Fleet managers have reported a string of cases where vehicles been left stranded or with significant damage after manic mice have chewed through wires in their search for food and a warm home.
Fleet managers at the Association of Car Fleet Operators’ London West meeting last week heard that their tiny teeth had clocked up damage bills ranging from £200 to nearly £1,000 in some cases.
The issue was raised by Delma Egan, fleet manager for Colliers CRE, a chartered surveyor, who suffered rodent rage after she was landed with a £200 bill for mouse damage.
Her contract hire provider said she was not covered under fair wear and tear guidelines and the fleet would have to cover the cost.
Other members with vehicles damaged by mice said no contract hire providers would be able to cover the damage caused by mice, so a claim on the company’s insurance may be necessary.
Egan said: ‘The damage was caused by a mouse in the engine bay. It was a car we had already had for two years and the mouse damage was discovered when it went in for repair.’
Other fleet decision-makers said they had also been hit by big bills because of the furry fiends, including one fleet that lost £800 because a mouse chewed through wiring in the engine bay and then built a nest on top of the engine. Another fleet was hit with a bill for £750 after a similar incident.
Members heard that the problem was especially difficult to tackle in rural areas, even though modern cars are fitted with ‘cats’ as standard.