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Lease clients see sense to pick service over price

Date: 05 May 2010

Mark Sinclair is boss of leasing firm Alphabet

Alphabet boss Mark Sinclair has welcomed the leasing market's return to common sense caused by the recession, and said customers are moving away from pure pricing decisions and looking for a "partner" to work with on driving down the cost of running vehicles.

"The industry is making the most sense it has for a while - RVs are back to a sensible level, the market is not as competitive as it was and everything is a bit more sensible," Sinclair told BusinessCar. "For a little while I don't think we will see big discounts or cars in plentiful supply. People will do deals if it is right but no-one is desperate. Anyone expecting those deals will be disappointed - people will do big deals but not at crazy prices."

As the economic recovery gathers pace, Sinclair said the first fleets to switch leasing company will be the ones that haven't received as much support as they had expected during the past 18 months: "The ones that haven't been looked after with account management or efficient running of fleet are the first to market to say they weren't impressed and are now looking for a new partner.

"We have struggled a bit in the face of preventative pricing. People tend to get it in the end but only after someone has over-promised and under-delivered, then they come back to us. The sooner we get away from over-aggressive tender pricing as an industry the better."

Sinclair said operators need to be given more help and guidance with choosing the right vehicle in relation to those factors potentially more important than the lowest lease rate, especially to drive down fuel and tax costs: "The tendency is now to look for a partner to help guide and stay close. We've noticed people wanting proximity with their leasing company."

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