Fleet Logistics' coronavirus advice for fleets
30 March 2020
Author: Illya Verpraet
Fleet management company Fleet Logistics has offered some tips for fleets to weather the coronavirus storm, including how to deal with leasing contracts.
When it comes to existing contracts, the firm says to avoid early terminations if at all possible. For vehicles near the end of their contract, Fleet Logistics advises to look into informal extensions while the crisis lasts.
If businesses can commit to a slightly longer extension, a formal extension of typically 6 or 12 months should be considered as monthly rental rates will be reduced. Since a lot of vehicles will be off the road anyway, a contract re-write with a lower annual mileage might also be an option, particularly for fleets with contracts on benchmark parameters.
As vehicle rentals are classed as an essential service, they continue to operate, although key services are prioritised so turnaround times may be affected. Short or mid-term rentals should also be looked at first if the current situation has meant there are now surplus vehicles on your fleet. They tend to be a more expensive mobility option and can usually be returned without penalty.
For new employees still waiting for delivery of their company car, a surplus pool vehicle or a lease vehicle near the end of its contract would be a more cost-effective option than a new short or mid-term rental.
Fleet Logistics says fleets should look at their fuel bills. Fuel prices are falling quickly due to a collapse in demand, and corporate fuel rates should reflect this.
Finally, vehicles still on the road should be correctly maintained and MOT'd for driver and public safety, even in this period. The Department for Transport announced a six-month MOT extension for vehicles due after 30 March. Cars with MOTs expiring before that should still get one, though. Garages and MOT stations can still open for essential maintenance, so that shouldn't be a major issue.
Fleet Logistics does stress that businesses should set up reminders to ensure that MOTs and servicing is carried out when normalcy returns actually have the work completed. This will ensure they meet their duty of care obligations and that warranties remain unaffected.
Sue Branston, head for fleet logistics for UK and Ireland, said "In these unprecedented times, it is important that every element of the fleet supply chain comes together and works in everyone's best interests. And we are encouraged by the many examples of this happening at the moment."