Reduced vehicle availability is not only affecting fleet replacement life cycles, it is also affecting vehicle availability to rental companies.
The resulting shortage is causing a wide range of problems for fleets, ranging from maintenance and repair replacement hire to vehicles for new starters during their probationary periods.
While the short-term hire availability of vans has been an issue for a while, the shortage of rental stock is now affecting cars, too.
James Pestell, a Director at the Association of Fleet Professionals, provides some background as to why this is happening.
The problem is that many daily rental companies defleeted large numbers of vehicles during the pandemic and, because of the semiconductor shortage affecting car and van production, have found difficulty in replacing them. Even when they can get stock, they are having to pay something closer to list price, which has not historically been their business model.
As a result, fleets have found themselves in a situation where booking rental is very difficult, prices are rising quite quickly and, even if you can get hold of a vehicle, the supplying company will often ask for it back at some point to fulfil other pre-existing bookings.
This is happening at a time when fleets need more cars and vans from rental companies because of the vehicle shortages. It is becoming a genuine headache on a daily basis for many operators.
Strategies to overcome vehicle rental shortage
Rental vehicles play a crucial role in fleet management, particularly when a vehicle is off road. Downtime is expensive and without a replacement vehicle, business operations are compromised.
Other areas affecting fleets include provision of a vehicle during a probationary period for a new starter.
CBVC Vehicle Management’s Managing Director, Mike Manners, offers this advice to overcome the vehicle rental shortage.
While there is no immediate fix to the issue – the underlying cause is simply too few vehicles at the moment – there are short term ways to overcome the issue.
Our advice is not to defleet cars at the end of their term but to enter into an extension and use such vehicles as pool cars. It’s important to ensure that end of lease pool cars are correctly maintained and properly managed, which will mean additional administration for the fleet manager.
But it does offer a way through at the moment and at least allows fleets to manage vehicle demand while the rental shortage continues.
Help with managing rental shortage
For assistance with managing the shortage of rental vehicles through fleet extensions, talk to one of our experts on 01283 351200 or email email@example.com.