By Katherine Hundson
Driver negligence, from not checking tyres to misfuelling, is hitting UK employers in the pocket, according to a leading vehicle leasing firm.
Company car misfuelling, windscreen damage, illegal tyres and vehicle downtime are the major cost burdens revealed by the study carried out by Lex AutoLease.
The results highlight the need for firms to work harder to tackle unnecessary costs hitting the bottom line.
The research shows that it costs on average £435 to replace a windscreen and £341 to correct a misfuelling error. In contrast, drivers spotting a window chip or crack early on could save their firm money with the average repair costing only £68.
Tyres too, are a major business headache with almost one in three (29%) vehicles running on illegal tyres that needed to be replaced immediately. This, combined with other general repair and maintenance jobs, means that the average company car is off the road for almost seven days during its rental period.
Steve Osborne, head of fleet management at Lex Autolease, said: “These are common, but very preventable driver error and maintenance issues that can either be eradicated or minimised in terms of the cost burden.
“Company cars are one of the most popular employee benefits, but it’s important that drivers don’t abuse the privilege and shift unnecessary costs onto their employer due to lack of concentration or absent mindedness.
“Firms should encourage drivers to treat their company car like their own property. Some of our customers disclose their repair bills to drivers to demonstrate the importance of looking after their car to ensure it spends more time on the road than in the garage.”