But fleet customers pay for the cost of severe damage, such as scratches that expose bare metal. The vehicle survey conducted by the RAC found that out of 494 inspections the average repair costs was £332 per vehicle. The findings come after Interleasing revealed that vehicle wear and tear was costing fleets more than £200 million every year.
Tony Noakes, head of RAC inspection services, said the figures spoke volumes about how employees treated their company cars. He said: 'We find the main causes of unreasonable wear and tear in fleets are a lack of regular checks leading to faults and damage going undetected.' He added that drivers not taking responsibility for maintenance and servicing also caused problems.
Fleet managers are being urged to limit the damage by running a programme of 'in-life' inspections to identify damage and encourage drivers to look after their vehicles, an initiative that has been welcomed by leading industry figures. Adrian Baldwin, Interleasing's marketing and communications manager, said fleet managers needed to take more of an interest in their cars. 'Vehicles come back in varying conditions and it is often the case they never see the car before the end of its contract and have no idea what kind of condition the cars are in,' he said.