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Venson warns fleet operators not to ignore hidden costs of online tyres

Venson Automotive Solutions is encouraging fleets and drivers to do their research before buying seemingly ‘bargain’ tyres online.

Tyre fitting, balancing, disposal costs and the potential of costly downtime, as well as online purchases frequently suffering from long fitment lead times of several days can be hidden costs to fleets over and above the apparent inexpensive tyre cost stated online, says Venson.

The company is urging businesses not to just look at the headline cost figure for tyres and instead look at the total cost, especially as 40% of the tyres across Venson’s leased and managed vehicles are replaced early due to damage.

Lee O’Neill, head of operations at Venson Automotive Solutions explained, “If something looks too good to be true then it probably is. Working with fleets daily, we understand the pressure businesses are under to keep operating costs under control.

“Ultimately, fleet managers, company car and van drivers need to keep downtime to a minimum while optimising convenience and attracting the best possible credit terms, which can make a big difference for any fleet.”

Venson urges fleet managers to use a tyre replacement service which can be called upon when replacement tyres are needed.

For its own clients, it encourages every driver to ‘phone Venson first’ in order that it can offer every driver a free-of-charge mobile tyre fitting service. Should a driver prefer to visit a tyre depot, the stock is checked in advance – particularly important where a policy dictates a brand preference – to ensure that the required tyres are available when the driver visits, helping to ensure first-time fitment.

Lee O’Neill concluded, “Of course, online tyre operators have their place, but for many employees their company vehicle is not only their means of transport, but also their office or workshop and mobile advertising hoarding, and they can’t afford to be off the road. So, anyone considering buying replacement tyres online should always ask themselves, are they saving a few pounds on a replacement tyre, or potentially costing their business a fortune in time spent off the road?”

Why not to buy tyres online for fleet vehicles

  1. Increased downtime – mobile fitment is only available in certain post codes and usually for two or more tyres or above a certain value.
  2. Increased costs – opting for mobile fitment, if available in a chosen area, can incur an additional charge of perhaps £20 per transaction.
  3. Price fluctuation – tyres bought on the internet can vary from one day to the next as pricing reflects market conditions and product availability.
  4. Shorter credit terms – buying tyres online means they are paid for at least three days before fitment and the possible added admin of paying on credit cards and processing payments through expenses.
  5. Reduced flexibility – mobile fitment may not be available inside the London Congestion Charge zone.
  6. Inconvenience – tyres bought online may have to be fitted at the supplier’s convenience rather than that of the fleet.
  7. No maintenance history – unless internal processes are in place you may lose valuable management information such as reason for the tyre replacement and the tread depth that was left on the replaced tyre/s and the other tyres still on the vehicle.​

The Venson Automotive Solutions white paper can be downloaded for free at https://www.venson.com/Media/WhitePapers

Written by Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.

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