A HOUSING association has decided to move from its existing flexilease model to long-term business contract hire leasing.
The Seaham-based housing association on the north-east coast, called Believe Housing, is growing rapidly, and currently manages 18,000 homes across 862 square miles, from the rural west, to Durham city centre.
Currently using a flexilease model, the business wanted to create cost savings and reduce administration time of its fleet, while also looking for an expert supplier in Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) management. With its rapid growth trajectory, Believe Housing also saw the need for ongoing support and fleet consultancy.
Step forward leasing provider Alphabet. The mobility and leasing company won a competitive tender to manage the association’s fleet of 163 LCVs and two company cars.
This includes full contract hire and maintenance, accident management, driver risk management and rental services through Alphabet’s short term rental service, AlphaRent.
Critical to Believe Housing was the LCV conversion choice and design. Alphabet provided consultancy through every step of the process, working closely with internal racking conversion partner Modul-System and vehicle branding partner Mediafleet to create a bespoke, yet simple design that met Believe Housing’s requirements. Mediafleet prepared a reflective livery for the vehicles, matching the association’s brand colours and extending visibility into the night.
The move to an eLCV fleet
Believe Housing is also moving forward on its environmental agenda by moving 10% of its fleet to electric vehicles within the first year of the contract. The housing association has initially placed an order for 11 electric Vauxhall Vivaro vans and two electric Nissan Leaf company cars. Following this initial order, the association says it will continue to grow its electrified fleet.
Rachel Cox, Director of Property Repairs at Believe Housing, commented:
Most of our staff get to work in one of our offices or from home, but for trade operatives the van is their office. Making sure the vehicles were fit for purpose and were a safe and comfortable working environment was at the forefront of our minds. That meant consulting members of each trade, so the racking suited the materials and tools they use, to having air conditioning and DAB radio in the vehicles. The move to a sole provider and new funding model will reduce operational costs by about 30% the next five years, and as a not-for-profit all the money we save goes back into providing affordable housing in the region and a wide range of support services for customers.
Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Corporate Sales Manager, Dermot Kehoe, added:
It’s great to be working with Believe Housing in this key period of growth for their business. With a substantial fleet based on a flexilease model, we were keen to get the process of moving to contract hire vehicles underway as soon as possible, so they could start benefiting from significant cost reductions. And by advising them to order the LCVs prior to full specification agreement, we were also able to help them avoid three price increases on the main models they selected, creating further cost savings for the business. We’re delighted to have part of the new fleet already in operation are looking forward to identifying more efficiencies, as we continue to build our partnership and help them drive the business forward.