Vehicle manufacturers are refusing to honour pledges it made to fleets about discounts, according to the AFP (Association of Fleet Professionals).

It claims that the industry is being hit by substantial rollbacks on agreed price discounts, damaging the relationships between fleets and manufacturers. The AFP say that some fleet businesses are reporting price increases on more than 80% of the models on their choice lists over the last year, with some as much as £10,000.

“The subject of very long lead times on new vehicles has been widely discussed in the fleet sector”, said Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP. “What has received less attention are the price increases that are also occurring.”

“Clearly, we are living through a time when there is substantial upwards pressure on prices generally and we understand the many reasons why this is happening, but some manufacturers are leaving fleets essentially unsupported, ignoring existing discount agreements and refusing to honour price protection pledges,” said Hollick.

“Experienced fleet managers are telling us they’ve never seen prices move up so quickly, in many cases faster than they can easily track in order to keep their choice lists up to date.”

A common experience for fleets, Hollick says, is that vehicles are taking 9-12 months to be delivered after an order is made, by which time the price has risen significantly – that is if the delivery has not been cancelled by the manufacturer.

“We’d like to see pricing held for agreed periods of time by manufacturers and, once an order is placed, for that price to be honoured,” said Hollick.

“This seems the least that should be done in order to help preserve existing connections with fleets.”