out in most sites and new centres are all big enough to cater for large LCVs, including high-roof vans. A number of centres are being moved to bigger premises to accommodate larger LCVs. The company works with a number of specific customers to schedule maintenance across the year, making sure servicing is on rest days or weekends where available.

Kwik Fit

The company offers a collection and delivery service to some LCV fleets. It has introduced specialist equipment in its network of more than 600 centres, which means the majority of its centres can accommodate LCVs, including high-roof, long-wheelbase models.

An increasing number of sites can carry out Class 7 MOTs at an increasing number of centres, while they also stock an expanded range of van tyres.

Staff also receive additional training to deal with LCVs.

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