Just a few years ago, cars were simply not reliable, but the Japanese manufacturers introduced slick changing, bullet proof gearboxes and engines that ran for ever in the 1970’s. Europe had no choice but follow the lead and running costs reduced and service risks were improved endlessly.
The increase in servicing costs over the last few years has been a reflection of several things. One, a ruling in the late 1990’s meant that any VAT registered servicing centre could carry out routine servicing to manufacturer specification and as long as they used factory parts, the warranty was maintained. Second, car prices have been suppressed year on year and dealer percentage mark-up has been reduced along with manufacturer profit to keep the sales going. Thirdly, worldwide recession has led to buyers looking at whole of life costs and reliability/efficiency Is part of the calculations. Dealers have therefore targeted servicing as an area of recouping profit and this can be seen in the ever rising labour rates.
When planning a fleet of vehicles, companies will now consider all the solutions that business car leasing can offer them. More efficient cars have been developed to try and compete head on with hybrids efficiency, but with few exceptions, the latest hybrids are leading the way as time is proving that they have in fact got some of the lowest overall running costs.
How come, well the numbers of hybrids have grown and the technology and servicing has become mainstream. Aftermarket parts and trained technicians being available has driven down prices. Manufacturers also point to hybrids having low stressed components which will invariably lead to less failures.
Governments and local authorities encourage Eco-vehicles. London for example, makes no congestion charge for a vehicle such as the Toyota Prius, which with a CO2 emission of only 89 g/km and can save as much as £10 per day on your charges. From a drivers point of view, benefit in kind is also reduced.
Driving a hybrid is much the same as a petrol or diesel car. The initial 0-10 mph is sometimes fully electric and can be a bit eerie, but this is in fact the part that uses most fuel and combined with regenerative braking in town, saves significant fuel in a town environment.
As a business choice, eco-car ranges available in our business car leasing deals offer a huge range of choice. So much so that virtually no area of company car type is not covered from the Toyota Yaris hybrid all the way up to Porsche Cayenne hybrid and a new range of Mercedes-Benz E Class hybrids due any time now.