Is vehicle rental in waste a short-term proposition?

Written by: Jonathan Pearce | Published:
Jonathan Pearce, head of marketing at Northgate Vehicle Hire

Jonathan Pearce, head of marketing at Northgate Vehicle Hire, considers why waste management companies are increasingly turning to long-term vehicle rental as a cost-effective and flexible solution to keeping their teams on the road.

Vans are arguably the most important piece of kit for organisations within the waste management industry. If the van is off the road, staff cannot get from job to job, are unable to transport tools and cannot pick up supplies.

When it comes to renewing vehicles, many businesses choose to purchase with either cash or finance; some with larger vehicle fleets may choose a form of contract hire or lease. However, all of these come with their drawbacks.

With flexible, long-term vehicle hire, vehicles can be hired when they are needed, in whatever size and shape, without needing to worry about breakdown or maintenance, giving users complete peace of mind.

Despite this there is a perception that vehicle rental is a short-term proposition; something to temporarily plug the gaps.

The truth is that this view is becoming increasingly archaic - new, flexible, longer-term solutions are available that help to boost productivity and efficiency while reducing the headache associated with managing contract hire or purchased vehicles.

Always on the road

Whether a company has one van or a large fleet, if vehicles are not running 100% of the time with 0% disruption there will be a direct impact on the business. Lose a vehicle and an organisation will lose income from lost working hours, lose opportunities from new contracts they can’t fulfil and lose customers as they fail to deliver the required level of service.

The average age of vans or LCVs in the UK is over eight years according to British Car Auctions and over 40% are between six and 13 years, so for the majority, the support from manufacturer warranties will have long since expired. Consider the associated costs of breakdowns, servicing, MOTs, repairs, replacement vehicles, parts, road fund licence, finance interest and the often forgotten cost of depreciation. Then factor in lost income for every day a vehicle has been off the road. The impact on your bottom line is significant.

More and more businesses are turning to flexible long-term rental. There is no need for capital outlay upfront - as with purchasing - or a long-term financial commitment. Servicing, maintenance, repair and breakdowns are managed by the hire company, whilst downtime can be minimised through proactive scheduling of maintenance events and free of charge replacement vehicles. It means 100% utilisation of the fleet at all times – and all for a fully transparent and predictable cost.

Manifold benefits

In an industry like waste management, where downtime can result in serious repercussions for customers, such as damaged reputation and lost business opportunities, it is vital to have reliable and sustained fleet performance.

Predictably, the high levels of usage that commercial vehicles undergo, coupled with their miles on the road, can take its toll on performance, therefore having a fully functioning fleet in a good state of repair, and fit for purpose, are at the forefront of many fleet managers’ minds.

To keep them in the best possible order, vehicles must be regularly serviced and maintained, with repairs being carried out immediately, but this brings with it a number of conundrums for fleet managers such as how long will the vehicle be off the road; how much will it cost to rectify any issues; how long until the next van needs servicing? Ultimately long-term vehicle hire helps to neutralise these concerns.

The growth in long-term vehicle hire is evidence that it is possible to change the perception of vehicle rental as short-term, and illustrate the many benefits that can be had from switching to a flexible, long-term model – something that is applicable to businesses of all sizes in every sector.

One of the biggest challenges faced by waste management is a change in the nature and frequency of business from season to season. That, in turn, can mean changes in vehicle requirements at short notice.

With vehicle hire, contractors can take one, ten or one hundred fit-for-purpose vehicles for as long as they need them giving fleet managers complete peace of mind whilst saving both time and money. Companies can even change vehicles temporarily to meet changing capacity requirements. This flexibility is completely unique.

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