Castelan Group replaces Furniture Care van fleet with new Renault Trafics


Castelan Group, provider of warranties, insurance and claims handling solutions to the retail sector, has replaced its Renault sole supply commercial vehicle fleet with 80 new Renault Trafic panel vans.

The Trafics replace the company’s previous generation models, with Castelan opting for the new Trafic after putting the order out to tender and considering light commercials from six manufacturers. 

As part of its management of 3,000 furniture and electrical claims each week, Castelan’s new vans will be used by its Furniture Network Care Technicians to visit customers in their homes to rectify issues with varying types of furniture and flooring. 

Castelan ordered its short wheelbase, low-roof Trafics with the Energy dCi 120 1.6-litre Twin Turbo diesel engine which offers up to 47.9 mpg. Another significant influence was the availability of the Business+ trim line, Castelan specifying this equipment level as it incorporates features that it considers essential in its vehicles, such as air conditioning and rear parking sensors, as standard.

Building on the Business specification, which already offers DAB radio with Bluetooth, ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with HSA (Hill Start Assist) and Grip Xtend, electric front windows and remote central locking; the Business+ trim level also adds a smartphone dock, passenger bench seat with underseat storage, fold down middle passenger seat with detachable A4 clipboard and laptop storage, body-coloured front bumper, door rail and rear tail light column, full steel bulkhead with load-through facility, and wide view mirror.

Castelan’s Trafics have been further enhanced with the R-Link integrated 7" touchscreen multimedia system, which includes sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio, and reverse parking camera system. Castelan also ordered the additional factory options of a 68mph speed limiter and metallic silver paint.

Leased via Days Fleet and supplied by City Motors, Bristol – one of 40 nationwide Renault Pro+ dealerships – the Trafics come with the reassurance of a four-year/100,000-mile warranty and four years’ roadside assistance. Castelan will also benefit from the Renault Business Quality Commitment – the manufacturer’s 13-point plan provided to corporate customers that guarantees the very best service.

Martin Napper, CEO, Castelan Group, said: “We were very happy with our previous Renault Trafics and after looking in detail at alternative replacements, the model yet again proved to be the best for our requirements. Not only was it a new design and competitive on price, but it also offered excellent fuel economy and a level of equipment that provides our technicians with what we consider to be ‘must have’ levels of connectivity, convenience and comfort.

“With our technicians in the vans for an average of four hours a day, it’s vital that they have Bluetooth to keep in touch with customers and head office, while the option of a good quality, built-in sat nav is another essential – something that we found wasn’t available with a number of competitor vehicles.”

He continued: “Our operatives who trialled the Trafic for a week were also very positive about the drive, and when we attended a commercial vehicle test day where we were able to experience it against rival vehicles in quick succession, the Renault again came out very favourably.”

Days Fleet is also providing a range of other services including a 24/7 driver helpline and its short-term vehicle hire solution Flexi Hire.

All the vans are also fitted with Fleet Monitor, Days Fleet’s mileage capture and fault diagnosis tool which plugs in to each van’s on-board diagnostics (OBD) port.

Napper said: “We selected Days Fleet for a number of reasons, but mainly because the company really cared about delivering to us the exact requirements that we wanted.

“More often than not fleet providers can be inflexible and not willing to change their established processes and procedures.

“However, Days Fleet was always willing to look at alternative solutions. We found it very easy to formulate the van fleet structure that we wanted - and at a very competitive price break."

Days Fleet business development manager Alistair Murray co-ordinated the vehicle handover, ensuring all vans were supplied with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and internal racking.

Darren Payne, sales director, Groupe Renault UK, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Castelan.

“The adaptability and innovation of the Trafic have had a major impact on securing this order and it is these and the many other strengths of the extensive Renault LCV range that more and more business customers continue to find so appealing, 2015 being confirmed as the best ever year for Renault van sales in the UK.”

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