Salvation Army tackles company car needs

The Salvation Army outlined about 20 key fleet requirements in an in-house tender document before appointing a new provider in 2010.

The document highlighted the need for a provider to operate a no-quibble tyre policy, allowing tyres to be replaced in all circumstances, whether due to wear and tear or a puncture.

The Salvation Army, which has a fleet of 725 company cars, also wanted a pooled mileage agreement to avoid any end-of contract excess mileage charges.

Peter Bonney, fleet controller at the Salvation Army, says: “Leasing companies vary on the sorts of contract damage waivers they offer and how they handle parking fines and treat the changing of tyres. All these things can be different.

“Nothing is free, but we wanted to know how providers would react to our bespoke specification and meet our requirements.”

After conducting a beauty parade of five shortlisted suppliers, the Salvation Army appointed Venson alongside its existing provider, ALD Automotive.

Both Venson and ALD compile quarterly lease rental lists from which the Salvation Army’s business-need drivers choose the car they want. New fleet models are ordered from whichever leasing supplier is the least expensive on a car-by-car basis. Employees are compensated for trading down their cars, or they can make a fi nancial contribution to trade up. Popular models include the Vauxhall Astra 1.4 ES, Nissan Qashqai and Honda Jazz hybrid.

The Salvation Army switched from an all-diesel to an all-petrol fleet in 2011, which is more efficient for short journeys.