Days Fleet is the new name for Days Contract Hire with the rebrand reflecting both the comprehensive range of solutions it offers to private and public sector fleets across the UK and the changing face of the nation’s company car sector.
Independent, but benefiting from the full ownership and backing of Days Motor Group, Days Fleet operates in excess of 9,000 funded vehicles and has more than 60 employees.
The name change heralds a move by the company to provide its wide range of bespoke in-life fleet management and mobility solutions to a growing number of employers that may outright purchase company cars and vans or fund them through a third party provider.
That is expected to herald growth in the company’s core funded fleet but, critically, major expansion in managed vehicles – company cars and vans and ‘grey fleet’ vehicles.
Days Fleet director Aled Williams has overseen expansion of the business over the past 18 years and explained that the company was far more than a provider of contract hire.
He said: “The fleet market has changed rapidly in recent years and continues to evolve very quickly. Clients and prospects are looking for total mobility solutions; that may embrace vehicle funding or may not.
“Days Fleet offers a wide range of ancillary in-life vehicle management products which are part of the mainstream enabling best practice management of cars, vans, drivers and journeys.”
Admitting that it can be difficult to talk to clients and prospects about providing a cradle to grave fleet solution when a business has the words ‘contract hire’ in its name, Mr Williams, said: “Days Fleet is a dynamic company and by changing its name it is moving with the fleet market as it continues evolve. We are able to offer existing and prospective clients far more than contract hire or finance on vehicles.”
In recent years the company has expanded to provide a complete range of in-life vehicle, driver and journey management services in addition to a comprehensive array of vehicle funding solutions.
The range of products and services includes: Fleet consultancy, whole life cost analysis, fleet management, maintenance management, accident management, mileage management, driver licence checking, telematics, fuel cards, temporary vehicle replacement, gap insurance and vehicle movements as well as contract hire, sale and leaseback, salary sacrifice and flexi hire.
Additionally, Days Fleet provides clients via its online dashboard with full visibility of their fleet – from order tracking through to vehicle service booking and viewing vehicle data. The dashboard also allows users to view driver licence check results, view copy invoices, MoT schedules and contract renewal dates – all of which use a traffic light colour coding system to provide a clear user-friendly interface.
Furthermore, a full range of driver services includes: Digital mileage submissions, driving abroad documentation, company car benefit-in-kind tax information and calculator and a 24/7 helpline.
Mr Williams said: “The name change will enable Days Fleet to secure discussions with far more customers and provide in-life vehicle management solutions and help manage their current funding arrangements more effectively.”
Fleet responsibility in many companies operating perhaps up to as many as 500 vehicles rests not with a full-time professional fleet manager, but within an organisation’s HR, finance, procurement or wider transport department and is often overseen by a junior member of staff on a part-time basis.
Mr Williams said: “They are trying to manage a wide range of complex, inter-linked issues but don’t necessarily have the experience, knowledge or skill set. Days Fleet may not take over total management, although we could, but we can introduce solutions to better manage vehicles and drivers.”
That, for example, could include introducing driver licence checking, targeted driver training for employees deemed high risk or mileage management solutions which sees telematics devices fitted in vehicles to feedback a wealth of real-time data to aid improved fleet management.
Mr Williams said: “In-life management of vehicles is cost management critical. It is surprising, for example, how many companies continue to allow drivers full control of in-life expenditure without authorisation and invoice checks being undertaken. Days Fleet ensures service, maintenance and repair work undertaken is authorised and vetted and complies with safety standards and what motor manufacturers require.”
Looking forward, Mr Williams says rapid development of technology and the ‘connected car’ means Days Fleet could expand its range of managed services to meet client demand and embrace not only ‘grey fleet’ vehicles – employees’ privately owned cars driven on business – but spend by employees on taxis, chauffeur management and car club use.
He said: “Management of ‘grey fleet’ vehicles is critical. They have their place, but it is only limited. Too many companies think allowing employees to drive their own cars on business trips is a simple journey solution, but they simultaneously turn a blind eye to many problems notably duty of care related.”
The business was launched in 1988 and has expanded to earn a place among the 25 largest UK leasing providers and continues to deliver high levels of service to clients across the UK. The sales team is being further expanded in line with the growth aspirations of the business.
However, said Mr Williams: “The company is moving with the market and the future is Days Fleet: a total fleet and mobility solutions provider.”