The award-winning XC40 was chosen for its range of safety features, as well as its high-riding nature and ground clearance. The Volvo XC40's build quality and five-star safety rating, strong residual values, and the need for fewer modifications – aiding eventual resale – were other draws.
Highways England's purchase of the XC40s came after it recently renewed its agreement with Volvo Car UK as part of the manufacturer's status as a supplier on the Crown Commercial Services vehicle purchase framework agreement.
"Keeping our roads safe, well maintained and providing a better driving experience for road users are important aspects of the day-to-day operation of our roads – contributing to our key imperatives of safety, customer service, and delivery," said Nick Harris, the Executive Director of Operations at Highways England.
"It is important that vehicles we use are cost-effective, reliable and versatile – the Volvo XC40 will be a valuable addition to our fleet."
Volvo Car UK Special Vehicles division, which secured the contract, has over 50 years' experience developing purpose-built vehicles for customers and has worked with Volvo’s preferred vehicle installation and conversion partner, Jack Hodson Limited, to make the necessary changes to the XC40 fleet for Highways England. The changes include adding a rear bulk-head to increase storage capacity, as well as an amber light bar and livery.
The modified cars also have 'run-lock technology' fitted, which allows inspectors to leave the engine running with the amber lights flashing while the vehicle is locked.
The exceptional value of the Volvo XC40 service and maintenance package also convinced Highways England that its aftersales needs could be met across its entire geographical network, while its efficiency means it meets the government agency’s emissions targets.
"Already popular with commercial fleets across the country, the XC40 can now offer its huge array of benefits to government agency employees," said Matt Galvin, Sales Director, Volvo Car UK. "Highways England works diligently to keep motorists on the move and we are proud that this fleet of XC40s will keep its inspectors mobile as they tackle tough work in often challenging conditions."