A Fleet News survey, carried out in conjunction with paintless dent removal pioneer Dent Wizard, has revealed that 80% of companies which own their fleets achieve less than CAP clean price at disposal time.
The research revealed that 44% of fleet operators believe a vehicle's residual value could increase by up to 10% through removing dents and scratches. A further 6.75% felt it would be increase residual value by more than 20%.
But 82% of the 126 fleet managers interviewed had not heard of paintless dent removal. Of the 23 firms that knew about 'smart' repair systems, 96% said it was an extremely effective form of body repair.
Tony Williams, European operations director of Dent Wizard, said: 'On this evidence, fleet operators are losing around £130 million a year on the residual value of their vehicles and recharges and that is a conservative estimate.
'The tragedy is that the losses are totally unnecessary and easily avoidable. It is truly amazing that fleet operators seem largely to agree on the benefits of paintless dent removal in particular and vehicle refurbishment in general, yet are failing to act on them.'
While 80% of respondents to the survey stated they would welcome dent removal on their vehicles, a parallel survey of dealerships in Fleet News' sister publication Automotive Management revealed only 43% of dealerships offer such a service, even though more than 90% use paintless dent removal on their own used car stock.
Williams said: 'This survey shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in this country in convincing fleet operators to insist on smart repairs for their vehicles, whether these are owned or leased from a contract hire company.'