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UK garage network ready for fleet SMR backlog, says Fleet Assist

Almost half of Fleet Assist’s UK servicing outlets have been open during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and 100% of outlets are expected to be operational by early July to deal with rising fleet SMR work.

Fleet Assist managing director Vincent St Claire

Fleet Assist managing director Vincent St Claire

The business runs a network of more than 4,700 garages for its contract hire, leasing and rental customers and has reported that on average 46% of the garages remained open during the April lockdown, equating to 2,177 sites. That figure is forecast to rise above 50% during May and is expected to further increase in June ahead of all outlets being open by early July.

“The servicing network has remained very resilient during lockdown, particularly across the independent and fast fit sectors. Even those franchised dealers that had officially closed were willing to open to maintain key workers’ cars. They have been at the top of every garage’s priority lists,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s managing director.

“The maintenance network is already scaling up to manage the expected backlog of service jobs that will be forthcoming when lockdown is relaxed,” he added.

Fleet Assist says the UK MOT network is also in good shape with 2,101 Class 4, 308 Class 5 and 811 Class 7 sites open for business at the beginning of May.

“Fleets should be aware that the maintenance and MOT networks remain robust in terms of coverage as we come out of the pandemic lockdown. We have added several new garages to our network and parts supply has yet to be an issue, with a number of suppliers continuing to report good parts availability despite factory shutdowns. This spells good news for when companies start back to work,” outlined St Claire.

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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.