Regardless of which government is elected to run the UK next year, unprecedented cuts in public spending lie ahead – meaning potential business for public sector lessors.
NHS chief executive David Nicholson has warned that the next four years could demand efficiency savings of more than £10 billion (€11.2 billion).
A traditional stumbling block to public sector leasing – especially in the NHS – has been inconsistency in decision making between different financial controllers. Now, though, it seems that public sector bodies are more and more willing to outsource their procurement decisions to other parties.
At present, PASA, the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, is being dismantled, and responsibility for leasing, and the national framework for operating leases, has passed to NHS Supply Chain, a joint venture with German logistics company DHL.
Meanwhile, other companies are looking to take on management responsibilities for public sector fleets, and will be keen to increase the utilisation of leasing.
One such company is service provider and former warship builder Vosper Thornycroft (VT), which manages 4,000 vehicles for the Metropolitan Police, as well as the 14,000 non-military vehicles operated by the Ministry of Defence.
Paul Lester, VT’s chief executive, says his company is talking to local authorities and NHS Trusts about leasing vehicle fleets on their behalf.
Any company involved in fleet management or the leasing of specialist vehicles should be looking hard for ways to present themselves to fleet decision makers in the public sector this year.