Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Mobile can help with Fleet Damage

According to a recent Fleet News Survey almost a third of fleet managers still fail to check the condition of their end-of-contract vehicles. It found that 28% of fleet managers fail to carry out end-of-contract damage checks before returning them to their supplier. This is despite lease companies becoming increasingly strict on invoicing for all damage above fair wear and tear.

“In previous years members have been more lenient on this issue, mainly because they were happy to share the benefits of a buoyant used car market with their customers, however, with the economy in recession and residual values less certain, they are having to apply these refurbishment charges in order to optimise the disposal value of their vehicles” explained John Lewis, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association BVRLA, which represents the country’s lease providers.

Fair wear and tear
In its fair wear and tear guide, the BVRLA recofmmends that fleet managers carry out a damage appraisal at least 12 weeks before the vehicle is due back. "This will allow you to arrange to have any unacceptable wear and tear rectified," it states. With a zero-tolerance approach from suppliers, fleet managers should have a defleet policy that involves checking vehicles’ condition before they are returned.

So why are many fleet owners failing to conduct these assessments? With the average remedial cost at around £300.00 per vehicle, just advising your drivers to check for damage and get any dent or scratch repaired before the car is returned, could result in large repair bills as they are omitting to do it. In the majority of cases these repair charges are absorbed by the company. The association of car and fleet owners ACFO recommends that all fleets should have a damage check policy.

TBS recommends that all fleet owners should include damage/fair wear and tear as part of their standard vehicle risk assessment procedures, this way any significant chargeable damage will be known about well in advance of the vehicle defleet process. TBS has significant experience in the providing cost effective PDA-based vehicle inspection systems to large fleet customers. This experience can be applied to the inspection of your valuable fleet assets to ensure that there are no defleet surprises. For more information visit

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