FLEETS could be at risk of prosecution because their contract hire and leasing suppliers are failing to keep proper records of vehicle maintenance for company cars and vans.
Employers will need to prove they have ensured vehicles are well-maintained and 'fit for purpose' if new corporate killing legislation is given the go-ahead later this year.
But when maintenance of the fleet has been passed to an outsourced or external service company, the fleet may not see proof that vehicles are being properly looked after. And experts argue that many leasing providers are not keeping proper records.
Kevin Denham, marketing manager at Pendragon Contracts, said: 'Fleets that lease vehicles very rarely keep their own maintenance records because all actions in this area are usually looked after by the leasing company.
'These maintenance records have always been important from a residual value point of view because they show that a vehicle has a full service history.
'However, they could soon be playing a part in stopping the fleet manager or directors of a company facing severe legal action because they show the vehicle has been kept in a roadworthy condition through a structured and auditable maintenance programme.'
Fleets must not be complacent because maintenance has been outsourced and must make regular checks to see proper records are being kept, Denham said.
He added: 'Many leasing companies keep comprehensive records about vehicle maintenance. However, others may be guilty of taking a lax attitude. If you are leasing vehicles, ensure that your suppliers are keeping records with the information that your safety policy states is necessary.
'While the exact measures that the authorities intend to put in place have yet to be finally agreed, it is clear that fleets will have to rethink their attitude to safety.
'Any corporate body that has a fleet or asks employees to use their own cars will need to have a thorough and carefully constructed safety policy in place.' What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org