Fleet News

Arnold Clark uses DriverCheck services to drive efficiencies

Arnold Clark Automobiles

Arnold Clark has achieved savings in time and administrative effort by using DriverCheck to handle licence checking and legal compliance for more than 10,000 drivers.

Arnold Clark, which operates 193 dealerships across the country from Southampton to Elgin, representing 28 different makes, is the second ranked motor retailer in the UK by turnover, according to the latest AM100 league table, with sales of around 300,000 vehicles per annum and turnover of £3.8 billion.

As well as the dealerships, the group also operates 160 service centres, 17 accident repair centres and 14 parts centres around the country.

It employs around 11,000 people, with some 10,000 drivers and their spouses on its licence checking database, including around 2,500 company car drivers, plus technicians and sales staff who drive vehicles as part of their regular work activities.

There is also a growing logistics fleet for moving new and used vehicles around the country, as the business looks to build its digital click and collect operation, especially in the south of the country.

In addition, Activa Contracts, Arnold Clark’s contract hire, leasing and fleet management business based in Milton Keynes, offers licence checking as a service to its customers.

As such, keeping licence checks up to date across the whole group is a huge task, which the business used to handle internally using the DVLA’s licence check facility, but which, from a sheer scale, effort and time point of view, became impractical.

Licence checking across the group now falls under the remit of company secretary, Stuart Thorpe (pictured), who explained how keeping records for such a large number of drivers, with varying degrees of risk, up to date and legally compliant was now a straightforward task.

“Initially, we used to handle this ourselves, but the scale of the task made the decision to appoint a specialist a very easy one,” he said.

“DriverCheck saves us a huge amount of admin time and effort as well as ensuring our records are kept up to date.

“A classic case in point was the introduction of the EU’s GDPR regulation in May 2018, which required new consents to be collected for all employees at the time. “

Three years later, a significant proportion of the consents needed to be renewed to continue to meet the DVLA’s requirements, which meant most of the company’s renewals fell in May-June 2021.

“Because we had DriverCheck onboard and handling the update process for us, what could have been a highly labour-intensive task became relatively straightforward with renewal reminders generated automatically,” said Thorpe “It was then a case of following up exceptions, reducing the time and effort immensely.”

Now, all new starters are added to the Arnold Clark licence checking database as part of the onboarding process, providing details of the status of their driving licence from day one.

Arnold Clark drivers’ licences are checked in varying frequencies depending on the driver risk.  

Those most at risk, including HGV drivers within the logistics division and those with significant numbers of points on their licences, have them checked most frequently, and the system is flexible enough to deal with this automatically.

Thorpe explained: “Our logistics fleet of about 100 drivers are checked most frequently because of what they are driving.

“We are expanding the logistics side as we look to increase the number of Click and Collect outlets we operate, particularly in the south of the country.

“The latest to go live was in Colchester and is now one of six we operate as standalone sites, with further expansion planned in the near future.

“Given the risk associated with driving a vehicle transporter, we place great emphasis on ensuring the licences of our drivers are checked frequently.”

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