Fleet News

Fleet confusion over fair wear

CONFUSION over fair wear and tear costs is gripping the fleet industry amid claims some contract hire firms are slapping charges on customers in a desperate bid to claw back money lost through collapsing residual values. Industry leaders claim unscrupulous firms caught out by collapsing residual values are charging customers for scrapes and scratches which would once have been accepted as fair.

Charging hundreds of pounds to 'repair' damage and then selling the vehicle untouched can make the difference between an overall loss and profit on a contract for some firms. But Mark O'Callaghan, operations director of Associates Fleet Services, attacked 'unscrupulous' companies for damaging the industry's reputation.

He said: 'We are completely fair when it comes to the assessment of damage recharges, but some firms are starting to use recharges as a way of clawing back cash. They look to recharges as a way to offset losses when faced with the cost of bringing vehicles up to scratch before disposal.' Associates says its record is a clear example of fair practice, with just 96 out of 4,000 vehicles needing end of contract charges, averaging £6.06.

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