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Company car drivers get more devious over vehicle damage

The number of employees not reporting minor damage has nearly doubled in the last three years, new research from Venson Automotive Solutions finds.

The latest research was carried out among 200 company car drivers in December 2018 and found that one in three (33%) company car drivers would not report minor damage to their employer – compared to 17.5% in 2015.

However, the analysis indicates that drivers are very slightly more involved today than they were three years ago in keeping their car in good running condition; 57% of company car drivers said they would make a concerted effort to top up water coolants, compared with 54% in 2015. And 24% said they are likely to ignore dashboard warning lights, down from 28% in 2015.

Worryingly, this year’s survey results show that more than half of employees (57% in 2018, 58% in 2015) still mistakenly believe their employer is responsible for servicing their company car.

Simon Staton, client management director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “It is worrying to see the high proportion of company car drivers who do not think car maintenance is their responsibility. Not only is this putting them at risk of the car breaking down, or causing a serious incident, it also creates potentially high repair costs for their employer.

“Implementing a few simple changes could significantly reduce wear and tear costs to the business. For example, regular maintenance checks by employees or the business can help identify issues early and avoid things getting worse and causing further damage.

“In relation to end of contract damages, it is important for fleet operators to ensure they fully understand the contract they have with their fleet provider, so that they can avoid unnecessary costs at the end of the vehicle’s contract term.”
Venson’s Top Tips to Reduce Wear and Tear Charges:

To avoid hidden charges ensure you understand your provider’s end of contract damage process.

Consider implementing a fleet policy that recharges fees back to drivers if damage isn’t reported or routine inspections are not carried out.

Implement  a policy of drivers carrying out regular vehicle checks to help spot issues early – daily/weekly/monthly, depending upon vehicle use.

Regularly communicate and educate drivers on what needs reporting to the fleet team.

Use driver training and an ongoing education program to ensure drivers are driving safely which in turn will reduce accident damage.

Make sure you have a pre-collection inspection prior to the end of the vehicle’s contract to allow any issues to be addressed or claimed through insurance.


Written by 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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