With a decade of first-hand experience based on tens of thousands of contract-hire and personal leasing defleet inspections and collections, DMN is encouraging fleet operators to implement some simple processes for drivers to cover off the five most common end of contract mistakes:
Drivers typically put the spare key in a ‘safe place’ never to be seen again. Ensure your driver has the spare key ready. A missing spare key can incur a charge from £250 upwards.
End-of-life inspections are now being aborted due to the car not being clean. A charge of £45 is commonplace. Ensure that the car is presented in a clean condition.
Updated service book
If the car has a service book ensure this in the car, check the service schedule is up to date and the dealer stamp is in place prior to any inspection.
Tyre inflation kit readiness
Increasing numbers of cars now include a tyre inflation kit rather than a spare wheel. Make sure it is replaced, if used or missing, or face a charge of up to £120 for a full kit including the compressor.
Parcel shelf installation
That weekend adventure or trip to the household waste recycling centre often results in the driver forgetting to refit the parcel shelf. Doing so can cost upwards of £100 on hand-back.
According to DMN, the five leakage points are typical of the unnecessary costs incurred by fleet operators daily – something DMN believes is avoidable with heightened awareness and a little bit of forward planning.
“These five key areas are nothing revolutionary yet continue to plague fleet operators with unnecessary hassle and costly end of contract outlays,” explained Nick Chadaway, managing director of DMN.
“With a little bit of foresight, and some simple processes in place, these leakages can soon be plugged and, ultimately, will save businesses vast sums of money and alleviate individual driver stress.’
DMN is advising fleet operators that one of the first areas to update is the company car driver handbook and highlight the five basic cost leakage points as those requiring ongoing consideration throughout the life of the vehicle.
On top of this, DMN is recommending fleets introduce a pre- end of contract inspection to help control hand-back costs.
“An inspection, about two months out from end of contract gives the fleet operator additional insight as to any potential additional costs but also allows time to make an informed decision on the necessary course of action, and to ensure they have the usual suspects covered off,” explained Nick.
He continued, “With replacement cycles continuing to lengthen, averaging from 37 to 42 months depending on sources, these type of end of lease challenges are only set to get increasingly complex for fleet operators so implementing change now will start to stem the flow for the future.”