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Major lease fleet sets up network

Arval, the UK vehicle leasing and fleet management company with 160,000 vehicles, will by the end of June rely on a network of 2,000 sites for all service, maintenance and repair work.

The company is not revealing the size of its current network – spread between franchised and independent repairers – but indicates it wants more control and better quality.

All joining the network must achieve BSI Kitemark accreditation within 12 months, or an acceptable equivalent.

Danny Clenaghan, Arval network development director, says: “Suppliers achieving standards required to join the network will benefit from increased SMR work. We will be able, much more easily, to monitor and enforce customer service quality across a smaller, preferred network of suppliers.”

More than 1,000 outlets have committed to its AllStar network since recruitment began in October. Arval’s aim is to divide the volume of business in its preferred-supplier network equally between franchised and independent garages.

“We are looking for best-of-breed suppliers and the move also shows our support of the independent sector, which we believe has a significant role to play in achieving and delivering our new service,” says an Arval spokesman.

“Initially, the split will favour the franchised sector and include some key groups. As the network evolves, and we are able to influence customer and driver behaviour, we anticipate an even split of volume, rather than number of sites.”

Because the BSI’s automotive Kitemark PAS 80 standard is in its infancy, Arval has developed a service level agreement “with stringent performance measures, which will continually develop alongside the AllStar network”.

The company will measure suppliers against its own performance management programme, which has more than 20 key indicators.

The spokesman adds: “If PAS 80 does not deliver what it sets out to achieve, we will have no hesitation in removing this requirement from our preferred suppliers.”

Arval is part of PHH Arval Global Alliance, a European fleet and fuel operator backed by the BNP Paribas banking group.

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