2022 Press Releases

Fleet Assist appoints Nikos Kotrozos as its new head of supplier relations 07 December 2022

Nikos Kotrozos, Head of Supplier Relations
Nikos Kotrozos, Head of Supplier Relations

Fleet Assist has announced the appointment of Nikos Kotrozos to the newly created position of head of supplier relations.

Kotrozos will assume responsibility for all OEM and supplier relationships across the Fleet Assist 5,200-strong garage network, delivering new product offerings and continuing to strengthen its existing network relationships.

He joins from LeasePlan where he spent over five years in senior SMR procurement and operations roles. Prior to that he was a procurement lead for Babcock International Group accountable for the Metropolitan Police fleet and has been a senior global buyer for Jaguar Land Rover.

“I am delighted to be working as part of a team that promotes a strong culture of partnership and collaboration. I am very excited to join Fleet Assist as it is very well placed to continue to grow its share of the fleet SMR sector,” said Kotrozos.

Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD said: “Nikos brings with him a wealth of experience in automotive procurement and operations within the OEM and leasing sectors.”

“This investment in our management team expansion supports our drive to enhance existing and new supplier relationships, whilst enabling us to focus on key projects,” he added.

elmo appoints Fleet Assist to provide SMR services to enhance its subscription service 05 December 2022

elmo, the electric car subscription company is the latest to onboard the full portfolio of SMR services Fleet Assist provides to its customers, including SMR network, service booking and technical authorisation.

As part of the services, Fleet Assist will provide access to its garage network combined with its service booking and technical authorisations to meet the needs of elmo’s rapidly expanding business.

elmo will have full access to Fleet Assist’s 5,200-strong network of independent, fast fit, mobile and franchised garages allowing it to direct work to the most appropriate garage.

The Fleet Assist network is now 82% ‘EV ready’ which means 4,228 of its garages’ technicians and premises can effectively manage the SMR for electric and hybrid vehicles.

“We are experiencing huge demand for EV subscriptions, and to scale effectively while maintaining a very high standard of customer experience, we needed to partner with the leading supplier to manage our customers’ SMR needs.

“We are impressed with how mature Fleet Assist’s garage network is at being able to manage EVs and are delighted to launch this partnership,” said Olly Jones, elmo’s MD.

“Fleet Assist provides a simple plug-and play implementation and paybill solution which consolidates SMR spend into a single weekly bill,” he added.

“We continue to spend a great deal of time getting our garage network ‘EV ready’ and it’s great to see new companies like elmo onboarding our range of services to manage their fleet,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD.

Fleet Assist’s new garage supply programme Lemon Penguin puts a freeze on its network’s carbon emissions thanks to sustainable waste management partnership 16 November 2022

Mechanic Lemon Penguin

Sustainability-focused garage supply programme, Lemon Penguin from Fleet Assist, is working in partnership with carbon-cutting waste management provider, Slicker Recycling, to provide a greener solution for its members’ waste oil and other workshop waste. Lemon Penguin members will also cut down on waste management costs as well as their carbon, thanks to exclusive industry-leading rates.

Waste oil to base oil: A sustainable Slicker solution

The Lemon Penguin garage service network is comprised of over 500 independent garages located nationwide. The used oil Slicker Recycling collects from its members is sent to its clean, green, used oil re-refining machine, where it is processed back into a high-quality base oil product. The base oil is then blended with additives to produce brand-new lubricating oil, ready to be re-used in various mechanical applications.

Thanks to this sustainable approach to managing used oil, Lemon Penguin members directly contribute to the circular economy, helping to limit the consumption of a valuable, rapidly depleting resource.

Huge carbon cuts across the network

Unfortunately, many other used oil service providers do not adopt this circular approach, instead processing the used oil into a low-grade Processed Fuel Oil (PFO) which is burnt in the energy and marine markets. This, in turn, generates significant volumes of carbon emission, contributing to the climate crisis.

