Experts say new employees are shown how to use a coffee machine or computer on their first day as part of an office induction, but often not a company car.
AA Business Services claims UK businesses spend millions of pounds a year on self-induced faults (SIFs) and is calling on companies to introduce compulsory ‘car familiarisation’ classes for employees.
Executives say SIFs are costly but avoidable mistakes. They warn that advanced car technology is making such problems more expensive to fix.
The company suggests that classes include everything from how to lift a bonnet to what to put in the fuel tank. As well as employees’ vehicles, it should also include company pool cars.
Misfuelling is identified as a major SIF, with bills to repair the damage in a worst case scenario costing up to £5,000.
Roger Williams, head of major fleets and leasing at AA Business Services, said: ‘There are around 120,000 motorists who misfuel their vehicles every year.A large proportion of them will be business drivers who are not only damaging their cars but costing their companies money.
‘The drivers should be talked through the implications of mis-fuelling and then sign a document to say that they understand before they receive the keys. This could even provide the basis for financial penalties that could be off-set against the cost of the repair if the company chose to try and reclaim the loss.’
The company says drivers should also be warned about the cost implications of losing their car keys.
Williams added: ‘If you lose your keys altogether, immobiliser technology means keys have to be reprogrammed back at the car dealership. It could cost up to £250 to obtain a new one.’