Five costly end-of-contract mistakes Five costly end-of-contract mistakes

Five common end-of-contract mistakes are costing company car fleets and personal leasing customers money when they hand a vehicle back.

With a decade of experience from thousands of defleet inspections and collections, DMN is advising fleet operators that these mistakes can be avoided by following some simple procedures:

 

  • Spare keysDrivers typically put the spare key in a ‘safe place’, never to be seen again.  Ensure your driver has the spare key ready.  A missing spare key can incur a charge from £250 upwards.
  • Vehicle cleanliness.  End-of-life inspections are now being aborted due to the car not being clean.  A charge of £45 is commonplace.  Ensure the car is presented in a clean condition.
  • Updated service book.  If the car has a service book, ensure it’s in the car.  Check that the service schedule is up to date and the dealer stamp in place before any inspection.
  • Tyre inflation kits.  Increasing numbers of cars now include a tyre inflation kit rather than a spare wheel.  Make sure it is replaced, if used or missing, or face a charge of up to £120 for a full kit including the compressor.
  • Parcel shelf installation.  That weekend adventure or trip to the household waste recycling centre often results in the driver forgetting to refit the parcel shelf.  Doing so can cost upwards of £100 on hand-back.

 

“These five key areas are nothing revolutionary yet continue to plague fleet operators with unnecessary hassle and costly end of contract outlays,” Nick Chadaway, the Managing Director of DMN, said.  “With a little bit of foresight, and some simple processes in place, these leakages can soon be plugged and, ultimately, will save businesses vast sums of money and alleviate individual driver stress.”

DMN says that one of the first areas to update is the company car driver handbook, to highlight the five basic cost leakage points.  It also recommends that fleets introduce a pre-end of contract inspection to help control hand-back costs.

“An inspection, about two months out from end of contract, gives the fleet operator additional insight as to any potential additional costs, but also allows time to make an informed decision on the necessary course of action, and to ensure they have the usual suspects covered off,” Nick Chadaway added.

“With replacement cycles continuing to lengthen, averaging from 37 to 42 months depending on sources, these type of end of lease challenges are only set to get increasingly complex for fleet operators, so implementing change now will start to stem the flow for the future.”