Majority of drivers unaware of company car maintenance responsibilities – survey

26 July 2015

Most company car drivers think it is their employer’s responsibility to service vehicles, which could be increasing fleet management costs, according to a study.

A survey by Venson Automotive Solutions found 58 per cent of company car drivers think it is their employer’s responsibility to get the car serviced at the appropriate times, even though the employee is accountable.

The company said fleet managers should ensure drivers know exactly what needs reporting and where responsibilities lie, in order to stay in control of their costs.

Around 52 per cent of company car drivers top up water coolants, with 53 per cent checking oil levels. Two thirds check their tyre pressures, but almost one in three ignore dashboard warning lights.

Gil Kelly, operations director at Venson, said only 42 per cent of the company car drivers it surveyed saw maintenance as their responsibility, which could create charges for fleet managers at the end of the vehicle’s lease.

“This could be avoided if fleet managers, with the support of their fleet provider, communicate about service and maintenance responsibilities, not only at the time of handing over the keys of the car to an employee, but throughout the term of the lease to reduce wear and tear costs,” he said.

Kelly also suggested fleet managers could consider fining company car drivers for not reporting issues which resulted in unnecessary costs being incurred.

“We also advise firms to ensure their fleet provider has provided a clearly defined end of contract damage process so it is transparent what is acceptable,” he said.

Venson also recommends regular vehicle checks to spot issues early, pre-collection inspections before the end of a contract, and having a driver training and education programme to make sure employees are driving safely.

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