What does a service plan deliver?
- Covers the cost of full servicing over two or three years
- Set monthly amount means you can budget for servicing costs
- Helps smooth cash flow
- Ensures vans are maintained regularly
- Provides a duty of care paper trail for you
- Full VAT recovery
- Typical costs for vans like Williams Deli start from £18.50 a month (Citan), and £47.87 a month for Vito and Sprinter under the Mercedes Service Care Plan.
SIGNING up for a service plan – a fixed monthly amount to cover the cost of servicing over two or three years – is a useful way to fix the price of servicing and spread the cost.
So no unexpected cash calls to destabilise the company’s cash flow when a service comes due, and 24-hour servicing facilities mean uptime on your van is maintained.
That’s exactly what Andrew Williams, MD of a thriving small business Williams Deli, thought when he replaced some of his fleet with new Mercedes-Benz vans.
The Greater Manchester-based delicatessen and sandwich maker has just taken on three small Citan 109 CDI Longs, two mid-sized Vito 114 CDI Longs and a pair of 3.5-tonne Medium-length Sprinter 314 CDIs.
The new vehicles represent a significant expansion for the fast-growing company.
Each of the Mercedes vans is designed for different tasks for the company.
- The Citans are used for smaller deliveries in and around Manchester
- The Vito vans make regular runs to London, carrying larger consignments
- The Sprinters, meanwhile, offer the carrying capacity to deal with the largest orders.
Williams Deli operates a delicatessen stall in the Ashton-under-Lyne Market Hall, and a sandwich and snack production facility in nearby Hyde. Its vans deliver to schools, colleges and commercial clients, while also supplying events such as music festivals.
The company has run only Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the last five decades. “I joined the business to work alongside my father in 1984,” recalled Mr Williams. “But our roots go back to the 1970s, when my grandfather set up with a single Mercedes-Benz 306D.
“We’ve always believed Mercedes-Benz vans to be by far the most reliable and long-lasting on the market, and experience has proved this to be the case. I know that whenever I turn the key in any of our vehicles it’s going to start first time, and will just keep going.”
Just as importantly for any van fleet, the vans are only making money when they are on the road. So servicing time is crucial.
Andrew said: “The fast, efficient support we receive from Roanza Truck & Van is excellent. We have a great relationship with the dealer’s Trafford Park workshop team, who are always prepared to service the vehicles outside our own working hours to minimise downtime.”
The two Vito vans will be maintained under Mercedes-Benz Service Plans. “We haven’t explored a contract solution before but the rates are very competitive and the benefit of predictable costs is certainly attractive, so I’m already considering extending this to the rest of our fleet.”
Williams Deli suffered a major setback in 2004 when the historic Ashton Market Hall was destroyed by fire. Along with other stallholders, the company operated out of temporary premises for four years before the fully restored and improved building was finally re-opened. The sandwich production venture was launched two years later, in 2010. A success from the outset, it now employs 30 staff full time.