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Independent expertise essential to fleet reviews, says FleetLocum

Fleets relying on their chosen vehicle providers for expert advice will not benefit from a truly independent approach that will obtain the best value for money.

Tony Donnelly, chief executive, Goodwood Corporate Mobility

That’s the view of FleetLocum, which says it’s “super critical” to engage with independent experts who do not have a vested interest in the outcome when undertaking a root and branch fleet review.

Tony Donnelly, chief executive of Goodwood Corporate Mobility, parent company of FleetLocum, highlighted that many organisations have in past years made the professional fleet manager job redundant and turned instead to outsourced operations to vehicle leasing and fleet management companies, while placing responsibility for managing fleet operations with personnel in HR, finance, procurement or travel management roles.

Donnelly asserted: “Those business partners will not provide independent advice. They may review, for example current company car provision and talk about mobility solutions, but it is purely a paper exercise. Ultimately fleet solutions will still be provided by the same partners, perhaps simply in a slightly different wrapper.

“Truly independent advice will not be forthcoming because that could mean a client switches to another provider or costs reduce. It’s like asking a rabid Brexiteer to vote remain, it just won’t happen.”

The company – which provides businesses with experienced fleet and mobility decision-makers on a temporary or interim basis – said it’s worked with a number of business that had previously long-time customers of both the leasing provider and the rental company, but had failed to undertake regular contract reviews. As a result, they were viewed by the providers as a cash cow.

“That situation only changed when, following new appointments those people engaged with FleetLocum to investigate and review all current fleet contracts and practices. Armed with reams of evidence we approached the providers and renegotiated contracts.”

The firm added that its past successes included securing a £350,000 rebate from a major vehicle leasing company after undertaking an in depth review of contract terms and the service promised for a client. It also carried out a review of a company’s vehicle rental spend that uncovered an opportunity to save £230,000 per annum.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.