THE industry body for managers of vehicle fleets, the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), has launched a new voluntary industry standard covering dealer deliveries of cars and vans to fleet end users.
Called the AFP Dealer Standard, it consists of 28 points covering pre-delivery standards, the condition of the vehicle on handover and familiarisation with its key functions.
Paul Hollick, Chair at the AFP, explained:
The Dealer Standard is quite simple in its intent – to ensure that the vehicle is delivered in excellent condition to the fleet end user, who is shown the fundamentals of how it works and treated courteously.
Paul says that the requirement had become increasingly necessary, particularly as cars and vans are becoming more complex, especially as SME fleets start to decarbonise.
Modern vehicles require a degree of familiarisation on handover – especially in instances where drivers are adopting an electric model for the first time – in order to be used safely and effectively.
At the same time as this requirement has become essential, issues such as the pandemic and supply issues have placed dealers and the logistics sector under considerable pressure, meaning that handover standards have varied considerably. What we hope to encourage is a high degree of consistency in important areas such as ensuring that vehicles arrive with a high level of charge.
The AFP said it intended for the Dealer Standard to be adopted as an industry benchmark on a voluntary basis.
Dealers can sign up to the Standard for a fee by getting in touch with the AFP and committing to meet its requirements, at which point they also become a member of the organisation. They can then use the Dealer Standard logo in marketing materials and tenders to promote their participation in the programme.
The AFP added that consultation had taken part with several major leasing groups that supply fleet leasing clients. It expected to announce the first dealer groups signed up to the Dealer Standard within the next few weeks.
AFP Dealer Standard Agreement
- Regular lead time updates should be provided to either the fleet customer, fleet operator or driver including further information in the event of any delays and the reason for lateness.
- Confirmation should be provided to the customer when the vehicle is in stock, and the delivery date and time formalised.
- Comprehensive vehicle details including the registration and VIN details should be supplied as well as P11D and CO2 follow-ups.
- Telematics devices, if applicable, should be installed prior to delivery.
- A certificate of conformity should be issued with each vehicle and placed in the glove compartment. Further copies should be available for the fleet if required but additional costs may be applied by the manufacturer or dealer.
- It is preferable that in-house drivers are utilised for deliveries who are competent and trained in the product they are delivering. If third party drivers are utilised then, as a minimum, the handover must cover main features and safety related items.
- The dealer should offer support and guidance on any follow-up technical queries regarding the vehicle if required by the customer.
Operational Handover Standards
The vehicle should be supplied with:
- Company, leasing company, dealer and safety packs, as applicable
- Windscreen stickers
- A branded key fob
- Fitted carpet mats from the manufacturer or leasing company at a negotiated cost
- At least quarter of a tank of fuel for petrol or diesel cars or 50% charge for EVs. The low fuel light should never be showing.
- Driven delivery mileage must not exceed 100 miles for cars or 150 miles for a commercial vehicles unless otherwise agreed.
- The vehicle should be delivered covered or washed down prior to handover and be clean both externally and internally.
- The vehicle should never be handed over to the customer with any warning lights showing on the dashboard display. In the event a warning light appears before handover a proactive rectification process needs to be discussed with the customer to minimise inconvenience and disappointment.
The Delivery Driver
- The delivery driver should be of smart appearance and conduct themselves professionally, as well as being able to communicate clearly and adhere to current COVID security guidelines.
- The delivery driver should be aware that vehicles may be tracked and speeding or other offences in the vehicle will be noted and challenged.
- The customer should be contacted by the delivery driver prior to departure or during the journey with an estimated time of arrival.
- There should be no eating, drinking, smoking or vaping within vehicle.
- As a minimum, a handover process is required either physically or virtually and must include basic driving and safety-related controls, as well as Bluetooth, navigation and other key features.
- Dealers should be able to advise the customer if required on where they can obtain support on using a vehicle app. This is particularly important on EVs that have preconditioning, vehicle locking and other features remote which may be essential.
- Safety items should be shown to be present including spare wheel location, repair kit, locking wheel nut location and bonnet release.
- Guidance on refuelling, charging and additives should be provided. For EVs, this should cover charging cables.
- An instruction manual and service book should be provided or otherwise details given on how to access digital manuals found online or through the vehicle infotainment system.
- Inspection condition and handover documents should be provided, either on paper or electronically.
- The vehicle should be thoroughly checked for damage, and the driver given time to evaluate the vehicle and photograph any damage if necessary. A MoDel or alternative PDA unit should be used where possible.
- There should be a formal damage and compliant rectification process that is designed to minimise inconvenience and disappointment.
- Once the vehicle has been signed for, it is accepted that any issues outside of warranty must be dealt with by the driver.