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The three-year/60,000-mile contract hire lease, which for decades was the fleet industry standard, is becoming less significant as companies look for greater flexibility, according to Meridian Vehicle Solutions.

Phil Jerome, managing director, said: “There are several factors behind the slow death of three years/60,000. One is that, in the aftermath of the credit crunch and with a realisation that modern cars could take higher mileages, many fleets moved to a four-year model.

“Another is that fleets and their contract hire suppliers have simply become much better at working out which cycle works best for which customer based on a range of variables.

“Also, due to general conditions in the new car market, many of the major car manufacturers are willing and able to offer deals based on shorter term leasing cycles.”

The result, Jerome said, was a leasing market that had become much more adaptable to genuine customers’ needs with a wider range of leasing provision.

“You don’t have to look back too many years to find a time when the choice was basically between a three-year lease and daily rental. Now that is no longer the case.

“We have gradually shifted into a more sophisticated model where a wider range of suppliers have created a wider range of provision, offering different lengths of hires and leases across a wider range of vehicles. All of this can only be good for fleets.