Fleet News

Build training into car acquisition costs, RAC tells fleets

FLEET operators should budget for driver training in the cost of a new vehicle, according to a leading provider of risk management services. Gary Spellins, managing director of RAC Business Services, said fleets which took the 'leap of faith' would reap the benefits of a service which would cut accident rates and lead to cost savings.

Using the RAC's own fleet as an example, he told an audience of RAC Business Service customers that a 7% reduction in accidents was needed each year to cover the cost of driver training. Speaking at a PlanIT RAC conference he said: 'As a business we were amazed at the dramatic impact managing our risk more effectively could have directly on the bottom line.' Spellins told delegates that after running the fleet data through the RAC's Prophet risk management software, it revealed that more than 80% of the company's 1,820 vans would be involved in an accident in a given year, at an average cost of nearly £600.

He added: 'There is so much more we can all gain. Insurance companies could be far more ambitious in identifying high-risk fleets and selecting appropriate interventions to drive down claims cost. Manufacturers have made great advances in vehicle safety, but the accident figures show that the only constant is the driver. The leap of faith required in including some form of driver safety training as part of the purchase price of a new vehicle is the logical next step, with the early adopters being the principal winners.'

Peter Hollinshead, head of purchasing at HSBC Vehicle Finance, told Fleet NewsNet: 'Risk management should be flagged up and is a priority for many of the fleet managers we deal with. Those who recognise the problem are looking for solutions and we want to work with the RAC to come up with suitable packages.'

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