Contract Hire – How Vehicle Lease Agreements Vary

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Fleetdrive offer you access to a range of contract hire company rates from a single point of contact.

It is often assumed that every contract hire company has the same terms and the agreements and they all work in the same way. There can, however, be important differences in the service levels and the amount of ad hoc invoices you receive.

The main areas of variance are as follows:

Maintenance Booking

The way in which company cars are booked in can vary from being restricted to manufacturer only servicing (at main Dealer) to being booked in by the user through a 24 hour call centre that arranges collection and return at your convinence. The latter can cut out a lot of wasted time when you have 2x members of staff off to get a company car into service/repair, inevitably the handover at the garage takes at least 30 mins as well. This could be costing you easily 2 man days a year for a higher mileage vehicle.

Tyres

Tyre cover varies, the main issue being whether punctures are covered or not. If not, you will get recharged for punctured tyres.

Recharge policy

Recharges can be made for abuse/accidental damage including:

  • Water ingress to the engine (usually an expensive repair and an insurance claim can be made)
  • Suspension components were driven over a rock, or similar object, or hit a kerb badly.
  • Misfuelling
  • Driver has not serviced the vehicle on time and the engine is damaged

Amending contracts

If the mileage is running at a higher rate than the contract, some companies will allow you to reschedule the mileage – a charge for this change will apply and you should also check the quote you get to ensure the mileage penalty was not less than the cost of the new rental.

You can also change from a maintained to non-maintained contract with some companies but this is not recommended as you will most likely have paid a fair bit of money without getting the lions share of the maintenance, which generally increases as the vehicle gets older.

Extending the contract

You can also extend contracts by 6 or 12 months with some companies, again the monthly rate will be recalculated. Some companies are also flexible to let you keep the car for a couple of extra weeks or months if you are waiting for your new company car. Beware, however, as any major maintenance problems may result in the contract being terminated there and then. The car would be retained and sold, as your use of the vehicle is effectively on an informal basis.