Poor vehicle maintenance is burdening small businesses with avoidable costs and downtime, according to research from Lex Autolease.
25% of British small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with company-owned vehicles have failed an MOT, racking up £350 million in repair bills.
The survey of 500 UK SMEs with company-owned cars and vans reveals 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.
Half of the companies (51%) surveyed said their most recent trip to the garage was the result of their own poor maintenance and bad driving.
Head of SME Direct at Lex Autolease Simon Barter said: “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.
The research also showed that many company drivers do not possess the basic knowledge required to detect problems or carry out straightforward checks, with 45% unable to change a tyre, and 44% unable to check oil levels.
However, 53% of firms do not offer employees any training to perform standard safety and maintenance checks, and 48% had no policy in place requiring staff to make checks before driving for work purposes.
“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,” Barter added.