According to new research by RAC Business, small businesses in the UK are experiencing serious downtime issues with fleet vehicles.
It has been discovered in a survey that some vehicles can be out of action for almost three working weeks, as a result of issues which could have been prevented.
RAC Business has calculated the losses to be £248 per day for every day lost, or £3,472 over the course of a year and that is per vehicle. Add three or four fleet vehicles into that, and you have a potential minimum loss of £10,000 plus for breakdowns that are preventable.
It has also been revealed that four-in-ten small businesses spend more than 75 hours a year dealing with vehicle problems.
The most common vehicle faults include flat tyres (36 per cent), faulty batteries (25 per cent), electrical faults (23 per cent) and low oil levels (22 per cent).
As you likely already know, each of these vehicle faults is preventable. RAC Business has found that 50 per cent of fleet operators believe that they could have prevented vehicle breakdowns had they had intelligence to suggest something was wrong. In-car technology, such as telematics devices, could provide such intelligence cost-effectively.
RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said:
“This is a significant sum of money for UK SMEs to be losing, when a lot of these faults can be detected and prevented before they lead to vehicles breaking down.
“Employees are becoming busier and busier in their working lives and therefore it’s difficult sometimes to stay on top of company car maintenance, especially if the vehicle is shared by several employees in a car pool.
“There is a tendency for people to assume somebody else will deal with issues if it’s not their own car. In that case technology such as telematics can help managers to predict, and therefore prevent possible issues with vehicles.
“Having this sort of data and insight at their fingertips will empower managers to save their business both time and money by reducing avoidable vehicle maintenance.”
The solution to the issues that small businesses are facing is of course to have their vehicles routinely checked over by a mechanic, and to adopt new technologies such as tracking devices which can measure a vehicle’s performance. The cost in doing so is far less than the cost of preventable breakdowns, which cost small businesses over £3,000 per vehicle.