Recession drives demand for short-term leases
PoolFleet supplements ALD Automotive's contract hire offering to make it easier for corporates to source vehicles at low cost in comparison to daily rental and to meet frequently changing trading and employee recruitment and retention circumstances. It is offered in addition to ALD's Rental Solutions service, which is aimed at businesses that require vehicles for a short period of time.
Last year PoolFleet averaged 650-700 "live" car rentals at any single time. However, in the first half of 2010 demand has soared to around 900 vehicles "on the road", with demand continuing to rise both for cars and commercial vehicles.
Cars on the 1,100 strong PoolFleet are predominantly high-specification diesel Skoda, Vauxhall, Volvo and VW models, with many having Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation as standard. In addition, for the first time, LCVs are being offered with over 100 Volkswagen Caddy, Crafter and Transporter vans joining the fleet in the coming weeks.
The average rental is for 12-14 weeks, and customers have the ability to terminate the hire at 48 hours' notice. In addition, clients do not have to be leasing customers of ALD Automotive to benefit from PoolFleet.
The reasons for companies utilising PoolFleet include:
• Vehicle provision for new staff during the completion of a probationary period of employment
• Employees on secondment to a UK-based business, particularly from sister companies in the United States and Europe
• Seasonal demands, particularly for temporary sales staff recruited to launch new products
• Companies undergoing change perhaps as a result of a takeover or due to a major fleet review and a hold being put on new vehicle orders.
• A tighter focus on fleet costs and the accessibility of a product which is cheaper and more flexible than traditional daily rental
• A company having axed their own pool vehicles due to occupational road risk considerations.
• As a stop-gap measure for employees between the disposal of their current company car and prior to them taking delivery of their new vehicle.
PoolFleet operations manager Adrian Temple said: 'PoolFleet provides a hugely flexible solution to businesses, which is why we are adding vans to the fleet to meet client demand. Some customers require additional light commercial vehicles for specific short-term contracts or are reluctant to commit to a long-term lease arrangement or buy a vehicle themselves until they are more certain that business levels will remain high as the economy recovers.'
The costs, which are calculated on a daily basis, work out significantly cheaper than daily rental, claims ALD, and include nationwide delivery and vehicle changeover should the PoolFleet rental period extend beyond the vehicle replacement cycle. Unlike daily rental there are no additional charges other than excess mileage and repair charges, which are subject to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association's fair wear and tear standard.