Independents unite to “say no to cheap fleet work”

Garage owners call on fleet companies to stop under valuing independent garages

Independents unite to “say no to cheap fleet work”
Image: Bigstock.

A new campaign has been launched by an independent garage owner in protest against fleet companies that refuse to pay normal hourly labour rates and, in some cases, supply their own parts.

The Facebook group, ‘Say no to cheap fleet work’, has so far attracted more than 150 members since its launch last month and hopes to further raise awareness about the pitfalls of fleet work.

Group founder, Mark Kettle of EAC Telford told GW that he normally charges customers £59.95 plus VAT per hour but said some fleet companies pay less than £39.00 + VAT – a 33 per cent loss on retail prices.

Mark said: “We need to stop being held to ransom and stop under valuing the independent garages.

“Fleet companies aren’t paying us enough and now they are supplying parts to us at 15 per cent mark-up.

“We’re now looking to wind down fleet work.

“Looking at our costs over the last year, we will gain about £40,000 per year with less running around, less car cleaning and more retail work.”

Growing problem

Mark told us that he’s aware of numerous other garages that have already stopped fleet work or are in the process of doing so.

Posting to the Facebook group, Simon Croft wrote: “Car fleet work should really be used as “filler” work, not your mainstay.

“Companies that solely rely on this type of work are on a hiding to nothing.

“Not only that, if you rely on one supplier in particular, and the lease company loses the contract, you’ll be out of business and it can happen overnight.”

Steven Paterson of Krypton Garage and MOT Centre told GW that while it’s not a new problem, it’s one that’s getting worse.

He said: “We need to stop the devaluation of our industry.

“Some of the fleet work providers are demanding that we do work for a set labour rate, purely so they can take a cut out of the profit.

“Unsustainable”

“It’s unsustainable for us, it’s as simple as that.

“We’ve got to pay our workers, we’re having to go and pay fees to vehicle manufactures just to gain access to vehicle data so how can you run a business when fleet companies only pay £40 an hour?

“Because you’re doing fleet work and accepting £40 an hour, your missing out the jobs which pay your normal hourly rate.”

 

Share your comments and experiences below.

Home Page Forums Independents unite to “say no to cheap fleet work”

This topic contains 25 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dougal 13 hours, 43 minutes ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #164100 Reply

    GREG FROGSON

    COUNT ME IN AS A VOICE, WE HAVE SUBMITTED OUR TERMINATION NOTICE TO OUR FLEET WORK SUPPLIER (1LINK) FOR NEXT YEAR ON THE STRENGTH OF THIS ISSUE !!

    #164102 Reply

    stewart duthie

    Very true, they try it on and take around 70 to 90 days to pay accounts.
    Then we dont pay for oil door locks and all else,or pay waste disposal a joke.
    We binned some big names and moved away from them years ago, its called taking the piss.

    #164103 Reply

    ALISON RILEY

    HOLBROOK GARAGE
    CALFWAY
    BISLEY

    #164104 Reply

    ALISON RILEY

    Count us in too. We left 1 link after one year. It cost us dearly!
    Costly to join, their labour rate was a joke and complicated to use their invoicing process.

    #164105 Reply

    Stephen

    I had an enquiry once to joint a fleet network to which I declined. It would be a case of the ‘tail wagging the dog’ when it came to doing a quality job, in a decent time allocation.
    Any fool can work for next to nothing was my thoughts.

    #164106 Reply

    dc motor engineers manchester

    COULDNT AGREE MORE. I DONT SUBSCRIBE TO ONE LINK FOR THAT VERY REASON. ALL DAY WAITING FOR AUTHORITY FOR REPAIRS AT UNSUSTAINABLE RATES AND IRATE CAR OWNERS WONDERING WHY THERE CAR IS NOT READY AND THEY HAVE TO PICK CHARLIE UP FROM NURSERY AT 3PM AND YOU HAVE HAD MY CAR ALL DAY. GOT AWAY FROM THIS FLEET HEADACHE YEARS AGO AND DONT MISS IT ONE BIT. MUCH NICER DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC DIRECTLY DOING A THORUGHLY GOOD JOB FOR A FAIR PRICE.

    #164107 Reply

    Eddie

    Hi I have been working on fleet for over thirty years and yes your rite we are under valued and the company’s to blame are 1Link, Halfords who are charging fleet £25.00 per hour Kwik Fit, so what chance have we got if these company’s under value their service I think we all know who give the best service

    #164109 Reply

    m j kirkham

    this is the best news ive heard for years
    we stopped doing fleet work over a year ago and dont missing
    what they pay in labour rate wise was an insult

    #164111 Reply

    Keith Thomas

    We gave up One link 5 years ago best thing I have ever done.

