A1 Automotive has signed its first, full-service contract hire agreement with Fraikin, taking delivery of three new 44-tonne DAF XF 6×2 tractor units.
The car transporters will support its transport services division in Livingston, Scotland.
And, signalling the firm’s transition away from outright purchase, the firm has signed a six-year deal for the tractors with Fraikin, the contract hire, fleet management and rental.
The deal includes accompanying trailers from Transporter Engineering.
The new transporters are like-for-like replacements for three older assets in the company’s 80-strong transporter fleet and the new arrivals can carry 12 cars.
‘Alternative option that would give us some financial flexibility’
A director at A1 Automotive, Ian Carter, said: “Before the pandemic, we routinely put down large deposits for new vehicles, but we needed an alternative option that would give us some financial flexibility and provide a clear picture of the cost of each asset over time.
“Fraikin’s contract hire solution was a perfect fit; it has allowed us to add three new transporters to the fleet, with zero disruption to the business and with the added reassurance of consistent cost control.”
Following a glowing recommendation from another operator, Fraikin was A1 Automotive’s first choice, with the new deal including all servicing, maintenance, repairs, road fund licence, regular safety inspections, annual MOT testing, tyre management and 24/7 roadside assistance – a full-service offering designed to deliver total peace of mind, allowing the company to focus on its core business activities.
‘Fraikin’s outstanding reputation’
Mr Carter added: “We’ve been aware of Fraikin’s outstanding reputation for many years, and after receiving excellent feedback on its professionalism and support from another business we work closely with, there was no need to look elsewhere. So far, we have been very impressed.”
The new vehicles are expected to be on the road seven days a week, clocking up to 62,000 km per year, moving new, classic or private cars, as well as light commercial vehicles, for a number of major manufacturers and car rental companies across the UK from its bases in Scotland and England.
Established in 1998, the company originally operated as A1 Auto Salvage from its premises in Loanhead, Midlothian.
Since then, it has expanded significantly, with more than 150 employees and the opening of one of the largest car transport businesses operating across the UK.
Fraikin opens new 24/7 service support centre
Meanwhile, Fraikin has announced that it has opened a new 24/7 service support centre at its Coventry HQ to provide its customers with a dedicated, year-round aftercare service for the first time.
The move underlines the company’s renewed emphasis on bringing its maintenance and breakdown support in-house, moving away from using third-party contractors for out-of-hours calls.
The service support centre manager, Caroline Harrison, said: “The new service will be an invaluable resource, helping to ensure we’re able to offer better continuity in customer support, which will only help to strengthen and build customer relationships.
“We are now able to guarantee that a Fraikin employee is available on the other end of the phone, taking ownership of any customer issues and following them through until they’re resolved.”
She added: “It’s all about providing the best possible level of support 24/7, 365 days a year.”