Lack of attention to preventative measures, misuse and neglect are some of the main reasons why fleet vehicles suffer from excessive wear and tear.
Taking into account a vehicle’s age, mileage and overall condition, from the mechanics and electrics through to the bodywork and upholstery, fair wear and tear generally summarises the amount of deterioration judged to be reasonable at the end of a lease contract period.
Fleet operators can expect to incur refurbishment charges if a vehicle is returned with an unreasonable level of wear and tear at the end of a contract period or a reduced residual value down the track at vehicle disposal.
Some amount of wear and tear damage does occur through normal, everyday business use, and would be deemed fair wear and tear for the age of the vehicle. This would not adversely affect the disposal price.
But if, for example, stone chip damage had exposed the base metal and failure to touch it up had resulted in penetrating rust setting in, the deterioration would not be accepted as fair wear and tear. The main question then becomes one of responsibility.
A vehicle used for company business is a reflection of the company’s image and therefore its appearance should be maintained by the regular cleaning of the bodywork, upholstery and trim.
So what would be determined as unreasonable wear and tear in fleet vehicles?
- Lack of regular checks by the vehicle user and/or fleet operator, leading to faults and damage going undetected and un-repaired;
- Not adhering to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and servicing schedule;
- Drivers not taking responsibility for the day to day care and maintenance of the vehicle;
- Poor quality of body repairs, leading to general neglect;
- Drivers provided with insufficient information to enable them to responsibly fulfil their obligation to maintain the vehicle.
Make an effort to follow these guidelines within your organisation to keep your owned fleet and novated leased vehicles in check for the long term.