Not only does Slicker’s sustainable base oil re-refining approach preserve valuable resources, but it is significantly more carbon-efficient compared to alternative processing methods. For every 1,000 litres of used oil Slicker re-fines back into a base oil, Slicker can help Lemon Penguin members save over 180 kg of carbon emissions, compared to the PFO production process. This is approximately the same volume of carbon seven trees will absorb in a year.


In addition to the carbon savings and circular approach to Lemon Penguin’s used oil, Slicker will also be helping its vast network of garages avoid waste-to-landfill through the management of other workshop waste streams. Oily rags, spent aerosols, contaminated plastics and other hazardous workshop waste is all collected and handled responsibly. The waste is processed at specialist facilities where it is broken down into component materials and sent to be recycled for other uses, completely avoiding landfill.

Saving money and the environment

The sustainable partnership between Slicker Recycling and Lemon Penguin also provides significant financial savings for members. Garages will benefit from Slicker’s industry-leading rates across all workshop waste streams, exclusive to Lemon Penguin members.

Vincent St Claire, Managing Director at Fleet Assist has commented.

“At Lemon Penguin we deliver the best value for our network members. Through our partnership with Slicker Recycling, we will help our members greatly reduce their waste management spend, with exclusive discounted rates, and cut their carbon footprint, thanks to their innovative base oil re-refinery.”

Sean Thorpe, National Sales Manager at Slicker Recycling said:

“It is great to be working alongside Lemon Penguin and its membership network. Together, through our partnership, we will help fight climate change and support members reduce their waste management bill. A win-win all round!”

Lemon Penguin drives oil cost savings for garages 09 November 2022

Lemon Penguin, the new garage services programme launched by Fleet Assist has reported a 276% increase in oil purchases in the past six months as dealers continue to look at keeping their costs under control.

The order pipeline and deliveries continue to grow each month reflecting Fleet Assist’s Lemon penguin product competitiveness and the breadth of services and products it offers garages.

The response has been extremely positive with more and more garages signing up to the Lemon Penguin scheme each month, just six months after its launch. Franchised garages have also signed up to the programme to benefit from lower oil purchase rates than they can command.

“Fuel and oil prices reached record levels earlier in 2022 as have other dealer costs, which is why we launched Lemon Penguin. Given the current economic climate, we wanted to provide our supply chain management skills to deliver cost savings to our 5,200 franchised and independent dealers,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s Managing director.

“Dealers can utilise the savings across all their SMR work, and a key point is that Fleet Assist does not stipulate to garages as to what work the products or services can or should be used on.

“We are constantly looking to add new consumables to our product range under the Lemon Penguin brand. Recent launches have included a waste management programme, EV charger and installation, technician training and video health check software,” he added.

World EV Day 10 October 2022

World EV Day

World EV Day™️ We are celebrating multiple electric milestones over the coming days. Our ‘EV ready’ garage network has now grown from 4,000 to 4,228 and it has carried out more than 60,000 services on EVs, doubling the figure reported in September 2021. And our very own company car drivers are also committed to reducing their carbon footprint having ordered new #EVs which they aim to get behind the wheel of in the coming months.

World Mental Health Day 10 October 2022

World Mental Health Day

We continue to prioritise the wellbeing of our staff and fully support World Mental Health Day organised by the Mental Health Foundation. It provides a chance to talk about mental health in general, how we need to look after it, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling.

Ogilvie Fleet extends Fleet Assist’s SMR network contract by a further three years 06 October 2022

Karen Ewer, Head of Business Development
Karen Ewer, Head of Business Development

Ogilvie Fleet is the latest leasing company to extend its contract with Fleet Assist as it enters the seventh year of working together.

Ogilvie has extended its SMR contract into 2026 as its operations team continue to use Fleet Assist’s network of 5,200 garages which incorporate franchised and independent dealers as well as fast fit centres and mobile workshops.

Fleet Assist and Ogilvie started working together in 2015 when mainstream adoption of diesels was the norm and EVs were not a consideration for fleets and company car drivers.

