GAP Vehicle Hire ‘stress tested’ the speed and efficiency of the emergency aftersales back-up from Mercedes-Benz before ordering a new fleet of 78 Citan small vans.
“It was just good business practice,” said Jim Forrester, operations director of GAP Vehicle Hire. “People promise a lot in life, but we were about to make a substantial investment in these vehicles so it made sense to test the breakdown service before committing ourselves.
“We did so three times in different parts of the country, and I’m delighted to say that I couldn’t fault the response from any of the dealers."
A division of the Glasgow-based GAP Hire Solutions plant and tool rental group, GAP Vehicle Hire was formed a year ago in response to demand from established customers, most of which operate within the utilities and construction sectors.
Targeting fleet rentals and long-term contracts, the new venture has embarked on an ambitious growth strategy and is about to open a second, vehicle hire ‘mega depot’ on a four-acre site in Manchester, with a third earmarked for London in 2017. These ‘hubs’ support a national network of 121 local branches.
The latest additions to GAP Vehicle Hire’s 1,000-strong van fleet, which already included a number of Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and Citans, were 48 Citan 109 CDI Longs.
They arrived via North-East Dealer Bell Truck and Van, which is currently processing orders for a further 30 examples of the same, highly fuel-efficient model.
“The rationale in forming the new division was to provide GAP Group customers with a ‘one-stop shop’ solution,” said Forrester. “So now, as well as their plant, equipment and tools, they can also rent their vans from us.”
The company’s vehicles operate in the liveries of its customers.
The family-owned GAP Group began trading as a plant hire company in 1969. In addition to GAP Vehicle Hire it also operates Plant & Tools, Lifting, Non-Mechanical Plant, Survey & Safety, Welfare, Tools & Access (London) and Event divisions.