    #164112 Reply

    Rooger Meadows

    before I retied most of out work was fleet work it paid the bills and the outer was the icing on the cake.
    1 link provide as will british gas vans in all London money for old rope

    #164113 Reply

    john edrupt

    2-8 watts lane
    teddington

    #164114 Reply

    DAVID CRAIG

    Hi we are a very large fleet we work with all garage that has been inspected by our team, Our rate that we pay to suppliers is £45.00 plus VAT AS for parts we will not pay more than + 25% of our suppliers are paid within 14 days,We have a good network of independent Garages we do not deal with Halfords or Kwik Fit and we use 2 tyre suppliers in the UK. We have over 1900 cars 1100 Trucks Artics,8Wheelers,6 Wheels,4 Wheelers 900 VANS in the UK,3500 in France,2000 in Germany,1200 in EIRE the rest of Europe 5600 mixed and we are a private Scottish Company we deal with Governments all over Europe and will be doing more after MARCH 2019.

    #164115 Reply

    DAVID CRAIG

    Hi we are a very large fleet we work with all garage that has been inspected by our team, Our rate that we pay to suppliers is £45.00 plus VAT AS for parts we will not pay more than + 25% of our suppliers are paid within 14 days,We have a good network of independent Garages we do not deal with Halfords or Kwik Fit and we use 2 tyre suppliers in the UK. We have over 1900 cars 1100 Trucks Artics,8Wheelers,6 Wheels,4 Wheelers 900 VANS in the UK,3500 in France,2000 in Germany,1200 in EIRE the rest of Europe 5600 mixed and we are a private Scottish Company we deal with Governments all over Europe and will be doing more after MARCH 2019.

    #164116 Reply

    Shashi Chandarana

    Count me in too
    Three years ago I stopped working for a fleet company who spent 100 k

    We realized that we became busy fools
    Will not work for them.

    #164117 Reply

    john edrupt

    we gave up fleet work years ago we only do paying custmers

    #164118 Reply

    Julie Westley

    This is nothing new to us we have been telling this to people for many years – we would not be dictated to by fleets and have Pooh poohed for doing so by Garage networks – we only charge one rate and everyone pays the same and we will NOT fit any parts supplied by anyone else – why would we when our ramps are full by full paying customers – let the main dealers do the cheap work !

    #164135 Reply

    Peter Miles

    I’ve never done fleet work. A few years back we were offered some but looking at what they would pay (and guessing that they be slow payers!) at which the chap on the phone got quite huffy saying “Didn’t I want more work?” As I work 6 days a week and, more often than not 7, why would I want anymore to do at a loss?
    Incidentally the same thing applies to warranty companies. I won’t work for them. I bill my customer and let them sort it out with the warranty firm.

    #164136 Reply

    CompareNewTyres.com
    Participant

    I absolutely agree with this, good rates of pay for good work.

    #164137 Reply

    Steven Paterson

    Feel free to join the facebook page in the link at the top of this article guys, you will learn a lot more about the way these companies work, the issues people have experienced when trying to cancel and a lot more…… just remember the ‘say no to customer supplied parts’ facebook page started of just like this did and it is snow balling into a monster.

    #164139 Reply

    Steve

    We no longer do warranty work for same reasons

    #164140 Reply

    Nick

    I agree fleet management companies try to dictate terms, we control how much we take on snd when we take it. I’ve had several vehicles removed from my site because I’ve not accepted the terms for that particular job but on balance most of the work we get (largely servicing) is easy money. We have also gained private customers eg:family members or friends by giving a good service to the fleet users, with more and more private car users signing up to personal finance packages I think we will only see a increase in volumes from fleet management companies but agree collectively eventually fleet management will be forced to increase terms otherwise they’ll only end up with the likes of Halfords or fast fit centres turning out substandard work.

    #164143 Reply

    I don’t think private users will be offered maintenance inclusive packages & with regards to gaining private work derived from Fleet work, I’ve not received much private work via this method in 20+ years of dealing with the Fleets !!
    Following on from 1Link comments, I don’t know if any of the readers know of the ‘rebated’ scheme I’ve had to subscribe to with 1Link, this is where despite all the Fee’s we already pay to them we get an Invoice now from the Fleet operators for 10% of the Invoice value which adds insult to injury !

    The latest 1Link stunt to gain more revenue from repairers is by offering exclusive access to electric vehicles, I clicked on the application link & lo & behold there is another full annual fee to pay on top of the £400+ we pay already !!

    #164142 Reply

    Bob

    The problem is 1Link they charge for directory entries,cars,vans,commercial,all separate then charge extra for customer feed-back, booking fees,fleet discounts .it seems never-ending so any profit is quickly swallowed up.I am seriously thinking of dropping them soon as well.Small independent in Dorset

    #164167 Reply

    Cliff Poulter

    I have owned and run Blue peter Garage for over 10 years and will not carry out fleet work due to the fact that these companies will not pay a fair price for works carried out. Whilst fleet work can help some garages, we would rather carry out retail work and keep our customers happy. I think fleet companies may have to re visit the amount they pay garages. The problem will always be that there will always be someone that will carry out the work at these low prices.

    #164325 Reply

    Dougal

    We got out of 1 Link recently so goodbye fleets.
    We only do aftermarket warranty work for customers who also give us their servicing etc.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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