Renault launches iCare service

The new iCare system uses telematics to measure how much mileage is covered per month and uses this to calculate a monthly sum.

This replaces the old fixed monthly sum system and allows fleet operators to reduce costs because charges are based only on when the vans are in operation.

The system, which has optional wear and tear cover, has been introduced in response to concerns vehicle operators are neglecting mechanical problems because of the economic situation.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) says more than half of road checks on vans last year uncovered mechanical defects – the highest ratio out of all fleet sectors.

"This latest research by the VOSA is rather disconcerting for the industry," comments Darren Payne, Renault UK’s Director of Fleet and Commercial Vehicle Operations, adding, "It would indicate that van fleet operators, maybe in part due to the recession and cutbacks, are disregarding mechanical defects and the need for regular maintenance checks on their vehicles."

Payne expects new legislation to be introduced to help solve the problem, and has reacted by introducing the new iCare service for Renault fleet operators.

He added: "When you consider that fleet operators can be held criminally responsible for unworthy road vehicles, it’s easy to see why Renault is urging them to act now and start thinking the same way as an HGV fleet."

Renault’s van range includes the large Trafic van, the French manufacturer’s answer to the evergreen Ford Transit. Other vans include the Kangoo van, which will be released as an electric model later in 2011.

Renault iCare is available on the Renault commercial vehicle range, Kangoo Van, Trafic and new Renault Master van from new, or on vehicles that have covered less than 12,000 miles and are under 12 months old.