Coronavirus means new 'triple threat' to fleet SMR, Epyx warns
08 July 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
Fleets need to address a new 'triple threat' to SMR in the wake of coronavirus, according to fleet software firm Epyx.
The company says it is starting to see evidence of this through data from its 1link Service Network platform.
Firstly, lockdown-hit companies need to minimise spending; secondly, there is a potential capacity shortage from SMR providers, especially around MOT testing; and thirdly, there is expected to be a general aging of the company vehicle parc, with a big drop expected in new vehicle sales.
Epyx vice president and commercial director Tim Meadows said: "We've been looking closely at how coronavirus is likely to affect SMR over the next few months and into next year, and these triple threat factors are the main trends we have identified.
"In a sense, the budgetary factor is the main one. We're already in unprecedented, tough economic times and they are probably only going to get worse in the short-medium term.
"Money pressures are becoming very real. What we would say to fleets is to seek advice about strategies that can be adopted to reduce expenditure without potentially straying into areas where safety could suffer."
Meadows said that the SMR capacity issue would potentially be a short term one, with automatic six-month MOT test extensions coming to an end at the start of August.
He said: "We are already advising fleets to book ahead now. From the end of September, there is a genuine possibility that you may not be able to get a test which, of course, will force vehicles off the road.
""Finally, the very sudden drop in new car supply into the market, allied with a tendency to extend vehicle fleet cycles during difficult times, will potentially create complications.
"The SMR profile of a three-year-old vehicle is quite different to a four-year-old one, and different again if you move into a fifth year. It means keeping a much closer watch on the roadworthiness of cars and vans."