Fleet News

Cash warning over repair skills shortage

FLEETS could be wasting time and money when vehicles are sent for repairs because of a lack of skills in the repair industry.

A move away from using motor engineers has taken place during the past few years, which means some repairs may be directed to repairers who cannot handle them, according to accident solutions company ABS.

One of the traditional duties of motor engineers was to reassign damaged vehicles from one repairer to another when they recognised that the first was not adequately equipped to carry out the repair.

Today, the majority of repairs are not physically inspected by insurance engineers but are authorised either by image engineers or by system default where the estimate complies with certain pre-conditions.

Alan Hodgkinson, network director at ABS, said: 'The disappearance of engineers has removed the safety net of ensuring on-the-spot that the repairer is appropriately equipped and capable of carrying out the work.

'This creates a huge potential problem. At best, these repairs will be of a poor finish. At worst, they could be dangerous, leading to injury resulting from an accident and legal action against the repairer and vehicle's insurer.'

ABS says it is addressing the problem in its own network by taking on additional regional network managers, who partially undertake a motor engineering role.

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