But fast-fit outlets may fill the servicing provision gap
VAN OPERATORS will need to send their van drivers further in the future for a service on their business vans.
The effect of recession and extended service intervals and fewer new vehicles will make official dealers less viable, reports Trend Tracker in a Service and Repair Update report.
Director and analyst Chris Oakham said:
“Declining trends in service and repair demand will squeeze providers to the point where Trend Tracker forecasts there will be 44% fewer service/repair outlets by 2015 than there were in 1999.”
It suggests that the vacuum for service may be taken up by fast-fit outlets, which are increasingly turning their attention to company fleet servicing provision.
Trend Tracker director Toby Procter added: “It’s a long-term trend. Drivers will have to travel further for a service, as dealers find it harder to keep going by selling high-margin parts. It opens up the market to fast-fit outlets.”
Typical of the new services businesses can turn to is Kwik-Fit Fleet’s servicing provision, which has now extended its service to provide collection and delivery.
Provided in partnership with Autoclenz, company van drivers can request the collection and delivery service when booking a service. Instead of conventional vehicle collection or delivery which uses two cars and two drivers, Autoclenz’s initiative uses a single driver and a small, fuel-efficient, highly manoeuvrable fold-away motorcycle, which can be placed in the load area on a special mat.
“Increasingly both business van and company car drivers do not have the time to take their vehicle to a Kwik-Fit centre and then wait while the service and/or MoT is carried out,” commented Gary Ralph, Kwik-Fit business development manager for fleet service, maintenance and repair.
Mr Ralph said it allowed greater flexibility: “Our new no cost collection and delivery service allows employees to carry on working while their vehicle is collected from and then returned to their location of choice.”
Mr Ralph confirmed that more and more businesses were turning to its fast-fit service for company vans.
“Fleet vehicle servicing and MoT work through Kwik-Fit centres is already at record levels,” Mr Ralph added. “We anticipate that the increased availability of the hassle-free collection and delivery service will trigger further demand.”
The free collection and delivery service was piloted earlier this year at 30 Kwik-Fit centres and is now being extended to cover all the UK.