Another luxury, but cheap (do they really go hand in hand?), vehicle delivered to our local business leasing customer from Astley (Greater Manchester).
A manageable, but sizeable fleet, they have been an incredibly loyal customer of ours over the last 3 years.
Running a fleet can cause some issues for smaller and medium businesses – do I need a road risk policy? Should we use bandings? Should we restrict the types of vehicles on the fleet? Do we need maintenance?
If you have employees on the road covering higher mileages, say 20,000 or more, you are likely to run into certain risk pertaining to the car, maintenance and other legalities. This confusion can lead to additional stress and this is why come customers are turning away from company cars and into car allowance/cash for car type polices.
So how can I minimises company car risks? One of the main ways to reduce your obligations is to utilise a funder-maintained arrangement. With contract hire you have two distinct propositions: 1) driver-maintained; or 2) funder-maintained.
In the case of the former, which was historically known as a “non-maintained” agreement, you are saying that you will be responsible for organising the servicing, tyres and maintenance. You must do all of this at your own cost.
While this is a perfectly permissible (and acceptable) situation, you do need to consider whether your employees will actually do this. If the service light appears on the vehicle, will your employee organise this to be carried out? How will they pay for it? Will you organise it for them? Very quickly you have to calculate the time and cost of this exercise.
Where a driver is operating a vehicle with a service light on or their tyres are below the legal tread limit, there are serious repercussions. Indeed, the corporate manslaughter legislation in place in the UK makes many business re-think their approach to cars and fleets.
Where you have a funder-maintained agreement much of this risk can be reduced. The funder will provide assistance for carrying out servicing, maintenance and tyres. In fact the individual driver needs to call a phone number and they will speak to them to organise the necessary works. This could include a collection/delivery service for maintenance works, mobile tyre solutions and breakdown recovery throughout. With regular car checks being carried out between driver and business manager/director, you can easily alleviate the main concerns. Of course ensure you have a through fleet insurance policy in place to protect the company, including any personal liability for the directors. It is also useful to carry out regular driving licence checks and consider basic driver training.
Small adjustments can lead to efficiencies.
Whether you want to arrange maintenance or have this included is very much a subjective decision. We always encourage businesses to consider the Whole Life costs and not just a monthly rental. A contact hire is a fixed term agreement for 2, 3 or 4 years. The last thing you want is to commit to something which just isn’t appropriate for your needs or requirements.
You cannot hand the vehicle back nor can you change or amend it during the course of the contact. This is why making the decision based on the information is more important than just the price.
In terms of the car shown, the Mercedes-Benz E CLASS DIESEL ESTATE E220d AMG Line 5door 9G-Tronic (Auto), this is based on the following configuration:
Obsidian Black Metallic Paint
Artico man-made leather/Microfibre Dinamica – Black
Black open pore ash wood and centre console
19″ AMG 5 twin spoke alloy wheels in titanium grey with high sheen finish
As standard the car includes climate control, AMG bodystyling, cruise control, 40/20 split folding seats, 19” alloys, body coloured door mirrors and externals, privacy glass, rain sensor windscreen wipers, active brake assist, adaptive brake assist, brake callipers, hill start assist, perforated brakes, AMG floor mats, active parking assist, reversing camera, attention assist, blind spot assist, hill hold assist, park assist with front/rear assist, easy pack tailgate, stop/start system, 12.3” windscreen digital cluster, satellite navigation system, DAB radio, steering wheel mounted controls, LED headlights, LED rear lights, 3-spoke flat bottomed steering wheel, sports pedals, ambient lighting, mirror pack, seat comfort pack, stow age pack, heated front seats, keyless start, alarm system with interior projection and immobiliser.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £42,9850.00 and CO2 at 135g/km. The 1950CC 9 speed auto engine delivers 57.7 combined MPG (EC), 41.5 (WLTP), 194ps and 0-62 times of 7.7 seconds. Service intervals are set at every 12 months or 15,500 miles, whichever lands sooner for a diesel Mercedes.
So would the E-Class be your choice? Or would the BMW 5 series or Audi A6 be your winner?
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