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REMARKETING: A case of damage limitation

Date: 29 January 2015   |   Author:


What fleets can do

Fleets can utilise a standard checklist for drivers to complete prior to handing back vehicles to act as a reminder and ensure that all items - such as spare keys, parcel shelves, etc. - are returned and that the vehicle is roadworthy (e.g. checking windscreens and tyres to ensure the vehicles remain road legal).

Fleets can also undertake vehicle repairs through their accident management provider prior to a vehicle's return to make sure they avoid end-of-contract fees. However, this could impact on insurance costs, which needs to be balanced against the savings generated from avoiding charges.

Henstock says: "Damage is a fact of life for even the most careful drivers, so it is important to have the procedures in place that identify any issues and then deal with them sooner rather than later.

"It is a better strategy to ensure damage is reported early and repaired quickly rather than waiting for the end of contract and repairing it then.  Damage to trim and bodywork will generally worsen if not dealt with swiftly, leading to bigger bills and more delays at remarketing time."

BCA advises mid-term inspections as a management control to pick up potential damage, which can then
be rectified.

Hartley says: "There is always scope for improvement, and fleets need to consider the pros and cons of recharging drivers for the damage incurred on vehicles when defining their car fleet policy.

"Although this practice is unpopular, it places a greater onus on drivers to ensure that they look after their fleet vehicles."

Mike Cooke, Fleet Europe's fleet operations manager, suggests those businesses that do need to carry out repairs should find commercial repairers that deal specifically with fleets because they can save time and money compared with private repairers.

Private repairers need to ensure profits per job, and focus around each vehicle as an individual project. For fleets, this approach is costly and does not reflect or deliver the level of service required. Cooke believes fleets can save up to 70% on end-of-contract damage costs by going with a commercial repairer approach.

In terms of financial savings, refurbishing rather than replacing a damaged alloy wheel can also avoid unnecessary expenditure.