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Servicing reminder for fleets

Fleets often save money by using fuel cards to buy their fuel, adopting fuel-efficient driving habits, or by extending replacement cycle policies on their vehicles. All very good ways of managing and making the most of available budgets.

But wouldn’t it be a shame if the latter of the three resulted in expense as unnecessary as the costs the fleet managers were trying to avoid in the first place?

We’re talking about Warranty Direct’s warning to fleets to be conscious of service, maintenance and repair costs on vehicles retained rather than replaced with new ones, as reported in Fleet News this week.

The advice follows an analysis of  50,000 UK policies belonging to the top ten fleet sellers in 2009, on vehicles aged between three and six years-old. The research found that the vehicles differed quite substantially in incidence rates (the likelihood that a car will require a warranty claim per year) and average repair costs, based on recurring or common problems with the vehicle.

The best performing vehicle for incidence rates was the Vauxhall Astra, at 11 per cent, while the worst was the Vauxhall Vectra with 43 per cent, a rate described by Fleet News as “staggering”.  And, it is.

The most expensive vehicle to repair was a Vauxhall Corsa, at £346 and the least expensive was the Ford Fiesta, with an average bill of £187.

So ….are firms making a false economy when setting extended replacement cycle policies and not keeping a close watch on service, maintenance and repair costs?

Duncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct managing director, said: “As firms look to shave money from their fleet operations, knowing which vehicles are likely to deliver reliability and are quick and cheap to repair is vital. The last thing you want is your cars sidelined with mechanical problems especially while fleet cars are being kept on the books for longer.”

Here at businessfuelcards.co.uk we are a company in the business of saving its customers money, so we agree wholeheartedly. A fleet manager’s job is a complex one, with so many different cost savings to consider, but sometimes false economies lurk in the most unlikely places.

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