Fleet car repair costs rise by more than double

The average repair cost for company cars incurred by fleets has increased by more than double in the last 18 months. According to motoring company Manheim, in February 2010 the average repair bill for a fleet vehicle was £110. In June of this year the figure had risen to £246.59, an increase of 123%. The value of the damage is based on the BVRLA's 'fair wear and tear' vehicle assessment. Manheim marketing director Craig Mailey said the company had only just received the data and was still looking at the reasons behind the increase. He said: "What is safe to say though is that you're getting cars that are older and with higher mileage." Pricing expert Adrian Rushmore from Glass's believes that with a shortage of good quality stock in the market currently pushing up fleet values, it no longer pays for leasing companies to pick up the bill for costly repairs. He said: "With the strength of the market as it is, why spend the money?" The view was backed by Manheim valuation services manager Daren Wiseman.

There's a similar tendency in the USA. Automotive Fleet magazine recently published a study suggesting that preventive maintenance expenses have been on a steady rise for the last five years. For example, in 2009 the average HGV fleet saw a 10% increase in preventive maintenance costs.

The cost breakdown analysis showed that although fleet operators have managed to reduce expenses on fluid change, the rising tyre prices along with the ever-increasing labour rates have translated into unpredicted expenses. It was also found that many fleets fall victim to the false economy of running aged vehicles. Few managers realise that upgrading to newer vehicles can significantly reduce maintenance costs.

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