Fellow leasing company BT Fleet has a similar offering in the form of its Vehicle Check and Defect Reporting app. It performs a near-identical function to Leaseplan’s in that it encourages drivers to inspect their vehicle, submit a report and keeps a record of past checks and issues.
The service is limited to BT Fleet customers and it uploads information directly to the company’s fleet management system, which, in turn, can order parts for repairs ahead of the vehicle’s visit to a workshop.
Sticking with well-known fleet names, management specialist Chevin launched its Fleetwave Forms app in February. It’s a customisable data collection app, which means users of the company’s Fleetwave management system can employ it to make their own form – be it for vehicle checks, expenses, sales transactions, delivery confirmations; more or less anything administrative that a CV fleet is likely to encounter.
The forms can then be put to work on mobile devices and the app is linked to the company’s management system, so any information collected is fed back into it. You don’t need a full-time internet connection either, as the app will update whenever the device catches some wi-fi.
The point is that anyone can use the app to build their own data-collection tool, i.e. you don’t need to be an IT whizz to knock up something useful, as the forms are created via a fairly simple drag-and-drop operation. Prices start at £99 a month for up to 50 form submissions and top out at £1,499 for unlimited submissions.
Any fleet or, indeed, drivers operating in urban areas will be au fait with the headache that is parking, which becomes even more of a hassle in areas renowned for trigger-happy traffic wardens. Yourparkingspace.co.uk is effectively a search engine for places to leave your vehicle, and includes the likes of conventional multi-storeys as well as domestic spaces unused by their owners, with a claimed total of more than 250,000 spots on offer countrywide.
In addition to its website, the firm has an app that performs largely the same role. However, it was updated in June 2017 to include a function that allows the user to adjust the amount of time for which a vehicle is allowed to remain in certain short-term spaces, negating the need to pop back and stick more cash in the meter. The company has said it intends to introduce a feature whereby users can separate business and personal transactions via the app.
In a similar vein, Appyparking launched a service for van drivers operating in London as part of its existing app in July 2017. Known as One Click Parking, it’s designed to reduce the number of fines they receive in Westminster borough, and allows users to pay for parking after leaving spaces. Those using the app don’t have to guess how long the LCV will remain in the space and are charged solely based on the time actually spent there.
Vehicles are fitted with a dongle, said to be supplied for free, that is linked to the app and monitors the amount of time they spend in a particular space. All the driver has to do is park up and confirm the vehicle’s location via the app. Pimlico Plumbers trialled the system in 2016 and it has since been adopted by numerous other commercial vehicle operators including Handy Squad and Polytech. The company is said to be eyeing other London boroughs and coverage outside the capital for the service.
Our final money-saving choice arguably bridges the gap between operational and economical, but, if used correctly, has the capacity to save vehicle operators a tidy sum.
Leasing firm Activa Contracts’ self-titled app allows businesses to submit vehicle-condition reports, including photos, several weeks before a contract is up, the idea being that both parties are well aware of any chargeable damage before the vehicle returns to the company and the leaser understands what they’ll have to pay and why before the bill arrives – or has a window to sort repairs. Businesses can also use the app to send time-stamped photos to Activa when they’re signing for rental vehicles to highlight any damage in advance.
Unfortunately, it’s exclusive to customers of the company, but if you lease or rent vehicles from Activa, it’s a must.