Kwik-Fit predicts growth in fleet vehicle servicing after residual values boosted
Although an increasing number of fleets, contract hire and leasing companies and rental firms are using Kwik-Fit centres for car and van servicing – as well as MoTs when required – some operators believe that not taking vehicles to a franchise dealer could damage used values.
But, Tim Hudson, vice chairman of the National Association of Motor Auctions, and managing director of vehicle remarketing company Aston Barclay, told a break-out session on remarketing at a recent British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association industry conference: 'There is a threshold in most manufacturer ranges that determines whether the franchised dealer stamp is critical in eyes of the used car buyer. Those requiring a franchise stamp tend to be at the premium end of the model range.
However, whether having vehicles serviced at a franchise dealer or through the independent sector, such as at a fast-fit organisation like Kwik-Fit, Mr Hudson said: 'What is essential is that company cars and vans have a documented service history across their fleet life to ensure top residual values are potentially achievable.'
Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Peter Lambert, who attended the seminar and was in the audience for the break-out session, said: 'Confirmation from an independent authority such as Tim Hudson of the National Association of Motor Auctions will give more fleets and leasing companies the confidence to have their vehicles serviced at Kwik-Fit centres in the knowledge that residual values will not be damaged.'
Kwik-Fit launched fleet vehicle servicing five years ago and demand has increased annually. In 2011 the company has seen a 35% year-on-year rise in the number of company-owned vehicles being serviced at its 673 High Street centres.
Growth in all-makes fixed price menu driven fleet vehicle servicing at Kwik-Fit has been fuelled by a number of factors including:
-Service costs are typically around 20% lower than at a franchise dealer
-Seven-day a week centre opening and longer daily opening times than franchise dealers are more convenient given the hectic schedules of company car and van drivers’
-Vehicle servicing can be booked within a 48-hour window unlike with many franchise dealers.
Demand has been further boosted by a fleet vehicle collection and delivery service that means employees can carry on with their work while their car or van is collected from and then returned to their location of choice following a service at a Kwik-Fit centre.
Mr Lambert concluded: 'Competitive pricing and convenience are crucial to the corporate sector and Kwik-Fit Fleet’s vehicle servicing fully meets those requirements.
'With the vast majority of company-owned vehicles being outside the premium sector we anticipate further growth in fleet vehicle servicing at Kwik-Fit in 2012 and beyond as a consequence of any residual value damage fears being firmly allayed.'