Fleets now running vehicles into fifth year
The trend has been reported by epyx, which is tracking it through its 1link Service Network service and maintenance e-commerce platform, which is used by fleets running two million company cars and vans to manage service and maintenance through 15,000 franchise dealers, independent garages and fast fit centres.
The company says that although there are not large numbers of fleets extending their vehicles into the fifth year of operation, some companies have resisted replacing vehicles almost completely since the start of the recession.
Surprisingly, epyx reports that some vehicles are vehicles are bearing these high mileages well.
Ken Trinder, head of business development at epyx, commented: 'The cost of keeping them on the road is not yet becoming excessive and there are no indications that risk management compromises are being made.
'Of course, some of these vehicles are suffering major component failure but surprisingly few.'
He added that the move effectively meant that traditional fleet economics were being abandoned by these operators: 'The running cost calculations that fleets normally make are being thrown out of the window because it appears that the residual value of the vehicle is no longer a consideration. It is just a matter of keeping the car or van on the road in the belief that replacing it will be more expensive than maintaining and repairing it.
'The question now is – how long will these companies attempt to operate these vehicles for? Will they simply drive them into the ground?'