When it comes to running a small business, keeping costs down is crucial, but so is getting value for money. There is a need to find a balance between spending money and what you get in return and a recent survey suggests that a quarter of small and medium sized business in Britain who have a company owned vehicle have failed a MOT. This has led to repair bills of £350 million, which is certainly not money that the vast majority of firms of this stature can afford to shell out.
It is not just the money that causes a problem for the companies, there is the time involved with getting the car back on the road. Any time that a business vehicle is off the road represents a possible loss in utility or function for a company. The survey results suggest that the average working time lost is 1.4 days when business vehicles are repaired and the average cost to a firm is over £4,000.
Whether this means losing money on orders or being unable to provide customers with the standard of service that they expect, it is fair to say that a vehicle being off the road is bad news for any firm. The same survey also suggested that 40% of bosses who answered admitted that their firm will use a vehicle which has a known fault.
Bigger problems arise when poorly maintained vehicles are driven
This may put people at risk, it can exacerbate problems, which will result in bigger problems needing resolved and it will cost additional money in fuel because when a vehicle is not at its best, it’s fuel consumption is poorer. It is easy to see why businesses aren’t being proactive in looking after their vehicle. With money being so important to firms, it is often best to keep plugging away until there is a problem that has to be resolved. Of course, when it comes to the amount of money that is spent in the long term and the level of utility that a company receives from vehicles, there is a great deal to be said for having business vehicles serviced on a regular basis.
When you add in the fact that over half of the companies surveyed suggested that problems with their vehicle arose through their own issues, either bad driving or poor maintenance, it becomes clear that SMEs can be doing a lot more to keep their vehicles in great condition.
Simon Barter is the Head of SME Direct for Lex Autolease and he released a statement on the back of these findings, saying; “From making deliveries to driving to sales pitches and meetings, vehicles are essential to the successful day-to-day operations of many UK small businesses. It’s therefore surprising to see that so many fail to protect themselves from avoidable costs. Our findings prove that vehicle maintenance isn’t considered a priority by many. By taking simple steps to ensure vehicles are routinely checked and drivers are able to spot the signs of disrepair, businesses could save themselves unnecessary downtime and expense.”