Lack of Basic Vehicle Checks - 26th June 2015

Recent research has highlighted that basic vehicle checks not being carried out by drivers of company vehicles lead to MOT failures and large repair bills.

The article in AM Online states that 500 UK small and medium size companies (SME) with company-owned cars and vans were surveyed and It was found that in addition to the cost of failed MoTs, unforeseen trips to the garage and downtime costs them an average of £4,300 and 1.4 lost working days each in the last year.

Regular daily and weekly checks are essential to ensure your vehicle remains roadworthy, legally compliant and less likely to break down, but importantly they improve vehicle and driver safety as well as the safety to other road users. The basic checks carried out by a driver can also make a big difference to the economy of the vehicle, not only from reduced wear and tear which reduces the repair bills, but also fuel economy which can be significantly affected by poor maintenance. Poor maintenance coupled with bad driving habits was a reason given by half of the companies (51%) surveyed for their most recent trip to the garage.

Drivers not possessing the basic knowledge required to detect problems or carry out straightforward checks and worryingly, 45% being unable to change a tyre, and 44% unable to check oil levels were all statistics highlighted.

Whilst it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure their vehicle is safe and they are accountable if they have an incident, a company also has a duty of care to its employees and is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all employees. For employees who drive for work, the company is still responsible for them regardless of whether the vehicle being driven is owned by the company, leased, or is the drivers own privately owned vehicle being used for a work journey. With the research identifying 53% of small and medium size companies not offering employees any training to perform standard safety and maintenance checks, and 48% having no policy in place requiring staff to make checks before driving for work purposes, these companies are leaving themselves very exposed if an incident occurs and will be held responsible if an investigation proves them to be negligent.
David Penny, Head of Risk Management and Senior Consultant at Fleetrisk24 says ”Many companies we speak to have no policies in place for their drivers, or their current policies are out of date and do not match their current requirements. We would urge all companies to ensure they comply with their responsibilities to protect themselves from costly court cases."
Fleetrisk24 offer a free fleet health check for companies to highlight any deficiencies that may leave them exposed. 

Many issues that feature in our news section may be of concern to you as an employer if you employ company drivers. It is important that you, as a company, are fully compliant with your responsibilities to those employees.

Fleetrisk24 Ltd specialises in Work Related Road Safety and Workplace Transport Safety and can help you put policies and processes in place to address your transport health and safety requirements.

For information about how we can help, in conjunction with you, manage your at work drivers, either:
Speak with an advisor on 01732 864999 or, Email:

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