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Rental firms urged to include roadside assistance and first aid kits for all vehicles

The call comes from vGroup International, a Milton Keynes-based firm that provides around 300,000 of the packs a year to fleets via contract hire and leasing companies, which believes many rental organisations are potentially falling foul of their duty of care responsibilities by failing to follow suit.

Martyn Nash, chairman of vGroup International, says fleets typically expect a rental vehicle to be a like-for-like temporary replacement for a leased vehicle. That, he says, should also include key accessories, to protect the employee.

He commented: “Many contract hire and leasing companies equip their vehicles with kits comprising roadside assistance and motoring first aid essentials because that is what their corporate customers expect as part of their duty of care compliance. The most recent Department for Transport casualty statistics highlight that there are five road deaths every day and every year 22,800 people are seriously injured and almost 170,000 people slightly injured, costing £16.3 billion. Duty of care is vital in every work place scenario.

“Furthermore, as anyone who has driven a rental car abroad will know there are frequently such kits and equipment in vehicles.”

The call is being supported by the British Healthcare Trades Association. Director general Tracey Lloyd said: “If a suitable first-aid kit was carried as standard on all vehicles, minor injuries at the roadside could be easily self-treated or used by trained first aiders (e.g. police, fire service personnel, nurses and doctors).”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.