Research by the RAC has revealed 'systematic and dangerous abuse' of breakdown contracts, with companies holding back on basic safety work until components fail and roadside rescue is needed.
Gary Spellins, managing director of RAC Business Services, spoke out after a case of one fleet which called for breakdown assistance 34 times in the first month of its contract for a fleet of 61 vehicles.
He said: 'That is over 600% usage levels. What this immediately suggests is that these companies are replacing basic maintenance with roadside services.
'Fleet managers must ensure that their vehicles get regular service checks.'
Companies are under pressure to ensure drivers are safe on the road as the Government considers proposals from the Work-related Road Safety Task Group to extend health and safety at work legislation to cover company cars and drivers.
The RAC said misuse of the breakdown system was identified as part of monthly monitoring to ensure that responsible fleets, with servicing schedules in place, are getting the best deal.
The survey covered some 65,000 call-outs between January and September this year.