Use of independent garages by fleets rises by a quarter between one year old and four year old vehicles

Use of independent garages by fleets has increased by around a quarter for company cars and vans that are aged four years old compared to their one-year-old counterparts. 

Our new data shows that the purchasing of SMR changes from 30% independent garages and 70% franchise dealers at one to two years old to 35% /65% at two to three years old, 40%/60% at three to four years old and 38%/62% at four years old and over.   

The data has been taken from transactions during 2023 on our 1link Service Network platform.

Tim Meadows, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It’s long been recognised in the fleet sector that as vehicles age, their operators are more likely to use independent dealers, and these new figures show that effect in action. 

“It’s clear that fleets see different types of garages as appropriate for different points in a vehicle’s lifecycle and that as they age, factors such as the requirement to maintain a franchise dealer service history or needing to take advantage of the specialist knowledge that comes from using the manufacturer’s official SMR supplier appear to become less important.” 

Our data also suggests that there is a ongoing fall away from independent garages for older vehicles, with suppliers being used for 44% of SMR jobs for four year plus cars and in vans in 2021, decreasing to 40% in 2022 and 38% in 2023. 

Tim said: “This is an interesting trend and not one for which we have an obvious explanation, other than the fact that accessing any kind of SMR can be difficult at the moment, and fleets may be finding it easier to book with franchise dealers than independents.”

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