EVEN tiny companies can save money by putting their vehicle fleet in the hands of a professional, a St Neots expert claims.

Firms can save between 10 and 20 per cent on buying vehicles, up to 50 per cent - though more typically 20-30 per cent - during their useful life and a further five or 10 per cent when they get rid of them.

"There are those three distinct areas," said Chris Whiteman, who runs Total Automotive Solutions from Deer Park. "Our expertise and our contact base in the automotive sector keeps us abreast of the opportunities available for clients.

"In most companies, whoever looks after the fleet usually has another role, so they don't necessarily look at the bigger picture. We know who to talk to and we deal directly with those UK manufacturers who want SME business.

"There are lots of schemes out there that mean companies can save money and, when it comes to disposal, we can find the best deals for managing those vehicles. It's like an outsourced fleet-management function," he told The Hunts Post.

"We do it day in and day out, whereas [those who look after firms' fleets] have to get out and do whatever they do for the company."

Mr Whiteman said Total Automotive Solutions worked with fleets of 400 vehicles and with companies that have just three or four.

"Most businesses, be they one-man-bands through to larger corporate fleets, don't actually realise that there are significant savings to be had purely because they are business vehicle operators.

"Equally, throughout the life of the vehicle, when it comes to maintenance, there are opportunities to reduce costs, and finally when it comes to disposing of fleet there are better ways to get rid of cars and vans that can maximise return on asset by using the right channels and doing it at the right times."

Total Automotive Solutions grew out of a simple independent luxury car sourcing business and developed to support not only retail buyers but business and trade customers, becoming a sourcing agent for all makes and models of car and van.

The firm is also involved in sales, insurance finance and leasing.

INFORMATION: Total Automotive Solutions, Unit 8 Hogsden Leys, Deer Park, St Neots PE19 6AD: telephone: 0844 414 5164: e-mail info@totalautomotivesolutions.co.uk