Outstanding reliability, fast and flexible dealer back-up, and a market-leading warranty – all explain why Buckinghamshire firm Green Retreats puts its faith in Mercedes-Benz vans.
Green Retreats was launched in 2006 to meet a growing demand for rooms in the garden that offer additional lifestyle space year-round. Since then it has designed, created and installed more than 1,000 high-quality garden offices, studios and ‘chill out’ rooms for customers throughout the UK.
The company operates a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles from its base in Gawcott, near Buckingham, all of which were supplied by dealer Hughes of Aylesbury.
Most are 3.5-tonne Sprinter 313 CDIs used by its installation teams – panel vans carry dry materials such as internal panelling, insulation and floor coverings, while dropside-bodied chassis cab variants transport roofing products, steel base frames and construction materials such as gravel and cement.
However, the line-up also includes a trio of 2.8-tonne Vito 109 CDI models which are used as support vehicles, primarily by the company’s electricians.
Green Retreats is proud of the fact that all of its garden rooms and studios are manufactured in the UK, from sustainable materials. And because the company supplies direct, its customers avoid the additional costs of agents or contractors.
Its nationwide coverage means the company’s vehicles clock-up high mileages – the chassis cabs typically cover 70,000 a year, with the panel vans doing up to 50,000.
Commercial Director Roy Wetherall recalls: "We used to run vans by another manufacturer but found that after 18 months or so we were running into reliability issues for which we had no warranty cover.
"We solved the problem six years ago by switching to Mercedes-Benz. Its three-year, unlimited mileage warranty is the best on the market, and underlines the manufacturer’s faith in the quality of its products."
He continues: "We work our vehicles hard, pushing them to the limits, but our Mercedes have always proved exceptionally reliable. They’re also well liked by our staff and come with an impressive complement of safety features, which is important as we’re very conscious of our Duty of Care, not only to our own employees but also to other road users.
"The support we’ve received from Hughes of Aylesbury has always been first class too," affirms Mr Wetherall. "The dealer gives us a very good service – downtime is a huge cost to our business but on the odd occasion that we’ve had a warranty issue they’ve been very quick to react, and have loaned us a vehicle to tide us over."
And he adds: "We get a lot of pressure from other manufacturers who offer fabulous discounts to win our business. But we won’t look beyond Mercedes-Benz because we value too highly the reliability and financial stability it has given us; a Sprinter or Vito may come with a small price premium ‘up front’ but over the life of the vehicle the costs are definitely lower."