Fleet News

Insight: Damage recharge policies

We’ve spoken to several different fleet managers to find out why their chosen policy best suits their needs and – when appropriate – how it was received by employees

No recharge policy in place

Logistics giant DHL currently absorbs all the costs of vehicle damage caused by its staff itself.

DHL’s Express division, which ships more packages than any other delivery firm each year, operates a fleet of 2,500 vehicles nationwide.

The company has always self-insured which means that it pays for damage sustained to its fleet itself and this forms part of a wider group policy.

But Richard Crook, director of fleet at DHL International, said that DHL reviews its stance sporadically.

He says: “Our self-insurance stance works for us – and we’ve always taken the decision not to pass on any costs to our employees.

“It not part of this organisation’s ethos to hand out payment penalties to staff.

“That’s not to say that we don’t take a tough stance over damage to the vehicles and monitor very closely how employees are treating them and work with them to ensure that they understand the importance of this.

“But when you’ve got a fleet of 2,500 vehicles, damage is always going to be an unavoidable fact of life.”

Crook adds that a “great amount” of money is spent each year on repairing damage but he has no plans to change or amend this policy in the near future.

Proportion of excess charged

Housing provider Longhurst Group has witnessed a reduction in damage to cars as a direct result of introducing its damage recharge policy two years ago.

The group, which is headquartered in the Lincolnshire town of Boston, looks after more than 17,800 homes across the Midlands and East of England.

Car fleet manager Paula Maxwell made it a priority to implement the policy after being appointed in April 2011.

The company, which has 158 cars including Nissan Qashqais, Honda Civics, Audi A3s and BMW 1 Series models leased from Lex Autolease, now asks employees to pay “a proportion” of the excess on their insurance policy following the first own-fault accident.

Maxwell says: “Overall, I would say that the policy has been well received by employees here – we explained clearly to them what was going to happen at the start and then phased it in.

“And I also think that it has encouraged some of those employees with a company car to look after their vehicles a little better generally.”

Prior to introducing it, Longhurst Group paid the insurance policy excess out of its own cash reserves whenever a vehicle was damaged.

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