Fleets warned about expensive repairs for two-tone alloy wheels
Contract hire company, Activa Contracts, part of the Arnold Clark Group, says the finish is being offered by at least a dozen different manufacturers, either as an option or as standard fitment.
Polished or diamond-cut surfaces are machined to a high-gloss finish and then lacquered, rather than being painted. If the wheel is kerbed and the lacquer is damaged, water getting underneath the lacquer quickly causes corrosion which leaves white marks on the surface of the wheel.
Repairing the damage typically involves stripping the whole surface back to the metal and re-machining it to the standard finish, which costs around £100 per wheel. Traditional alloy wheels can be repaired and re-painted, which costs between £40-£45.
Martin Hughes, remarketing manager at Activa Contracts, said: “It is an avoidable cost for fleets. We are recommending that our customers think carefully before specifying cars that are fitted with ‘polished’ or ‘two-tone’ alloy wheels and that they discourage the fitment of these where they are available as optional extras.”
“Alloy wheel damage is one of the most common recharge items incurred by fleets along with missing spare keys and unrepaired chips in windscreens and with a little forethought these “hidden” costs can be eliminated or at least kept to a minimum. We work closely with our customers to keep their end-of-contract damage charges in check and have been very successful in developing fleet policies that have delivered major savings.”