A sample of just 30,000 vehicles carried out among Lex Vehicle Leasing's 98,000-vehicle fleet showed that smashed glass, scratches and dents and broken mirrors, all put down to vandalism, cost £119,770, which would all go to push up fleet insurance costs or hit the bottom line of self-insured fleets.
The greatest incidence of damage is around the highest population areas. In Greater London there were 42 glass damage cases so far this year at the time of the survey, with an average cost of £92.99. The same area had the highest incidence of scratches and dents, with 34 cases costing an average £207.91.
Although average invoice values listed by Lex Vehicle Leasing are between £100 and £200, the RAC estimates the costs to fleets could actually be much greater. So far this year, the RAC has been called out to 19,500 incidents which involved vandalism. It estimates the average cost to fleets is £630 per incident. Malicious damage, such as scratches to bodywork, can cost £480. For cases involving broken glass and theft of a radio, the cost can be £635.
'If a vandal drags a key or sharp object down the side of one of your company cars, prepare to pay the price,' the RAC spokesman warned.
A typical upper medium saloon can cost more than £1,000 to repair, while an off-road vehicle could cost a fleet £1,200. Even a smashed
window and stolen stereo could set a fleet back £1,000.
A spokesman said: 'Park in an area which is as busy as possible, even a supermarket where you may have to pay, where there are CCTV cameras. There may be risk of damage from careless parkers, but you have to take your choice.
'Don't park in areas where there is a lot of broken glass, or a burnt out car, because you can almost guarantee that when you come back to your car, there will be a nice surprise waiting.'