Fleet News

Handbook check could be a lifesaver

ENCOURAGING drivers to study the handbook that comes with their new company car could prove a life-saving move, fleets are being told.

Driver training experts are warning that not checking handbooks is resulting in careless mistakes.

DIAmond Advanced Motorists executives say a simple read through the handbook can keep drivers up to date with many changes, not only in the abilities of the modern car but also in the way it should be maintained.

General manager Eddie Barnaville said: ‘Reading the handbook would help us all to make the simplest safety moves. So familiarise yourself with the controls as this could potentially be a lifesaver.’

In December, a meeting of fleet executives heard that asking drivers to read the handbook was an almost impossible task because most guides are more than 400 pages long and information is difficult to find.

The London West meeting of ACFO, the fleet operators’ association, heard that some members issued single-page briefing sheets covering the most important issues drivers need to know about .


This includes explaining to drivers the importance of using the right oil when topping up. Putting in the wrong oil can reduce service intervals and lead to damaged engines.

  • Does it use diesel or petrol? Using the wrong fuel could cost thousands of pounds to rectify.

  • Know where vital controls are. Know how to turn on the headlights, where the horn, hazard lights are windscreen wipers are.

  • Know how to open the bonnet? The company says many motorists have never checked their water or oil or tried to because they don’t know how to.

  • Know how to find spare tyre and jack in the event of a puncture. Check whether the car has a space saver instead of a spare tyre as these have a restricted mileage.

  • Know which modern accessories are fitted to the car. Does it have ABS, brake assist, ESP or traction control, cruise control or finger tip controls?

    (Source: DIAmond Advanced Motorists)

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