However, times are changing and Ogilvie, like many contract hire providers has seen the demand for zero and low emission cars continue to rise as fleets start their move towards 2030.

Seventy-eight percent of Ogilvie’s new vehicle orders in 2022 have been for EVs and hybrids which is another reason Fleet Assist continues to expand its network of ‘EV ready’ dealers which currently stands at 4,228 garages, 82% of its network.

Fleet Assist’s job is to keep one step ahead of the needs of its fleet customers and it has reinforced this with its work adding hydrogen garages as well as expanding its EV network.

“Fleet Assist is continually one step ahead of the curve when it comes to SMR and is why we have had such a long and successful working relationship. Its EV network is second to none and is an integral reason we have extended our contract as more customers onboard EVs and hybrids,” explained Ogilvie Fleet’s head of operations Gavin Clisby.

“We are proud of the fact we run the most extensive and progressive SMR garage network in the fleet industry. Every day we are looking to further grow the network’s capabilities with EVs a major focus. We support our garages with their move to servicing electric vehicles, whilst ensuring they stay focused on the substantial number of diesel and petrol vehicles still on the road,” explained Karen Ewer, Fleet Assist’s head of business development.

Fleet Assist launches Lemon Penguin, a new garage services program for its national network 04 October 2022

Lemon Penguin

Lemon Penguin, the new garage services program launched by Fleet Assist, combines the purchasing power of its extensive UK network of Service, Maintenance and Repair premises to give the independent garages within its network access to purchasing ability and commercial rates which are normally reserved for larger, franchised businesses.

By allowing all garages within its network access to competitive supply arrangements across a range of key retailers at advantageous rates, Fleet Assist is providing a level playing field for all operators within its network, ensuring a parity of pricing and service provision across its network of more than 5,200 franchised and independent dealers located across the whole of the UK.

Given the inflationary pressures all garages are facing, never has there been a better time to offer them a range of services using the combined purchasing power of the network to assist in the management of costs.

A key differentiator of the scheme compared to those run by other network providers in the market is that there are no constraints on the use the products or services solely in connection with Fleet Assist customers service maintenance and repair work. This ensures that down-time is not adversely affected by any stipulated supply route and is complimentary to the garages’ existing arrangements.

Karen Ewer, head of business development at Fleet Assist said: “The launch of Lemon Penguin allows our entire network to access competitive supply arrangements across a broad range of retailers, from oil and lubricant suppliers, technician training schemes, courtesy car providers and even EV charge point providers. It is important to Fleet Assist that our customers receive the same excellent levels of service wherever they are in the country, and Lemon Penguin has been designed from the ground up to help our network to deliver this.”

Fleet Assist ensures that consistent levels of service are delivered nationwide for more than 850,000 fleet drivers. Lemon Penguin is a major new asset for garages within its network, as it allows all businesses of any size to offer a wide range of products and services to their customers, at competitive prices.

Lemon Penguin has been designed in collaboration with Fleet Assist’s network to ensure that the products and services available are guaranteed to be of benefit to users. Additional suppliers and services are being added to the program on a constant basis, ensuring that garages are not left behind in a rapidly changing marketplace.

“While larger franchised garages have historically been able to access preferential rates on products and services for customers, by combining the purchasing power of our thousands of independent garages into a single buying program, we can ensure that every business within our network has access to a level playing field which not only benefits our garages, but also our customers,” added Ewer.

Fleet Assist offers companies access to its services following demise of All Fleet Services 01 September 2022

Vincent St Claire Managing Director
Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist MD

Fleet Assist has offered companies affected by the recent news that All Fleet Services has ceased trading access to its range of services to help them keep their vehicles and drivers on the road in the coming weeks.

This includes service booking, technical authorisation, access to its network of 5,200 franchised and independent garages and VE103B processing.

“We are deeply sorry to hear the news about All Fleet Services. Our team will do anything it can to assist companies with keeping their company vehicles safe and compliant over the next few weeks,” explained Vincent St. Claire, Fleet Assist’s managing director.

