FLEET managers should encourage company car drivers to ensure their vehicles are road ready in anticipation of an easing of lockdown.
Venson Automotive Solutions’ latest survey of UK motorists revealed that one in five do not know when their MoT is due, and 69% are unclear about when the Government’s six-month MoT exemption came into play.
The survey also found that one in four drivers has deferred a service or repair until after lockdown is lifted and as many as 28% have failed to carry out any basic vehicle health checks since 23rd March.
Alison Bell, Marketing Director at Venson Automotive Solutions said: “Even with the current six-month MoT exemption in place, drivers are still responsible for keeping their vehicle in a roadworthy condition – drivers can still be prosecuted if at the wheel of an unsafe vehicle.
“Businesses also have a duty of care to ensure their employees who drive on company business are safe and should therefore be encouraging regular safety checks.
“By carrying out basic maintenance checks, drivers will not only help to reduce the time their vehicle is off the road but importantly, eliminate unnecessary cost for themselves and/or their employer.
“Additionally, a vehicle kept in a safe, driveable condition, limits their personal inconvenience if it has to be repaired and lessens the burden on roadside assistance providers.”
She added: “When lockdown is eased, businesses will be keen to begin to make up for lost time, so the last thing they need are drivers to be out of action due to a flat tyre, flat battery, or worse.
“Half of the respondents have checked their tyre pressure and run the engine to keep the battery charged. This is a simple bit of maintenance which is often neglected but could save hundreds of pounds if the vehicle has to be off the road for repairs.”
“What’s more, regardless of the government’s extension, we recommend vehicles are booked in for MoTs well in advance of their new due date in order to help avoid bottlenecks building after lockdown.
“Those responsible for fleet vehicles should also ensure that service routines are maintained to avoid invalidating warranties and generating unnecessary maintenance costs for their business.”
Venson Vehicle Safety Checklist
- Battery care – start the engine once a week and allow it to run for about 15 minutes. This will re-charge the battery and help keep the engine in good condition.
- Oil – check oil levels and for any leaks.
- Check windscreen wipers and screen wash
- Coolant – is the level correct?
- Damage – is there any damage to bodywork that might affect roadworthiness? If you’re not sure ask for advice.
- Dashboard – check for warning lights when the engine is running.
- Rubber – are the tyres safe, correctly inflated and legal? Do you have a working spare or alternative solution in the vehicle?
- Windscreen and mirrors – do you have clear all-round vision and is the glass damage free?
Meanwhile, Birmingham-based Fleet Logistics believes that now is the time to train drivers as downtime or furlough presents the perfect opportunity, especially as an employers’ duty of care to its employees remains, during social distancing.
Fleet Logistics Group is offering support to fleets with one of its health and safety partners which comprises free-of-charge training for a period of three months.
The offer includes three training modules on Driver Fatigue, Speed Awareness and Emotional Distractions, which also includes reporting, an audit trail and ADT customer service.
Oliver Stockhecke, Chief Sales Officer of Fleet Logistics Group, said: “Social distancing is a reason to strengthen communities and focus on the safety and wellbeing of those around us.
“That is why ADT and Fleet Logistics are offering free access to three driver safety modules. We want to support staff during the current crisis or when returning to work.”