Avoidable car faults are causing longer periods of downtime for fleets according to RAC’s latest Vehicle Fault Analysis data.

While the number of breakdowns caused by fleet driver error is falling, the severity of these faults are causing more downtime, the organisation said.

Driver-induced faults prompted almost 100,000 call-outs, with figures showing that fleet drivers caused at least 14,818 working days of downtime for the top five business driver-induced faults in 2009.

The top three reasons for a call-out were wheel-related, including punctures, general tyre faults and lack of replacement tyres. This is followed by misfuelling, running out of fuel and flat batteries caused by internal or external lights being left on.

Sean Connolly, repair improvement manager at RAC said: “Despite fleets fitting clever technology such as tyre pressure and battery management monitoring systems and electrical cut-off devices, our data on fleet customer call-outs shows 30% of all fleet breakdowns are due to potentially avoidable faults.

“This results in fleet downtime, as well as extra costs for replacement or hire cars, missed appointments and potentially, business interruption. There can be no doubt that the financial impact of losing fleet vehicles to businesses can be significant.”

Follow BusinessCar on TWITTER