Fleet News

Revenue pioneers fleet safety plan

A PIONEERING fleet has introduced one of the country's biggest company car safety initiatives which will include detailed checks of employees' vehicles every fortnight. The Inland Revenue is introducing the ground-breaking vehicle checks for its 900-strong pool car fleet and is also making the service available to its 2,100 company car drivers.

Interim safety inspections of the pool fleet in particular are vital since vehicles are used by numerous employees, often for a series of short journeys on the same day with different drivers.

Inland Revenue pool cars are located at 260 offices across the UK and Kwik-Fit Fleet has been brought in to carry out the checks.

The move ensures that the Inland Revenue is meeting its duty of care to drivers and is already being examined by other Government fleets, which could expand the scheme to tens of thousands of company cars.

Kwik-Fit Fleet will use its mobile vehicle servicing and maintenance division, Fleet Service Plus, and work with ARVAL PHH, the Inland Revenue's fleet management supplier.

Checks will take 20 minutes per car, covering all fluid levels, lights, instruments, controls, tyres and engines.

Inland Revenue commercial operations director Stan Ayling said: 'The mobile mechanic will call at our offices to undertake fortnightly safety checks and will provide a report of the checks made which both he and the Inland Revenue officer present will sign.

'Introduction of the new national service ensures that uniform checks are carried out on all pool cars nationwide. From a health and safety point of view it is essential that both the transport department and staff at all offices are comfortable that the pool cars are in first-class condition.'

More rigorous checks will also be carried out between services, in response to the lengthening gap between major services. Some cars now available offer gaps of up to 30,000 miles between services.

Historically, the Inland Revenue has been at the forefront of Government department fleet innovation and Ayling said: 'We have pioneered many cross-Government contracts and frequently our contracts, from purchasing to car hire and beyond, are used by a great raft of other Government departments.

'We will make both the fortnightly safety checks and the interim safety check contracts available to other departments. We will also be introducing the contracts to the other Government fleets we manage.'

Tony Kenny, product director of Fleet Service Plus, said: 'Pressure on companies and organisations to reduce at-work road accidents by focusing on fleet risk management is increasing. The Inland Revenue's decision to introduce frequent vehicle safety checks is reflective of a pro-active and caring employer, and is to be applauded.'

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