“We have the resource to take on the additional volumes to give companies the time they need to reflect on and plan their future fleet management strategy,” he added.

Fleet Assist has set up an emergency email address for those fleets needing urgent help or support - help@fleetassist.co.uk.

Alphabet extends SMR partnership with Fleet Assist for a further five years 31 August 2022

Alphabet has extended its SMR partnership with Fleet Assist for a further five years.

The partnership has been in existence since 2005 and this further extension means it will continue to use Fleet Assist’s SMR network of 5,800 franchised and independent garages to manage the servicing and maintenance of its fleet of 132,000 vehicles.

This includes the servicing of electric vehicles where Fleet Assist has a network of 4,000 garages that are EV ready. With pure electric cars set to account for one in six cars sold in 2022 Alphabet utilises Fleet Assist’s dealer grading to drive their own work direction policies to ensure work is directed to the right dealers with the right expertise to deliver a first-time fix.

Fleet Assist works closely with Alphabet regularly reviewing industry labour rates and network expansion to ensure they continue to deliver a first-class service to their customers whilst at the same time as optimising their maintenance budget.

“The 15-year partnership has been highly beneficial to Alphabet as we have had to ensure our SMR network has kept in step with our fleet expansion. Fleet Assist’s growing EV network provides peace of mind that we will keep all types of alternative-fuelled vehicles on the road,” said Sarra Shepherd, Alphabet GB’s supplier relationship manager.

“It is a very exciting time as we transition to 2030 and we are pleased to have Fleet Assist on hand to help us manage our SMR along the way.”

Battery Electric Vehicles are 22% cheaper to service than ICE cars reports Fleet Assist 03 August 2022

Vincent St Claire Managing Director
Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist MD
  • · Reduced labour times and fewer parts with lower wear and tear contribute to reduced BEV SMR costs
  • · SMR price reductions not guaranteed in the longer term due to rising operating costs of garages
  • · BEV parts replaced most often are pollen filters, bulbs, key fob batteries, wipers, and brake fluid

Fleet Assist has released servicing and maintenance trends for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) versus ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars based on the 850,000 fleet cars and vans using its 5,200-strong franchised and independent garage network.

According to Fleet Assist’s 2022 data the average transaction value of a BEV service is currently approximately 22% less than an equivalent ICE car. Much of this can be put down to reduced labour times which are currently 33% shorter for BEVs than ICE cars.

The parts component of an BEV job is also typically 28% cheaper than an ICE car due to them having fewer working parts, with brake wear far lower. When considering parts prices which have risen by around 10% in the past 12 months the BEV/ICE SMR cost gap widens further.

Fleet Assist’s SMR data shows that currently the most common BEV parts being replaced are pollen filters, bulbs, key fob batteries, wipers, and brake fluid.

But despite this evidence, it does not guarantee that BEV servicing prices will reduce dramatically as dealers look to raise SMR costs to retain their profitability. Dealers are starting to feel the pinch of reduced servicing revenues as drivers cover fewer miles which coincides with a rapid rise in operating costs, particularly technician salaries.

“Fleet and retail drivers cannot take it for granted that BEV SMR prices will remain cheaper than ICE cars, as over time costs could become more comparable,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD.

“Garages are already starting to come to terms with how EVs will impact their servicing revenues and workshop traffic in the longer term. We may see more garages looking at ways to address how the paradigm shift of BEV aftersales is going to challenge their service provision and fees they charge,” he added.

Fleet Assist was contacted recently by a franchised garage that was considering implementing a specific BEV servicing labour rate of £125, an 89% increase over the equivalent labour cost of servicing ICE cars.

Fleet Assist would not support such a knee jerk pricing action, but the reality is that garages, are having to take their future investment and growing overheads into account. This includes technician training, a continued provision of a collection and delivery service and courtesy vehicles and upgrading their workshops to manage BEVs, which includes multiple software updates, all of which cost time and money.

