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Graham Hurdle blog: 8 September - Bump! There goes your company's reputation!

Date: 08 September 2015

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

Company bosses are willing to spend more than £100 a time on car hire in order to improve their professional image when attending a business meeting, according to research by RAC Business.

The survey, carried out among 1,000 small businesses, found that more than half of bosses (52%) have temporarily upgraded their vehicle for an important event.

It just goes to show that life is all about first impressions, and any employee visiting a customer, prospect or event is not just representing themselves but their entire company and brand.

How they dress, the quality of any information or materials they take, and the appearance and condition of their vehicle are all part of this. Of course, this is one of the reasons the company car market exists.

As well as a car being a perk of the job, its more vital role is to ensure that field-based staff arrive at their destinations reliably and in a modern, clean vehicle that reflects well on the company - not an old rust bucket that broke down on the way, is covered in dents and would be better off in the scrap yard than the visitors' parking bays.

Yet with such importance placed on the quality of the car you turn up in, all of this can be ruined with a few small bumps. What impression does an executive car give if it's got a large scrape down the side, a smashed mirror or a damaged bumper?

It's the equivalent of someone sitting in a meeting in a designer suit with gravy down their shirt, dirty shoes or a rip in their trousers. It completely wrecks the image.

For a small investment, driver training can go a long way to resolve this. Not just by educating drivers of techniques to reduce accidents, including small knocks and scrapes. But to also instil a sense of pride in all at-work drivers that their vehicle must be respected, cared for and that by driving with greater awareness and vigilance will help to ensure their vehicle remains damage free.

Thanks to the growth of online driver training courses like the ones we provide, a company can reduce the risk of damage to vehicles for no more than £30 per employee per year. 

Rather than hire a new, undamaged car for £100 for an important meeting, company bosses could protect their investment in three other cars by properly training the drivers entrusted with these expensive company assets.

The good news is that the level of investment in driver training is growing quite rapidly, clearly denoting the fact that companies are seeing the benefits.

Its also a lot less hassle and expense to ensure the cars you have on your fleet remain damage free and in great condition, than it is to process accident claims and hire a different car when you need to be somewhere important.