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Flexible long-term rental service helps Fruidel double fleet

Fruit delivery company, Fruidel – The Office Fruit Company has turned to Europcar’s long-term van rental proposition to support expansion plans for its delivery fleet.

Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire and with depots around the country, Fruidel supplies premium fruit baskets to more than 3,000 offices across the UK.

Founded in January 2016, the start-up has encountered a familiar challenge for many SMEs; how to grow the business without making long-term financial commitments. Following a successful 2018, Fruidel is aiming to double its turnover in the next year and needed a transport partner to underpin the company’s service whilst avoiding tying up cash flow.

Europcar’s long-term van rental proposition – Advantage for Vans – is providing a perfect solution, supporting the company’s ambitious growth strategy without the capital restrictions of outright vehicle ownership.

The company has signed an agreement for Europcar to supply more than 40 Mercedes Sprinters, all liveried with the Fruidel brand.

Stephen Bohen, Fruidel founder and CEO, said: “As our business expands so do our transport needs. We’ve grown at an unprecedented rate and the flexibility of Europcar’s long-term rental service has enabled us to double the size of our fleet in line with this demand. We’re due to take on 20 more vans in 2019 without the significant outlay that would’ve come with acquisition.

“Leasing was more flexible than acquisition but it didn’t give us any of the maintenance benefits that we get from Europcar. All of our costs fall under one bill with Europcar Advantage for Vans. The young age of the Mercedes vans means reliability is high. But if there is an issue our bill includes things like servicing, maintenance and even replacement tyres. And for any vehicle issues, Europcar come to us, meaning our vehicle downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.

“Long-term rental provides Fruidel with all of the advantages of an ‘owned’ fleet but with these additional benefits bundled into one price. The clarity that this gives us means that we’re in a great position to make informed financial decisions to plan for the future growth of the business.”

Europcar’s extensive commercial fleet also proved a key factor in Fruidel’s decision.

“Europcar gives us access to exactly the sort of vehicles we need for our day-to-day operations,” continued Bohen. “We regularly deliver to big corporate businesses in areas like Canary Wharf where image is vital. The Mercedes Vans that are all liveried with our branding are perfect for this.

“All of the vans come with AdBlue technology as standard. Along with the young age of the  vehicles,  this has a big impact on reducing our fleet’s emissions. And keeping our emissions to a minimum was another important consideration when we chose a partner to supply our fleet.”

Stuart Russell, director commercial vehicles, Europcar UK Group, also commented on the partnership: “Europcar Advantage for Vans – our long-term van rental proposition – allows Fruidel to focus on other investments by eliminating the long-term commitment of vehicle ownership. This was ideal for the business as a start-up and remains so as the business grows. We are looking forward to working with Fruidel in the future to manage an effective transport solution that supports its ambitions.”

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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