- What are the benefits of using a commercial vehicle in full service operational leasing?
The benefits of a full service operating lease are primarily quantified in predictable costs, employees focused on what matters to the business and increased efficiency in the use of car fleets.
The Business Lease LCV product was designed as a full operational leasing product because we wanted our partners to receive everything they need to operate without interruption and without hassle. From the purchase of the commercial vehicle we provide advice for its compartmentalization and bodywork design to serve business purposes, then we take responsibility for paying all taxes, duties, insurance and constantly monitoring the vehicle so that maintenance and repairs are performed on time, in services that meet Business Lease quality standards. These repair and maintenance services cover not only the vehicle itself but also the equipment. Furthermore, at the end of the contract, the resale responsibility is also assumed by Business Lease.
- You launched in 2018 the LCV product for light commercial vehicles from 3.5 to 7.5 t. Why did you consider that companies need such a special product?
The operational leasing market on the LCV segment is quite small. There are few companies offering a product in this niche, but even fewer are those that cover the mileage needs of these users. In fact, what the LCV Business Lease product brings extra compared to other similar products on the market is the fact that it meets the real needs of our customers. We have considered, first of all, the need for a higher number of kilometers, so we cover a mileage of up to 400,000 kilometers in 57 months. We also provide consultancy for the bodywork, optimization of storage spaces and equipment needed to customize the commercial vehicle, but also for its protection in order to keep return costs under control.
Uninterrupted mobility for these users is essential and we try to find tailored solutions for each in order to maintain this continuous operational flow.
- How was it perceived by Business Lease customers?
The product was well received by our customers, which can be seen in our results. We have a 58% increase in the Business Lease LCV fleet since the product was launched. However, the market continues to be divided, concentrating most of the operational leasing requests on the important cities of the country. Bucharest and Ilfov County are in the top, followed by Cluj, Iași and Constanța. We remain dedicated to our efforts to educate the market into understanding the benefits of operational leasing and we hope that once the mobility restrictions are lifted, we will be able to continue our initiative to promote Business Lease solutions at national level.
- The majority of the commercial vehicle you have in your fleet run on diesel? How do you see their future?
The LCV market is a diesel market on European level. Statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show that 92.8% of light commercial vehicles registered in Europe in 2019 were equipped with diesel engines, while the share of LCVs running on petrol is only 4.4%, those for electricity (plug-in) of 1.2%, and those for alternative fuels rose to 2.8%.
In Romania, the share of diesel rises to 97.8% in the market, and the increase in the registrations of new LCVs for gasoline, electric and hybrid in the fleets is too timid to indicate a trend towards other types of fuels. However, diesel technologies in line with the new WLTP standards that maintain a low level of pollution allow companies to keep their carbon footprint at low limits. It is step forward, and as manufacturers come up with solutions with increased autonomy, in conditions of use for all consumers (refrigeration, air conditioning, etc.) we will certainly see changes in the share of these percentages.
- Will you propose to companies the use of electric or hybrid commercial vehicles?
We promote these types of vans wherever the activity of the client company allows the accommodation of these vehicles. However, it is a market under construction – in 2018 only 28 electric LCVs were registered in Romania, and in 2019, 54, while on the hybrid segment we have only 8 registrations in 2019. The lack of good practices and history in the management of electric or hybrid fleets, the still high budgets compared to other engine options, but also the low level of autonomy of these LCVs make many of the fleet managers go for safer options.
- What kind of equipment do you recommend for driver safety?
Our recommendations go into two directions that complete each other: driver protection and vehicle protection. We primarily recommend bluetooth devices, side mirror sensors and tachograph installation. Then, to protect the vehicles and keep the return costs under control, we recommend parking sensors, but also loading space protection solution.
- What are the industries that use the most utility fleets from Business Lease?
The leading industries are FMCG, pharma, distribution, as well as milling and bakery industries.
- At the end of the operating leasing contract, where do you resell these vans?
It is important to say that at the end of the operating lease our cars are still in very good working order. Being the only owners of the vehicles we know in detail the history of each car, the exact number of kilometers, but also their service history and we can provide interested parties with all these details. The main tool we use to promote these vans at the end of the operating leasing contract is our platform, Car Collect. Access to the platform is allowed only to authorized traders whose activity is trade in motor vehicles.
You can read the interview in Romanian published in Flote Auto.