June 2, 2020

Fleet managers and drivers have an important role in helping to ensure an orderly return to business

After months of standstill, coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being gradually eased in Europe and elsewhere. Although strict guidelines are in place for most businesses, including major new occupational safety and social distancing rules, the slow and arduous return to economic normality has finally begun.

This is good news for everyone, including fleet managers and drivers who can start clearing their backlogs of vehicle repair and maintenance activities. It’s important however, that as this process begins, we keep our expectations in check with regards to local garages, service and repair stations and tyre fitters.

Like other businesses, garages, services & body repair workshops have begun implementing far-reaching social distancing rules and vehicle sanitation protocols. In some cases, entire locations are having to be physically re-arranged to meet new standards. This will limit their repair and maintenance capacity in the weeks ahead, and is likely to exacerbate delays to appointments and servicing times. Similarly, we can expect a limited availability (if any) of pick-ups and deliveries and of mobile maintenance services.

With this in mind, let’s be smart and plan accordingly. The road to recovery is a team effort between every member of society, so we all have an important part to play at this time.

These are my top tips to help make your fleet lockdown exit a success:

  • Prioritise the vehicles that are due for mandatory inspections. These must be scheduled and performed on time in line with local regulations and insurance requirements.
  • Where possible, help to reduce body repair inspection visits by sending photos or videos.
  • Continue to delay non-critical repairs and tyre replacements so that the limited capacity at service centres can be directed where it is needed most.
  • Streamline all appointments for inspection, service and maintenance through LeasePlan as the single point of contact, and make use our self-service online platforms as much as possible.
  • Remind drivers of problems that can occur when vehicles stand idle for a long period of time, and advise on how to prevent them .

At LeasePlan, we are continuously monitoring our network of suppliers to understand their capacity, limit vehicle downtime, guarantee a high standard of service and explore alternatives. Contact your regular LeasePlan representative to ensure that in-life vehicle events are optimally managed, and advise all your drivers to do the same. We can provide you with a tailor-made proposal based on your individual situation