Fleet News

Fleet alert over service intervals

BOSSES at the UK’s biggest leasing company have voiced concerns over the impact extended service intervals have on safety.

They claim that because many manufacturers have now switched to extended service intervals some low-mileage fleet cars visit a garage only once during the course of a typical three-year contract.

Experts say the move to longer servicing should also encourage fleet managers to ensure drivers are carrying out basic safety checks on their cars.

Lex maintenance manager Jamie Wiseman said: ‘It’s great that car makers have extended servicing intervals so higher mileage drivers don’t have the hassle of taking their car into a garage so regularly.

‘But for those low mileage drivers who cover less than 10,000 miles a year, this can cause an issue. In a bid to keep cars reliable and safe, preventative maintenance could be the way forward.’

The company is currently investigating whether to introduce a ‘time-based’ servicing option for cars which have not had a service.

For example, it could call a car in for a service every 16 months to carry out checks on oil and other duty of care issues.

Lex said a number of cars on its fleets had missed services, another reason why it is looking at such an initiative.

Wiseman added: ‘Few drivers ever look at their handbook and often don’t realise that the on board computer is telling them when their car needs servicing.’

George Reid, head of technical services at Lloyds TSB autolease, did not feel it was a problem.

He said: ‘Longer service intervals is not really an issue that concerns us because manufacturers make components now that can last for longer.

‘Also, if leasing companies do introduce preventative measures because of longer servicing intervals, how much will it cost and who is going to pay?’

‘However, this does highlight the need for fleet managers to ensure their drivers are carrying out basic safety checks on their cars.’

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