Defra Group Fleet Services (DGFS) has renewed its multi-million-pound annual Servicing, Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (SIMAR) contract with Rivus, following a competitive tender process. The agreement, which covers approximately 1,500 commercial vehicles used by the Environment Agency (EA), Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Natural England, will be effective for a 3-year period from 1st May 2023, with options to extend until 2029.

Rivus was initially contracted by DGFS in 2016 to manage the combined SIMAR contract for Plant assets and Commercial vehicles. In early 2022, DGFS underwent a lengthy and competitive procurement exercise to re-tender into two separate contracts, splitting out Plant and Commercial vehicles.

The Rivus submission was praised for demonstrating its nationwide servicing capability and data-driven tools that help reduce vehicle off-road times and keep critical vehicles moving. The proposal also supported Defra’s wider digitalisation and Net Zero fleet ambitions.

Its network of 78 independently owned garages capable of servicing complex LCV and HGV fleets, EV ready technicians and Rivus Mobile servicing were all key to re-securing the DEFRA contract. In addition, Rivus Insights and Rivus Vehicle Check App (VCA) will help deliver tangible fleet operational efficiencies and reductions in fleet disruption for DEFRA. Using the VCA will help DEFRA achieve its goal of Earned Recognition status for its HGV fleet, as Rivus are recognised as an Approved IT Supplier for Earned Recognition by the DVSA.

Lara Bailey, Strategic Relationship Manager at Rivus, said: “We are so excited to have re-secured the new commercial fleet contract with Defra. With such a varied and largely rural-based fleet, including HGVs and LCVs across all manufacturers, we’re proud to offer a nationwide garage network as well as Rivus Mobile, where we can carry out SMR and MOTs on-site.

“The Vehicle Check App, initially for HGVs, enables streamlining of servicing, advanced notice of defects and means that the workshop can plan part ordering and allocate correct time for servicing. This significantly reduces vehicle off road time, as well as ensures HGV fleet operators are completing their legally required vehicle safety checks.”

Another major factor in selecting Rivus was the specialist’s ability to support Defra in meeting the Government’s Fleet Commitment target for all vehicles under 3.5t to be zero emitting (at tailpipe) by December 2027. Lara Bailey continues “Rivus is in a prime position to support this transition with our Electric Vehicle as A Service offering and Alternative Fuel strategy, all of which help us provide unbiased, data-driven consultancy to our customers.”

Throughout January to April 2023, detailed implementation planning has been taking place, with the aim of launching the new contracts with Rivus for commercial vehicles and Briggs

Equipment for Plant assets from May 2023.

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