Service, maintenance and repair budgets are being severely challenged as fleets are forced to run vehicles for longer, with no end in sight to the immediate lack of vehicle availability due to the semiconductor crisis.
According to tyre and maintenance provider ATS Euromaster, both fleets and leasing companies are having to juggle new car availability against extended rentals and increased maintenance work.
Jess Jones, director national fleets, at ATS Euromaster, said, “Vehicles are being built to order and lead times are being increasingly stretched, in some cases to in excess of 12 months.
“With that lead time pushing out further and further, fleets are running vehicles for longer, which is impacting SMR budgets. It’s not as if fleets can turn to rental for new cars since the rental companies are also short of vehicles having de-fleeted during Covid lockdowns.
“What this means is a renewed focus on managing out maintenance budgets, particularly as many vehicles will require additional MOTs not originally envisaged at the commencement of the vehicle’s lifecycle.”
Jones says that, as a result, informal rentals are many, while new approaches to SMR delivery are being actively considered.
“Many leasing companies send their customers to approved dealerships for servicing, although independent maintenance providers, such as ATS Euromaster, provide an equally thorough mechanical service at a more cost-effective option. Perhaps as important, we are also a one-stop-shop.
“For example, if a vehicle comes in for an MOT but after inspection requires new brakes to be roadworthy, we can get the appropriate authorisation to carry out the remedial work. This is particularly important for LCV fleets that need to keep downtime to a minimum. It helps with general fleet efficiency.”
Beyond the current new vehicle delivery conundrum, ATS Euromaster is also constantly in touch with their customers to understand their level of electric vehicle orders and delivery to driver times.