Independents unite to “say no to cheap fleet work”

Garage owners call on fleet companies to stop undervaluing 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 200 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.


“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 32 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Norma Fitzpatrick 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 7 posts - 26 through 32 (of 32 total)
  • Author
  • #164335 Reply

    Phil Reynolds

    We are a small independent garage just outside Cambridge ,last April we cancelled all fleet & warranty work ,mainly due to lack of payment on time & low prices paid. But main issue was collecting & delivering vehicles from customers who wouldn’t be in to work before 9 & wanted then returned before 4 ,just for an mot but would take us 3 hour round trip ,then by the time you have authorisation its to late !

    #164742 Reply


    I totally agree to this. A few years back we were contacted by 1link over the phone and we signed up to their service having been told how much work it would it would generate for us. The short story is we didn’t get one job in a year and when I went to cancel, Iwas told your have to give a years notice. #crooks

    #164852 Reply

    Gary Milliner

    Well about time , although not all fleet companies
    should be tarred the same way , there are some that will pay reasonable
    rate, but it’s unusual the words you hear are “that the time , and that’s the rate “ take it or leave it .
    Well we have left it , a diabolical term of notice (a year)to leave 1 link , were are now free of exuberant commission charges and admin rates
    We are customer friendly but it’s our business so it’s now our term
    Count me in

    #164849 Reply


    MANY FORES AND AGAINSTS ON TH ISSUE.Have been working leasing/fleet management companies since 1986.
    We are Primary/prefered suppier.We knock the poor ones on the head.The good ones (1 offered to pay £10
    a litre for longlife oil) we charge additonal labour for every seizure,parts breaking,investigation time and they pay it.We have never offered/given discounts on parts.It is by no means ideal but it is recession proof and they dont flick a coin “shall i buy a new wide screen telly or get the car serviced”.
    Vans are the best, they get mechanically abused(“not my motor”) clutches.metal to meal brakes,bent steering/suspension. U.K.locations of garages and types of fleets vary which has a bearing on it.I went to facebook page to join, did give opions one way or the other. Never heard back.

    #165522 Reply

    Norma Fitzpatrick

    Found your article interesting .We are based in Aintree Liverpool EStablised snine 1984

    Geared up for fleet work. 5,500 sq ft workshop mot station 8 ramps. Would welcome
    a conversation , to see if We can help with any vehicles in our catchment area
    Part of The Autocare /Approveed network

    Kind regards Norma Fitzpatrick C&N Cars
    Company Secretary

    #165523 Reply

    Norma Fitzpatrick

    Enjoyed your article,well said.
    We are in a similar situation
    Love the price your getting for oil ,I’m going to be looking at that one.
    Thanks again Iwill also check out face book
    Beast wishes
    Norma Fitzpatrick C&N Cars Liverpool
    Company Secretary

    #165524 Reply

    Norma Fitzpatrick

    Independent unite to say no to cheap fleet work

Viewing 7 posts - 26 through 32 (of 32 total)


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