I’d almost forgotten about a car we have; it seems that long ago since I heard about it! As a result, it was at the back of my mind, after all I had lots of other things going on. Then last June, one of our drivers had an accident. It wasn’t his fault, nobody got hurt or injured and the car didn’t look too bad.  After I’d seen photos, I thought it would be back on the road in no time – the insurance company had even managed to get a reasonable rental car to keep our driver on the road. 

After this, nothing happened for weeks! I kept calling both the bodyshop, and the insurance company – the only answer I got, was that they were waiting for parts. The weeks rolled on, turned into months, and the rental car kept getting changed for another. The only contact after that, was from the bodyshop, asking if we had any room to store this damaged vehicle – which we don’t – as they were running out of space to store all the vehicles lined up waiting for parts. 

To bring this up to date, I had a phone call from our insurance company recently advising me and our leasing company that the car would more than likely be written off, due to the expense already incurred. They said at some stage, enough is enough and they had to draw a line under it. The costs of car rental, plus the increasing costs of parts required, made it more economical to write this car off – despite it having light damage. I’m not sure what Category it will go in as a written-off vehicle, but someone will pick up a bargain for a car with minimal damage at a knock-down price. I suspect the new owner might not be quite as honest as a regulated bodyshop, and won’t fit genuine parts, but use spurious or used parts to repair it. Now we must negotiate an early termination, and source a new car for our driver.

On a similar subject, a friend of mine who is also a fleet manager. There is a little gang of us fleet managers who have got to know each other well, we are affectionally known as ‘The Magic Circle,’ because all we seem to do is conjure things up out of nowhere, and our bosses expect us to be magicians! Wave our magic wands, and everything is alright, ‘just like that’ as Tommy Cooper used to say. But back to the story, my friend had a recall on an EV, but it couldn’t be fixed due to a Global shortage of ‘Thermal Paste.’ Honestly, this is not made up, apparently it does exist, or should do, if there was any! Please don’t ask what Thermal Paste is, as I haven’t got a clue, but does conjure up all sorts of things in my mind. There I go again, using the word conjure! So, a manufacturer, recalls a car for an inspection knowing if it is found to be faulty, it can’t be fixed, due to a global shortage of Thermal Paste. Maybe I could use my magical skills to make some?

Vans, or a lack of them – I’m pulling my hair out! You order some, the order is accepted, and you’re promised a production date. Next news is, they can’t be built, for one reason or another. It seems some van manufacturers seize every opportunity not to build you a van, in fact make up every excuse going to not build you a van to your colour and specification. I know a lot of van manufacturers are interconnected, so it has become a big problem. If one has a problem, they all have the same problem – it’s the domino effect, and I don’t mean selling pizzas! Though I do think some of the manufacturers would mess up making pizzas – it would be square, when you ordered round, ham would be replaced with chicken, because it’s very close, and a lack of cheese, the basic ingredient, would stop production completely. This is very similar experience to what I’m having ordering vans – they just seem very disorganised. I wonder sometimes if all they are concerned about is making electric vans, with all their time and effort spent on this project, and almost forgetting about their core petrol and diesel van business! It makes you think. 

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