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I was always taught to look after other people’s things with as much care as I would my own and I would like to think that my behaviour is the norm. Give someone a company vehicle to drive though and the situation changes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who believes they can spot a company car driver at 50 paces and nor am I the only one who’d be reluctant to buy a second hand car that has previously seen use as a company car! What is it about company car drivers?
My sentiments have been backed up by the release of the results of a new survey, courtesy of Venson Automotive Solutions (www.venson.com). While I can identify with the 58% of company car drivers that think it’s their employer’s responsibility to get the car serviced at the appropriate times, I’m at odds to understand the thinking behind the general lack of regular maintenance checks that should be a matter of course for all drivers.
When asked if they undertake vehicle maintenance, only 52% of company car drivers are likely to top up water coolants and only 53% will check oil levels. Slightly better (but still not good enough) 66% check their tyre pressures and inflate their tyres if necessary. What’s really concerning is that 28% will ignore dashboard warning lights!
The survey also found that 17.5% wouldn’t report minor damage to their employer and I find this the most worrying trait as I feel it’s a betrayal of trust not to do so. If you’re responsible for someone else’s property and it gets damaged, surely you’d report it? If I found that an employee of mine had deliberately withheld this type of information I’d be wondering how far I could trust them and how honest they were being in all other aspects of our working relationship – such as expenses claims!
Venson’s Gil Kelly, advises that to keep fleet costs down, managers communicate regularly with their drivers about service and maintenance responsibilities and perhaps use daily/weekly/monthly (depending upon vehicle usage) vehicle checks to spot issues early on, using ongoing driver training to ensure employees are driving safely - which in turn will reduce accidental damage - and implementing a fleet policy that recharges fees back to drivers if incidents aren’t reported; all of which are good ideas.
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16th July 2015