How to replace hurricane-damaged vehicles
In the wake of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, the market may see an influx of damaged vehicles needing to be replaced. Many of those are fleet vehicles, which means it's probably up to you to figure out how to replace them and fast!
LeasePlan has been in contact with the affected dealerships to check on the status of new vehicles that were waiting to be delivered. Many of the dealerships we work with had little damage. But some were hit hard with hundreds of vehicles that are total losses.
In this scenario, we're talking about factory-ordered vehicles. Many manufacturers are actively providing updates on vehicles that can be pulled from other areas to fill these orders.
But what if you have vehicles already on the road that were destroyed? Factory ordering is not a viable option because you need the vehicles quickly. And order-to-delivery can take 12 weeks or more.
Here's what we recommend:
- Assess the damage – First you need to determine whether the vehicle needs to be replaced. You should contact LeasePlan and arrange to have the vehicle inspected. If water gets into the passenger compartment of a vehicle, we recommend replacing it.
- Call LeasePlan – Whether it's putting a driver into a rental vehicle temporarily, and/or locating a new vehicle for them, we can help you figure out what to do next.
- Use manufacturer pools (if applicable) – These vehicles, set aside for quick fulfillment, are built and ready for reassignment. This should be the first place you look for replacement vehicles because it's typically the fastest and easiest way to get a new vehicle, in as little as 2-4 weeks.
- Consider upfitter pools (if applicable) – LeasePlan is also working with our upfit partners to assess available inventory at their facilities to expedite replacement vehicles for our clients. This pool of vehicles is awaiting sale and upfit and, in most cases, you can get factory order pricing. It takes an average of 4-6 weeks to get one of these vehicles, about 6 weeks less than a factory order.
- Think about manufacturer port chassis pools – If you need a bigger class of vehicle, General Motors has cab-over chassis available at port locations for immediate reassignment. These are ordered through a fleet management company as factory units. Isuzu also has cab-over pool units at port locations with stock purchase pricing through a dealer.
- If all else fails, use out-of-stock – Out-of-stock vehicles come from a local dealer's inventory. This option should be used only as a last resort. It may cost you extra money, limit customization choices and, in the case of a hurricane, may not be an option at all. As stated earlier, some of the dealerships we work with lost hundreds of vehicles on their lot.
There are many aspects to consider when trying to replace a vehicle quickly. For a complete overview, refer to our alternatives to factory ordering tip sheet.
If you need any assistance along the way, please feel free to reach out us.