The Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) has introduced a new voluntary industry standard covering dealer deliveries of vehicles to fleet customers.

The new AFP Dealer Standard contains 28 points covering subjects including pre-delivery standards, the condition of the vehicle on handover, and familiarisation with its key functions.

AFP chair Paul Hollick said: “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.

“The need for this kind of benchmark has become apparent over time as a number of factors have emerged. 

“Probably the most significant is that cars and vans have been rapidly becoming more complex. The time when a driver could sit in the seat of a new model and work out all the key functions in a couple of minutes are long gone.”

Hollick explained that modern vehicles required a degree of familiarisation on handover, especially where drivers were adopting an electric model for the first time, in order to be driven safely and effectively.

He continued: “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.”

According to Hollick, the AFP’s intention is for the Dealer Standard to be rapidly adopted as an industry benchmark on a voluntary basis.

He said: “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.

“We have, of course, been talking to major dealers as part of the creation of the project and there is a high degree of interest. They recognise the importance of getting this crucial element of the fleet customer experience right and the first few who have decided to take part should be announced within a few weeks.”