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Shaun Sadlier's blog: Why company car handovers need to become more comprehensive

Date: 11 October 2018

I've been thinking a lot recently about the handover process for new company cars. Traditionally, this has sometimes been quite a brief affair with the delivery person generally checking that the recipient has an understanding of the basic controls.

However, vehicles have changed substantially in recent years. For example, plug-ins are becoming more popular, and for many drivers, this will be a big change. It is certainly not unusual for a driver to take delivery of a hybrid and have no knowledge of how to charge it, where to find chargers, how to read the dashboard displays or when the drivetrain will switch between electric and petrol or diesel power. Without some basic education, it will be really difficult for them to get the best performance out of their new car. 

Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) present similar challenges and can be especially problematic because they can potentially take a degree of control away from the driver. The first time some employees know that their vehicle has city braking fitted is when the car starts slowing to avoid an obstacle. 

Really, handovers need to reflect the latest technology to ensure that the driver has a full understanding of their new vehicle and its capabilities. There is even an argument for not viewing the handover as a single action but providing a level of technical support around a vehicle, so that drivers can ask questions on an ongoing basis, especially during the first few days and weeks as they become familiarised.

It's certainly an area that we are monitoring at Arval and, as vehicles become more sophisticated, we will reflect that in the information we share with our customers.

Shaun Sadlier is head of consulting at Arval