Topic: Damage charges for leased, owned and rental vehicles
- Fleet operators felt that rental companies are more lenient about damage than leasing companies.
- Measures to reduce end-of-contract damage charges from leasing companies include holding a ‘de-hire clinic’ with drivers to assess vehicles for damage before they are returned, setting aside an amount per month to cover potential charges, using a consultancy to challenge charges and having a damage waiver.
- Some fleets recharge drivers for damage. For example, if it is beyond a certain figure. However, “getting money from the driver is massive challenge”, according to one fleet manager. Particularly if HR do no offer enough support.
- Drivers are issued with the BVRLA guide to fair wear and tear but don’t necessarily pay enough attention to it.
- Pool car damage can be an issue.
- Some fleets also assess damage prior to the car going to the leasing company and paying for smart repairs which are cheaper than the estimated re-charge.
- One fleet has a profit share agreement with its leasing company: if a car exceeds the target residual value at auction, the additional amount is shared. This encourages the right behaviour, especially if it is communicated to staff.
- Fleets that own vehicles are considering a profit share with staff, whereby if a vehicle exceeds the target residual value, it shares the return with the driver as an incentive for looking after the vehicle.
- Fleets drive down re-charges simply by communicating to staff the amount charged to the company. Many drivers did not understand that their company was being hit with a big bill because they weren’t looking after the car properly.