London Stones fleet of small transit van's are up for renewal in 6 months and we are debating about whether or not to renew the 3 year lease or whether or not to purchase our own vehicles.
I would be really interested in hearing peoples opinions on the subject of vehicle purchase. On the surface vehicle leasing sounds like a no brainer:
1. Tax paid.
2. Tyres covered.
3. All maintenance costs included.
4. Brand new vehicle
5. Tax efficient.
But once you have signed that contract and you are tied in for duration of the contract things suddenly don't seem so rosy. One of the big issues that we have faced is maintenance cost. When we signed our contract we were told that all maintenance costs were covered in the monthly payment. We have since found out that this is not the case. We have found that the dealer will haggle absolutely every penny when it comes to maintenance. We had a particular problem with ABS cables on our fleet of Transit vans, they are continually breaking. Not once have they been repaired free of charge. The excuses given by Ford for not repairing these cables has sometime bordered on the ridiculous. My personal favourite was when we were told by the Ford staff that the reason for the ABS cable breaking (for the 2nd time in a year) was down to animals chewing through it. I would have thought that for the average fox a much tastier and more accessible meal could be found in a bin but I suppose the world is changing.
Another thing which is causing us concern is that when we have to return the vans at the end of the lease. I can definitely see a big difference between our interpretation of wear and tear as oppose to the opinion of the Ford team. I suspect the gulf in opinion could be of gigantic proportion.
The main message is to think long and hard about your usage of the vehicle and if any of the above may effect your business. Also read the small print very carefully and ask as many questions as possible.
Steve Walley (Director)