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Fleets overpaying millions on inflated highways repair bills

The plight of fleet operators and drivers paying excessive highways repair bills has come under focus in a speech by the the Earl of Lytton in the House of Lords as new research suggests fleets have overpaid millions for incorrect invoices.


CMA says that fleets contesting excessive bills from Highways England contractors can achieve five-figure savings.

In his speech, the Earl of Lytton called for better public administration and corporate social responsibility as he said he welcomed the attention being given to the question of spurious personal injury claims in motor accidents, adding: “But Highways England’s own contractors are apparently not averse to submitting inflated ‘green claims’, as they are known, for highway infrastructure damage caused during motor accidents. These increase insurance costs, too, and appear to be out with the contractual arrangements with Highways England, and yet nothing seems to be done about them.”

His comments have been welcomed by Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA), which has been campaigning for years now against excessive claims for infrastructure damage, saying that five-figure savings can be made by fleets investigating overcharging from Highways England contractors.

In fact, CMA estimates that drivers, fleet operators and insurers have paid at least £10m too much over the last three years in overstated invoices.

CMA managing director Philip Swift, a former police detective, said: “Evidence in our possession indicates that many drivers, fleet operators and insurers have had claims and facts misrepresented to them. Highways England has so far failed to put a stop to this practice, seemingly content to simply accept what their contractors present.

“Hopefully recent managerial changes will prompt a change in approach. When only basic investigations so frequently result in these claims being halved or dismissed entirely, something is clearly very wrong. These incisive comments by the Earl of Lytton can only help to raise awareness of the issue.”

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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.