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28% of fleet drivers ignore dashboard warning lights

Key findings of the survey include

  • 58% see car servicing as their employer’s responsibility
  • 28% of drivers ignore dashboard warning lights
  • Only 52% top up water coolants if they drive a company car
  • Only 66% check their tyre pressures and inflate if necessary.

In response, Venson is warning fleets about the possible ramifications for vehicle in-life and end-of-contract costs.

Gil Kelly, operations director at Venson, said: “Only 42% of the company car drivers we surveyed see maintenance as their responsibility, which could see fleet managers facing hefty charges at the end of the vehicle’s lease. This could be avoided if fleet managers, with the support of their fleet provider, communicate about service and maintenance responsibilities, not only at the time of handing over the keys of the car to an employee, but throughout the term of the lease to reduce wear and tear costs. 

“In addition, by encouraging regular maintenance checks, businesses can identify issues early. This should include pre-collection inspections, prior to the end of a contract, to allow any damage to be identified and rectified. Fleet managers could also consider implementing a policy whereby company car drivers are fined as a result of issues not being reported, and result in unnecessary costs being incurred by the business for persistent offenders. 

“We also advise firms to ensure their fleet provider has provided a clearly defined end of contract damage process so it is transparent what is acceptable. There should also be room for a firm to challenge their fleet provider about the cost breakdown, to ensure there are no hidden charges. By going into a lease with a clear understanding of the procedures regarding damage and making them clear to their drivers, businesses can stay on top of damage and/or maintenance issues, as they happen.”

 

Venson's top tips to reduce wear and tear charges: 

  • Use daily/weekly/monthly (depending upon vehicle usage) vehicle checks to spot issues early,
  • Consider implementing a fleet policy that recharges fees back to drivers if incidents aren’t reported
  • Ensure your fleet provider has a clearly defined end of contract damage process to avoid hidden charges
  • Regularly communicate and educate drivers on what needs reporting to the fleet team
  • Make sure you have a pre-collection inspection prior to the end of your contract to allow any issues to be addressed or claimed through insurance
  • Use driver training and an ongoing education program to ensure drivers are driving safely which in turn will reduce accidental damage.
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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.