Servicing, maintenance and repair (SMR) issues are likely to plague fleet managers and businesses throughout 2023 thanks to a ‘perfect storm’ of ageing vehicles and grey fleet maintenance spend avoidance, says Prestige Fleet Servicing.
The UK’s average vehicle age is projected to increase from 7.9 to 9.7 years by 2026, leaving 85% of models aged three plus years and requiring an MOT (GiPA, 2022). Ageing vehicles require significantly higher maintenance investment than newer models and come with a higher risk of VOR for businesses (vehicle off-road) due to unplanned repairs and servicing, costing fleets an estimated £2.4 billion each year.
Garages are reporting that less than 50% of customers are having advisory work done post MOT (GiPA, 2022) with drivers most commonly swerving tyres, brakes and suspension maintenance. Worryingly, this trend is starting to trickle through to essential repairs.
“The cost of living crisis is worrying for many reasons. Across Europe, the UK is already the country where the most part-worn tyres are fitted. We expect to see more drivers drawn by the appeal of part-worn tyres,” said Quentin Le Hetet – GiPA UK – Country Director. “It’s important to remind all garages that it is also their responsibility to educate drivers about car repair and maintenance, and to offer safe (and affordable) choice to motorists.”
Grey fleet maintenance avoidance coupled with rising vehicle age is creating the perfect storm for businesses in 2023, says Penny Stoolman, Managing Director, Prestige Fleet Servicing. “The average vehicle age increase is worrying in and of itself – although of course not surprising given the impact the semiconductor shortage has had on supply. When this is coupled with the maintenance spend avoidance we are seeing emerge, it creates a perfect storm for businesses, especially those with grey fleets in place.”
Ensuring that grey fleet vehicles are roadworthy and have been recently serviced will help businesses reduce the risk of VOR in 2023. Employers should keep track of the vehicles used by employees for business travel, collating records to ensure compliance in the following areas:
- Insurance details, including proof of business cover
- Vehicle maintenance checks
- Road tax validity
- Evidence of recent servicing
“Equally, for more traditional fleets, working with a trusted partner can help businesess achieve savings of up to 30% on standards dealership labour rates and parts,” Stoolman concludes. “We urge businesses concerned about rising SMR costs to get in touch to see how we can help.”
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