A recent study conducted by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) claims that van fleet offenses are exceeding those of heavy goods vehicles, with more than half of its 21,000 roadside checks carried out on vans last year revealing mechanical defects.
Renault's new iCare fully-managed Servicing, Maintenance and Repair (SMR) offering, launched earlier this year, is designed to assist modern commercial vehicle users to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum and compliance legislation is fully adhered to by taking care of all routine SMR, except damage, neglect or abuse, with the possibility of including tire wear and tear for the duration of the agreement.
Distinct from traditional SMR packages, which offer a fixed monthly sum, is the charging method. Renault's iCare cover is charged on a 'pence-per-mile' basis, monitored by telematics. This means LCV operators will only pay for whatever mileage they cover in any given month, based on a pre-agreed pence-per-mile charge.
“This latest research by the VOSA is rather disconcerting for the industry,” comments Darren Payne, Renault UK’s Director of Fleet and Commercial Vehicle Operations, adding, “It would indicate that van fleet operators, maybe in part due to the recession and cutbacks, are disregarding mechanical defects and the need for regular maintenance checks on their vehicles."
“What’s even more worrying though, is that initial MoT failures for class-seven vans have risen from 47.9% in financial year 2007/8, to 50% in 2009/2010 – that’s the worst performing across the entire automotive sector and we suspect it won’t be long before new legislation is introduced to uphold these standards.”
Renault iCare monitors the vehicle's age and mileage and automatically arranges servicing and MoT tests while the vehicle is off the road, allowing LCV operators to fully concentrate on running their business, knowing that their fleet is fully taken care of.
Darren Payne, continues: “In these difficult times, it’s comforting for LCV operators to know that their fleet of vans, be it one, 10 or 100, can be completely taken care of for as a little as a few pence per mile. What’s more, thanks to our unique pricing scheme, it ensures users are only paying for what they use with no excess mileage charges and no under-run mileage losses."