ALD Automotive | LeasePlan (ALD-LP) hit the ground running when these two giants of the leasing sector completed their merger in May 2023.

ALD and LeasePlan share a passion for improving the lives of van customers, and this commitment has been a unifying factor for ALD-LP throughout the year.

Combined, the new company has a fleet of 113,000 light goods vehicles – 75,000 coming from LeasePlan and 38,000 from ALD – making it the largest such fleet in the UK that is overseen by one of the largest specialist LCV teams in the world.

In September 2023, the company launched its PowerUP 2026 initiative, which sets out ALD-LP’s vision for the future of mobility and fleet management with a focus on growth and sustainability.

In 2023 it introduced TCO+, an enhanced version of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that anticipates the cost of running rented vehicles over time. This incorporates rental, fuel-spend, tax, insurance and basic maintenance. TCO+, however, is based on the vehicle’s actual performance; physically, operationally and financially measuring cost-impacting information to identify customers’ most suitable/cost-effective vehicle-choice, including costs associated with switching to electric. 

TCO+ measures elements that impact cost, such as vehicle off-road (VOR) time and associated charges like rental charges, loss of revenue and contract breaches. It also calculates the cost for a fleet of switching to electric vans and the associated investment needed in developing a charging infrastructure.

It also calculates vehicles’ short to long term reliability based on manufacturers’ performance and maintenance records. The overall aim of TCO+ is to identify the customer’s most suitable and cost-effective choice of vehicles.

ALD-LP’s Journey Profiling (JP) helps customers choose the best electric vans for their needs, taking into account the journeys drivers undertake in terms of mileage and payload on board. JP calculates a cost per mile figure, which when combined with TCO+ results in an accurate cost of operations figure.

The company’s net zero tool enables customers to set a deadline for phasing out emissions and put in place a timeline for reaching this goal that fits in with their working schedules.

ALD-LP has reduced the minimum terms of its flexible van leasing proposition from 90 to 28 days, but still allows customers to ‘try before you buy’. It has also added more LCVs to the fleet, including Chapter 8, welfare and refrigerated vans.

Another initiative is the establishment of a build management team, which supports conversions with an emphasis on supplier relationships and ensuring converted vehicles are delivered to the customer on time to the agreed specification. To offset the impact of limited workshop availability, ALD-LP has partnered with several suppliers to establish a mobile servicing operation.

In tandem with a fleet funding and taxation guide, a comprehensive LCV training programme for emloyees includes an online LCV course, face-to-face LCV refresher sessions, a commercial vehicle day to educate staff, LCV terminology guides and an eLCV playbook.

During the last year, ALD-LP’s electrified LCV fleet has grown by more than 100% from 2,531 to 5,069 vehicles, comprising 4.5% of the total fleet. The Flex fleet has grown from 716 to 1,408 vehicles and includes 198 eLCVs, which at 14.1% is well above the market share of new electric vans. In 2023 ALD-LP took on 37 new clients, including Nike Retail UK, The Royal Parks, The Highland Council and NHS National Services Scotland.

With its claim to have the largest UK fleet with more data and connected vehicles than any other UK-based company, ALD-LP looks set fair to lead its customers towards cost efficiency and decarbonisation.

Highly Commended: SG Fleet

Highly Commended Leasing Company SG Fleet class=

In August 2023, SG Fleet customer Clarion Housing needed to replace 20% of its fleet. The logistics required and the potential downtime for vehicle exchanges was a challenge, especially with a considerable amount of equipment needing to be transferred from old vehicles to new ones. To ensure these elements were minimised, SG Fleet arranged a week-long single-site replacement process. All vans were on site, completed and ready for exchange so that equipment transfer was simplified. SG Fleet account manager Ian Birch personally handed over a large portion of these vehicles, obtaining user feedback that was used to improve both the process and the vehicle racking later in the week, helping to improve the usage of the vehicles when in the field. Furthermore, SG Fleet achieved incremental lease savings for the client of over £120,000 through increased vehicle discounts negotiated through the process.  SG Fleet is a worthy recipient of the highly commended accolade.