Venson Automotive Solutions is urging fleet managers to encourage company car drivers to ensure their vehicles are road ready as the nation anticipates an easing of lockdown. There is a real danger that many drivers will get back on the road believing they don’t have to worry about getting an MoT done until October. That could create problems for insurers as claims involving unroadworthy cars arrive in their inboxes this summer.
The advice from Venson follows its latest survey of UK motorists which 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 comments: “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.”
Encouragingly, respondents to the Venson survey have carried out some basic but important tasks; 51% have checked the tyre pressure and 49% have run the engine regularly to keep the battery charged; 42% have checked the oil level. Other maintenance that drivers have carried out include moving the car to test the brakes (41%), measuring tyre tread depth (39%) and ensuring headlights and brake lights are all fully-functioning (34%).
Alison Bell continued: “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. It’s great to see that 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.”