February 19, 2019

Abridge’s Mercedes-Benz courtesy fleet keeps businesses running during repairs

Customers of bodyshops throughout the UK are driving away in new Mercedes-Benz courtesy vehicles for use while their own vans are undergoing repair.

Surrey-based Abridge Vehicle Management, which specialises in the provision of vehicles for the accident repair industry, has acquired 190 Vito models for this use since June.

It has opted for Long-bodied versions of the mid-sized Vito, most of which are front-wheel drive 111 CDI models, with 1.6-litre engines. Abridge has also taken delivery of a number of Vito 114 CDI variants, which are powered by 140 hp, 2.1-litre engines that drive the rear wheels, as well as five small Citan 109 CDI Extra-longs.

Explaining the company’s decision to switch to Mercedes-Benz, managing director, Richard Pearson said: “It is very important to our bodyshop clients that we provide them with reliable, high-quality courtesy vehicles.

“The strong residual values for which the Mercedes-Benz brand is renowned contribute to the competitive contract hire rates that we offer. They mean that we’re able to provide our clients with some very attractively priced packages for what is, ultimately, a premium product.”

Mr Pearson continued: “Since we started supplying them with Vito vans the feedback from the bodyshops we serve has been resoundingly positive. It’s undoubtedly the case that if you provide someone with a smartly presented, quality courtesy vehicle, they’re going to take better care of it while it’s in their possession than they would a battered old van.”

The strength of the home delivery sector means bodyshops’ demand for courtesy vans shows no sign of abating, and Abridge envisages acquiring approximately 200 more Vito models this year.