Flexible van hire: what are the practical business benefits?

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Keith Neville • Aug 12, 2015 • Flexible hireVan hire

It can be challenging to know exactly how many vehicles you need in your fleet at any given time. Increased uncertainty due to the current economic climate only furthers this, as businesses cannot afford to use much needed capital on vehicles that are left unused. Additionally, smaller businesses in particular still struggle to afford the costs associated with purchasing fleet vehicles. 

Purchasing vehicles is no longer a cost-effective, viable option for many businesses. They can't afford the risky investment, and maintenance, administration and compliance costs can easily spiral out of control. Moving forward, they need an alternative. Leasing vans is an option - but long-term contracts can be equally as problematic.

That's why businesses across the UK are opting for flexible van hire - the most cost-effective way to acquire vehicles without the hefty price tag, or the precarious investment.  

But first - you can find out whether hiring or buying vehicles is the best option for your business with our comprehensive Hire or Buy checklist: business, sector and economic considerations:


Hire or Buy

Free Checklist: Find out whether hiring or buying vehicles is best for your business


What is flexible van hire?

For fleet managers, requirements for vehicles can change drastically from month to month - even from day to day - and many will have to consider seasonal, or unexpected fluctuations in demand. Purchasing too many vans can be detrimental to business - but so can not having enough in your fleet. It's challenging.

Flexible van hire is an alternative to standard van hire that alleviates these problems, as it allows fleet managers to increase (or reduce, in some circumstances) their fleet capacity without the long term commitment of contract hire.

Unlike short term rental, flexible van hire allows you to return vehicles you no longer need at a shorter notice - without incurring additional penalties.

Essentially, flexible van hire gives you the security of a guaranteed initial payment equivalent to contract hire - but with the flexibility to return the van when you no longer need it. For businesses in industries where demand is never fixed, or fleet managers who may require an additional vehicle every so often - flexible van hire is a great option.

Contract hire vs. flexible van hire - which is best? Check out our comparison

What are the practical benefits of flexible van hire?

Flexible van hire seems like a great option, but for many fleet managers, the 'flexible' element invites scepticism. After all, on the surface level - it's an excellent approach to van hire, but what practical benefits are there? Beyond flexibility, there's a wealth of tangible business benefits you'll see from flexible van hire. 

Flexible van hire doesn't come with additional costs

When purchasing a vehicle, it isn't just the upfront payment businesses have to worry about. If you own a vehicle, you become solely responsible for its maintenance, and any consequent repairs in the event of a breakdown or collision. This is obvious, but some SMEs underestimate the impact these additional costs can have on their bottom line.

As well as the initial purchasing costs, businesses are also solely responsible for the maintenance of vehicles and any consequent repairs in the event of an accident or breakdown. This can have a serious impact on SMEs who have a limited budget, especially as research shows that when a van is off the road, it costs a business an average of £500 a day.

This means that when choosing to purchase vans outright, businesses need to think about where they can access support - be it through their manufacturer, or a third-party provider. Not only this, but if you're a fleet manager in a fairly niche industry, you need to be certain that the support provider you choose has an understanding of your sector, and the vehicle requirements you have. This can be a costly and labour-intensive process, meaning that you may not get the best deal possible.

Independent garages can offer inconsistent quality and efficiency, which in turn can lead to more repairs and extended periods of time where your vehicles are off the road. 

With flexible van hire, these costs don't affect you. Your flexible van hire provider should include maintenance, repair and vehicle replacement as a standard included in the initial payment - meaning you won't have to worry about the additional costs or downtime you could incur should your van be unexpectedly taken off road.

Flexible van hire acts as security net

In order to reduce breakdown and accident risks, businesses should perform regular vehicle servicing and MOTs. Whether this is done to standard varies across businesses, but the administrative burden associated with arranging services and MOTs is most definitely a challenge.

However, if vehicles aren’t consistently maintained, vehicle faults and defects such as under-inflated tyres can get worse – placing the safety of drivers in jeopardy and making your vehicles more accident prone. 

With flexible van hire, businesses should have the security of 24/7 365 breakdown cover, and the convenience of no administration. At Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, our flexible van hire service offers consistently high quality service from experienced professionals in your specific industry, ensuring that you are back on the road in no time. To stop breakdowns and accidents occurring in the first place, we also offer preventive vehicle maintenance with all our flexible van hire options, including regular MOTs and servicing at manufacturer recommended levels. 


Flexible van hire helps you cope with fluctuating demand 

Demand for products and services is always changing, which has never been more prominent than in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. While increased demand is great, purchasing vehicles to meet expectations isn't. Purchasing vehicles outright is expensive, and should demand decrease, you end up left with surplus unused vehicles.

Businesses in the current economic climate cannot afford to be stuck with vehicles that aren’t producing value. The convenience of flexible van hire means this doesn't happen - businesses can scale their fleet up to meet their needs, and hand the vans back when they no longer need them.

Enterprise Flex-E-Rent's flexible van hire goes one step further, giving businesses flexible support when it really matters. Our flexibility has been integral to continuity for many organisations dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Many businesses saw an immediate downturn in business, and had to scale back their unused fleet to stay afloat. Enterprise Flex-E-Rent's reactive services meant fleets could be reduced without additional penalties - as our core priority is keeping your business on the road.

Avonside Group were one of these organisations Enterprise Flex-E-Rent has helped keep moving in the midst of uncertainty:

"Enterprise’s flexibility helped us to continue trading in a very difficult period and keep cash in the business. We’re now growing the fleet again and are sticking with flexible van rental, because we know first-hand that it’s a solution that doesn’t force us to invest in expensive assets."

Simon Smith Group Commercial Director, Avonside Group

For businesses dealing with the aftermath of an economic hit, flexible van hire ensures they can regain momentum without the investment in risky and expensive vehicles.

Flexible van hire from Enterprise Flex-E-Rent

With Enterprise Flex-E-Rent, you can scale up and reduce your fleet as you need - with no additional costs. You'll no longer have to worry about unused vehicles, and you'll gain access to a wide range of commercial vehicles, whether you need to hire for a day, a week or month. And, with maintenance, breakdown cover, vehicle replacement and repairs covered as a standard - you'll never be left without a van again. 

The practical benefits flexible van hire can offer your business are extensive. If you'd like to discuss our flexible packages in more detail, or book one of our vans for flexible hire, get in touch with one of our vehicle hire experts today.

However, in the current economic climate, we understand that sourcing the vehicles you need at a reasonable price can be challenging – especially when headline costs rarely tell the whole story. You should know whether hiring or buying vehicles is the best option for your business. Find out the pros and cons of each option with our comprehensive Hire or Buy Checklist: business, sector and economic considerations: 

Hire or Buy

Free Checklist: Hire or Buy: business, sector and economic considerations

We compare the hiring vs buying vehicles for your fleet in our checklist, looking at the pros and cons of each to help you make your decision.



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