Fleet downtime up for 92% of BVRLA members

Declining parts availability has led to increases in replacement prices and off-road time for fleets, according to BVRLA’s half-year Industry Outlook Survey.

The survey found that 92% of BVRLA respondents reported an increase in vehicle downtime.

In response, Venson Automotive Solutions is urging fleet managers to address driver bad habits which commonly cause unnecessary damage.

Some of the most popular driving habits which cause avoidable damage include using gears to slow down, especially at higher speed instead of braking, heavy acceleration on a cold engine or in high gears, heavy braking and leaving a foot resting on the clutch. Overloading the vehicle, hitting potholes or speed bumps at speed or ignoring dashboard warning lights can also lead to costly damage.

Simon Staton, director of client management at Venson, said: “We are probably all guilty of some laziness or bad habits behind the wheel from time to time. Most of us will be entirely unaware that we are damaging our car when we leave a hand resting on the gear stick after changing gear, or shift into reverse while still moving forward, for example. With budgets already stretched, the last thing fleet managers need is to be paying for avoidable vehicle repairs or end of lease wear-and-tear charges caused by driver induced damage.”

“We would encourage fleet managers to ensure that their drivers receive regular refresher training as well as reminders about maintenance requirements and what faults must be reported. To add further budget protection, fleet managers could also consider implementing a fleet policy that recharges damage repair fees back to repeat offenders if issues are not reported when they happen.”