The problem arises from the way certain software stores dates, and in particular systems which record only the last two digits of the year. This means that in the year 2000 these systems will start inserting dates of 1900, because the identifying digits are 00.
The solution is simply to store software in a four-digit field, but while many fleet management software systems already do this, IT systems for accounting and personnel and among fleet service companies are lagging behind, according to Connell.
'We are in the frustrating position of having to 'decomply' quite a lot of software because the systems with which our own often interface are not yet up to speed for the millennium,' he said. 'Some parts of the fleet industry are leaving their millennium compliance arrangements until very late in the day. The price of not getting compliance right could be chaos.'