Fleet News

Perk drivers rack up higher accident costs than van drivers

Perk drivers, who receive a company car as part of their benefits package, are racking up far higher accident costs than their commercial vehicle counterparts, according to new research from LeasePlan.

While ‘white van’ drivers are often vilified, it is perk car drivers  that need the most help when it comes to improving their behaviour on the roads, according to LeasePlan’s analysis of more than 28,000 drivers.

The research found that commercial vehicle drivers racked up an average of £182 per-head in accident costs each year, significantly lower than the £291 accrued by perk drivers.

The findings were similar for out-of-contract maintenance costs, where the average commercial vehicle driver accumulated £98 in maintenance costs annually, compared to a perk driver at £145.

This is despite the two groups averaging a similar number of miles driven each year: 25,795 and 23,309 respectively.

However, one area in which the commercial vehicle drivers did attract higher costs was in traffic violations and fines, averaging £29 per year.

Perk drivers were less likely to incur fines, with the average for this group standing at £22.

Fleet drivers in the IT and leisure sectors incurred the highest fines (£48 a year on average) whilst motorists working in financial services (£12) and those working in Government (£7) received the lowest.

Across the drivers analysed, LeasePlan found that the worst 20% of all drivers accounted for 76% of the total costs incurred, amounting to £8.5m in unforeseen fleet costs.

This figure suggests that there are significant potential savings to be made if driver behaviour can be addressed.

Tom Brewer, head of product services, LeasePlan, said: “Our research has produced noteworthy results, which allow us to realise further cost savings for our customers.

“It would appear that commercial vehicle drivers don’t necessarily deserve the bad reputation they often receive. 

“Armed with this knowledge, we can construct the most suitable intervention measures to address unnecessary expenses. Our RiskAWARE package advises customers how to reduce the costs associated with their worst drivers. ”

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  • Paul Rose - 09/10/2013 13:12

    Accident frequency is more likely to be higher for van drivers but average repair cost will be higher for the perk cars. In those terms the data is understandable. Of course, insurance premiums are not just calculated on own damage costs, other factors like numbers of claims and third party costs play a factor and both are likely to be higher for van drivers. As opposed to comparing the two categories of drivers, in reality there will be elements of both groups that would benefit from targeted support and whilst therefore, the statistic may seem surprising to some, in isolation, this metric is of limited use for fleet managers.

  • Tom Brewer - 09/10/2013 14:51

    Thanks for the comments Paul and I agree with much of what you say. The story behind the data among our customer base is however, quite interesting in that it indicates that poor drivers exhibit bad behaviours across a range of measures, not just accidents. For clients investing in training or using intervention strategies (e.g. driver scorecards. post accident interviews, etc.) they can then target the right areas first, e.g. the poorest performing 20 drivers. Those using DriveAWARE at LeasePlan are already seeing the benefits across a range of avoidable fleet costs, this includes fewer accidents but also less traffic violations, improved fuel economy, lower maintenance spend, etc.

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