A new personal contract hire (PCH) product has been launched by Activa Contracts as a solution for existing customers to provide to their employees that are not eligible for a company car or have opted out of the benefit.
Activa Affinity Cars has been launched at a time of huge growth in the PCH market – latest data from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, of which Activa Contracts is a member, reveals a 24% surge in PCH demand between Q4 2017 and the same period in 2018.
Ian Hill, managing director of Activa Contracts, the Milton Keynes-headquartered division of Arnold Clark Finance and a member of the Arnold Clark Group, Europe’s largest independently-owned vehicle dealer group, said with the launch of the new scheme that it was important to constantly seek new customers and routes to market.
Models from all major manufacturers can be selected via the web-based scheme and drivers can select contract period, contract mileage and service, maintenance and repair (SMR) levels to be included to suit their personal requirements.
The scheme is aimed at the employees of Activa Contracts’ corporate fleet customers and Mr Hill said that experience was showing clear trends in terms of what employees were looking for when making enquiries.
He explained: “Employees that have decided to opt out of a company car scheme are more inclined to take their PCH car on a like-for-like service basis; typically requiring a full maintenance solution including tyres. They are maybe opting out of a company car scheme for lifestyle reasons, employer constraints governing vehicle choice or rising benefit-in-kind tax, but they seek the hassle-free in-life comfort associated with a company-provided vehicle.”
“However, employees that have not benefited from a company car by virtue of their job are usually seeking out their car of choice at the lowest possible monthly rental. Very often this means that they opt for a PCH solution that excludes maintenance services in the belief that they can maintain the cars at a lower cost themselves. Whilst this may not be the case, we felt that it was important to offer employees an option that enabled them to self-manage SMR costs.”
Activa Affinity Cars is only available to employees of Activa Contracts’ existing fleet customers and Mr Hill said: “Our clients want to be able to offer a trusted business provider to their staff and we provide all necessary assistance to ensure that details of the scheme are well communicated to employees, including the provision of roadshows and workshops to get the message across.”
After registering on the Affinity website – https://www.activacontracts.co.uk/what-we-do/affinity/ – employees can select models, choose service plans, obtain quotes and place orders. However, should the human touch be felt necessary at any time, they also have access to a dedicated customer support team who will guide them to the right solution to meet their own individual circumstances and budget. The cars are then delivered free of charge to anywhere in the UK mainland.
The PCH is a personal agreement between Activa Contracts and an employee that requires no involvement from an employer other than making the employees aware of the scheme. Therefore, in the event of an individual leaving their employer there is no impact on the terms of the car agreement, which remains in place between the employee and Activa Contracts.
Activa Contracts is a division of the Arnold Clark Group, Europe’s largest independently-owned vehicle dealer group.
Activa Contracts was established in 2000 from within the Scotland-based Arnold Clark leasing business to build a stronger presence in England and Wales.
From its headquarters in Milton Keynes, Activa Contracts offers a comprehensive range of fleet funding solutions and a full range of fleet management services.