This follows a recent survey by The Motor Ombudsman that confirmed that six in 10 garages expected to raise their prices in 2022 to remain profitable against the background of rising overheads.

“We are looking to navigate our way through these complex times ensuring our customers continue to benefit from Fleet Assist’s annual SMR spending power of in excess of £150 million whilst ensuring garages invest and support our customer’s proposition,” said St Claire.

Days Fleet signs contract extension with Fleet Assist until 2026 21 July 2022

Days Fleet has further extended its contract for the provision of its SMR garage network and servicing booking service with Fleet Assist until 2026.

Days Fleet will continue to use Fleet Assist’s SMR network of over 5,200 franchised and independent garages to manage the servicing and maintenance of its fleet of nearly 8,000 vehicles.

Fleet Assist’s service booking team manages all SMR requests from Days Fleet’s drivers and uses its sophisticated work direction software “Atlas” to get its vehicles serviced and maintained including MOTs.

An increasing number of Days Fleet drivers now use the web portal provided by Fleet Assist to book in their vehicle service online, a trend which first started during the pandemic and has seen driver confirmation times reduce as they embrace this technology.

Like all leasing companies Days Fleet is seeing a major shift towards company car drivers opting for EVs. That is where Fleet Assist’s 4,000 ‘EV ready’ garage network comes into its own with Days Fleet’s EV drivers’ maintenance bookings automatically directed to the appropriate garages with the expertise to service battery electric and hybrid vehicles.

Days Fleet also utilises Fleet Assist’s downtime management service where it proactively works with its customers and their respective breakdown providers to identify vehicles that require this service and ensure they are back on the road as swiftly as possible.

“Our partnership is very strong. Fleet Assist provides us with a market-leading customer service booking experience and by far the most extensive and comprehensive SMR garage network. We can be assured that we can meet the challenges of fleet fuel types changing as Fleet Assist is constantly future proofing the network to cover off new technologies such as EVs and hydrogen,” said Gavin Williams, Days Fleet’s technical manager.

“We are both focused on providing the best possible SMR service to our end user driver customers which in turn helps companies run their businesses more efficiently,” he added.

Karen Ewer, Fleet Assist’s head of business development said: “We have been working with Days Fleet since 2006 and supported them over the years as they have expanded their fleet. The company is always looking to embrace new initiatives to improve their service proposition,” she added.

Karen Ewer, Head of Business Development
Karen Ewer, Head of Business Development

Parts availability unaffected by Ukraine conflict in the short-term reports Fleet Assist 11 March 2022

Vincent St Claire Managing Director
Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist MD
  • Fast moving parts currently unaffected by Ukraine conflict
  • Parts prices likely to increase translating into higher vehicle repair costs
  • Ukraine conflict further impacts new car production

The war in Ukraine is not likely to impact the servicing and maintenance of the UK’s vehicle parc in the near short term in respect to fast moving parts, but this could change if the war continues over a longer period.

That is the view of Fleet Assist whose 5,200-strong garage network supports the servicing of over 850,000 company vehicles for its leasing and rental clients.

Fleet Assist is closely monitoring the supply chain in respect to parts availability through close communication with franchised and independent dealer networks and parts suppliers. Currently there appears to be little impact on the supply chain logistics for fast moving parts, however costs are set to increase which will translate into higher repair costs over the coming months.

“It is understood the main Ukrainian parts industry comprises vehicle wiring looms and gas production that supports the manufacture of semiconductors. This is going to cause issues with the supply of major components supplied to many vehicle manufacturers which will impact new vehicle production,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s MD.

“We will continue to monitor the situation. We are in regular dialogue with all elements of the supply chain to ensure we keep customers informed so they can consider any tactical changes required to mitigate a potential impact on drivers,” he said.

Meanwhile, new vehicle production is being halted or restricted in some of Europe’s plants by the war through the closure or restricted production of Ukraine’s parts manufacturers which will further add to delays in new car production.