A poor repair carried out by a driver or sub-standard company has to be rectified when the car is sent back to the leasing company at the end of its contract.
Fleet management company Arval is warning fleets that, far from saving money on wear and tear charges, such DIY repair attempts can cost them dear.
The company estimates that a driver-inflicted botched smart repair, such as using a touch-up pen on a vehicle door, can cost between £150 and £175 to put right once the vehicle has been returned to the leasing company.
Scott Holland, head of remarketing for Arval, said: ‘While smart repair is a valuable weapon in any fleet’s repair arsenal, bad smart repair can do more harm than good.
‘It is natural for drivers to try to touch up scratches, particularly if they are likely to be recharged for any damage by their employer but attempts to hide scratches with touch-up pens will not get past a trained re-marketer’s eye and will often result in significant costs, above and beyond the wear and tear charge, to put right.’
Mr Holland said the recent growth in smart repair vendors had led to concerns over the training standards of one-man operations.
He added: ‘Fleets should ensure that any smart repair is undertaken by recognised franchise repairers.’