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Fleet claims ‘are rubbish’

Dealer group Marshall of Cambridge is monitoring its service agreements with fleet customers as retailers reacted to claims about poor standards. Roger Knight, Marshall’s chief executive, dismissed as “rubbish” comments made by fleet operators to Fleet News, AM’s sister paper, which has launched a Fair Dealer Campaign.

One fleet manager told Fleet News: “Main dealers are a licence to print money. Their labour rates rocket as soon as they find out it is a company car for servicing.”

But Knight says: “Service rates for fleets are lower than for retail customers. We are closely managing our relationship with fleet customers following a series of meetings with some of the major ones.

“Generally, we are not unhappy but some are better than others. Most of our service customers are retail and they tend to be more loyal than fleet companies.

“Some fleet people say one thing, and do another. They get us to commit to a low servicing price based on volume and then fail to provide the agreed number of vehicles. We rarely have disputes about individual charges, but I would expect to if they were unreasonable.”

Eddie Hawthorne, group managing director, Arnold Clark Automobiles, says: “We agree service rates up front with fleet clients who deal with a central number in our group to make things easier for them.

“Company drivers are demanding, but no more so than retail customers, who also want their cars back as speedily as possible. I’d like to know which car retailers are a licence to print money, then I could apply for the licence.”

  • What’s your view? AM believes fleets should sign up to a customers’ charter to promote a ‘Fair pay for a fair deal’. What would you like to see included? Email the editor at stephen.briers@emap.com.
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