Fleet News

Smaller fleets’ knowledge gap

New research suggests that many fleets find it impossible to quantify exactly how costly accidents are for their business, with 72% of fleet managers having no idea of the real cost of vehicle crashes.

A survey by RAC Services found that fleets with up to 10 vehicles were least aware, with 81% not knowing how much an accident affected the bottom line.

“A vehicle down within a fleet of 10 can often be more detrimental than a vehicle down within a fleet of 100 or more,” says John Lawrence, director of service delivery, RAC Services.

“Businesses need to understand how having a vehicle out of action affects working hours, which according to our survey is directly proportional to the amount of management information available to the fleet.”

The independent survey was conducted among 100 fleet managers across the UK. It showed that larger fleets, which have access to management information through outsourced accident management firms, have more complete understanding of the impact of vehicle downtime.

Of fleets of between 11 and 100 vehicles, threequarters claim to understand the issue of lost working hours

“Having sound management information relating to the time-scale of repair means that, for example, a fleet manager can plan car hire for that amount of time only, so reducing unnecessary spend,” said Mr Lawrence.

“A three-day repair job should take exactly that if managed properly.”

The survey also found that, regardless of having a lack of cost knowledge, only a third (35%) of all fleet managers want to improve their control over accident costs. This approach was most common among fleets with 11 to 100 vehicles (30%). Keenest cost cutters were the 100-plus fleets (50%).

“This demonstrates a distinct knowledge gap and shows that fleet managers, particularly those managing smaller fleets, are not aware of the techniques available to them which can help them manage costs,” Mr Lawrence said.

“The best practices of the largest UK fleets are a lesson to their smaller relatives. By using an outsourced accident management service, they are able to access a buying power which translates to better control over problems such as downtime, car hire costs, the speed and quality of repairs, labour rates, parts prices, and the reduction of off-road time for their drivers.”

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