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Shaun Sadlier's blog - 12 September: A longer cycle

Date: 12 September 2016

We're seeing a bit of a trend in some fleets extending their car and van replacement cycles. There are instances where this approach will reduce overall costs, but it's not the case for all, so it's definitely an area worth looking at from a whole life cost perspective.

Leasing companies should work with their customers to ensure that they identify replacement cycles that meet their needs. Certainly, as a company, we saw a move towards longer leases both in the UK and Europe during the financial crisis and this may have generated a long-term trend.

What makes this possible is the fact that modern vehicles are better made and more robust. They are noticeably more reliable, both mechanically and electrically, than they were in the recent past.

Increasing service intervals, especially for vans, are also a factor behind lengthening replacement cycles because they make vehicles easier and cheaper to maintain over a longer period of time. However, the fact that vehicles are sometimes examined less frequently also underlines the need for watertight risk management strategies.

Most new vehicles need far less attention. This is good from a cost and convenience point of view but does inevitably create issues around duty of care and brand image. It means that businesses need to be on top of procedures to ensure that vehicle condition is regularly checked.

Certainly, we see a high level of demand from fleets for help with procedures and reporting that ensures a high level of compliance is being achieved. This is necessary not just from a legal point of view but to support the safety of drivers and other road users.