Category Archives for Fleet News

Van Maintenance

Keep your vans operational with regular checks

Simple routine vehicle checks 

Keeping you multi car fleet maintained will reduce  preventative incidents, leading to less time that your fleet vehicles spend in the local garage. The following routine checks will not take more than 30 mins and can be carried out by the driver, initial training is advised to ensure all drivers understand how to carry out these checks and also the importance of these checks.

Tires

Tires take the most wear and tear and connect your van to the road. Start by checking:

  • Thread depth, at least 1.66 mm.
  • Tire Condition look for uneven wear and tear or bumps.

  • Correct pressure, this is critical for safe and economical driving. ( should be checked at least once per month )

  • check-circle
    If you use snow tires remember to change during summer, this will also save you on fuel charges.

Oil keeps everything  working

Oil is paramount in the smooth running of any engine, failure to change oil as required including the oil filter will lead to damage to the moving parts of you engines. The damage caused can be very expensive to fix and in some extreme cases require an expensive retooling or replacement. 

Hoses and Belts

With the latest advances belts play less of a roll indeed if any role in the modern engine, however some manufactures still rely on timing belts. Belts do wear out and failure to replace in time as per the manufacturer's instructions can result in a hefty bill to sort your engine block out.

Battery

The key here is to replace your battery  before you are let down badly by a car that fails to start. Any quick fit operation can quickly run a check and provide you with a print out, showing you how well your battery is functioning. The test will check your batteries's ability to self charge and start your car, with an overall score which will indicate either good or time to replace.  

Taking preventative steps will pay dividends down the road

Following the checks outlined above will reduce roadside breakdowns and reduce the number of hours that your valuable fleet of cars or vans are sitting in a garage.

Article contributed by Eamonn Turley

driver less cars

Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Driver less Cars are Coming

Below I have outlined some of the challenges and ethical questions that need addressed before we reach the goal of a car that is 100% driver-less ( no pedals and no steering wheel!).

Why should fleet managers be concerned with advances in driver-less technologies? Because these advances  will drastically reduce the number of car accidents and this should lower the cost of multi car insurance.

The race to create a vehicle that reaches level 6 on the scale of the the Society of Automotive Engineer, which translates to a fully autonomous vehicle or in plain English a vehicle that does not need human intervention. Level 1 is car with no automation built into the 3 key driving elements (steering, braking and the gas pedal).

The Case for Smart Cars

Currently in the USA and I am sure these figures will be similar in the UK 94% of accidents are the result of driver error. 3 million plus people have vision problems that prevent them from driving and let’s not forget senior citizens who are no longer able to drive. The journey to fully automated driving will drastically reduce road accidents and give the right of mobility to many more people in out society.

Should cars be 100% autonomous

This is being debated, but in the meantime we have to answer some ethical questions. One of these questions is referred to as the trolley scenario.In this case you have a trolley moving down a rail line and in front five people are in its path. The trolley can only take one action to avoid killing the 5 people and that is by switching track, but one child is on the other track. Can you see the dilemma?

Some questions that need to be addressed first

Can you see the dilemma given the knowledge that these cars rely on deep learning which is a form of artificial intelligence to make decisions.  The artificial intelligence is a form of deep learning in which neural networks are trained by human engineers or programmers to take the appropriate action when driving autonomously. 

So one of the ethical question is what do you train the AI to do?  In addition should we allow these types of death and life decisions to be made by an artificial intelligence? Do we give equal weight to human life or should other factors be considered such as age? Should you the driver be killed in taking the necessary preventive action to minimize the outcome of an auto accident by artificial intelligence?

Should Drivers always be on standby.

If level 6 is too much to contemplate lets consider levels 4 and 5. These cars are fully automated to drive in any weather condition, but will alert the driver when an accident that is unavoidable will occur and let the driver take the appropriate action so an artificial intelligence is not responsible for killing humans.

Some road accidents will still happen

In the recent TESLA fatal accident the cars was operating at level 4 and it would have notified the driver by noise and if necessary touch that it needed human intervention. The accident is still being investigated as to why the standby driver did not take action. These cars rely heavily on artificial vision by using radar, cameras and LiDar in combination to create a 3D map of the driving environment. One theory is that one of these sensors malfunctioned which may have been caused by something as simple as dirt on the lenses.

Fleets of the future and the cost of Fleet insurance

Without doubt cars will continue to get safer as these new technologies are applied to new cars. Limits on driving hours will most likely be removed or increased as driver tiredness will be less of a factor in accident cause. The big question for fleet managers is will their fleet insurance costs be reduced? Possibly you would think, but would any decrease in insurance costs may be offset by the increased cost of vehicles with this new technology. LiDar is not cheap.

In my view long term these costs will come down like any new technology and we will all benefit  by drastic reductions in road accidents which will reduce fleet insurance costs.

Article contributed by Eamonn Turley

telematic device

Telemetrics – reduce fleet insurance

How can Telemetrics reduce fleet costs

Need to save on fleet insurance? Start by adding a small device is added to your vehicle, that will record data on the driver. Typical things recorded include:

  • check
    Rate of acceleration and deceleration (braking)
  • check
    Driving speed
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    How often the driver brakes
  • check
    Steering data, example sharp cornering

All our intelligence suggests that monitoring by telematics is increasingly accepted . . . as a fact of life and the benefits more fully understood,

Ralph Morton, editorial director of Business Car Manager

This information can also be used to plan quicker routes this coupled with safer slow driving will also reduce fleet fuel costs, which by itself is a significant running cost.

This type of data enables the fleet manager to identify areas in which driving can be improved and enacting that by provision of additional training. To help get your drivers on board involve them, for example awarding prizes for best drivers, or create driving teams that compete against each other. In some cases this approach has made a significant reduction in claims. This not only reduces your company insurance costs, but also will decrease the time vehicles are off the road for accident repair. 

How can telematics reduce your fleet polciy premiums

Being able to substantially  reduce the number of claims made against you fleet insurance policy puts you in a strong position at renewal time. This position can be used as leverage to negotiate a reduction in your fleet costs. Why? Your insurance premium cost is partly based on the number of claims that you make. 

Some of The Rewards That Can Be Achieved

  • Significant reduction in claims.
  • decrease the time vehicles are off the road for accident repair.
  • information can also be used to plan quicker routes.
  • safer slow driving will also reduce fleet fuel costs,which by itself is a significant running cost saving.
key areas of fleet management

7 key areas of fleet management

7 Key Areas of Fleet Management Costs

1 Get the fleet foundations right

Insurance costs tend to increase or at best to stay level, but taking some prudent measures can lead to a reduction in your fleet policy costs. If you are a fleet manager you will understand that insurance is multi faceted with the premium based on a number of factors, one key factor is the fleet itself. Have you been wise and able to choose a manufacturer that has a sound reputation for building sound and reliable motors and at a reasonable cost? In addition the vehicle category selected should be easy and inexpensive to service with the price of replacement parts within the norm.  

If you have the correct fleet type in place you may congratulate yourself in having taken the first major step in lower company fleet insurance.

Work with your insurance broker

Some key areas that you need to put all your energy and commitment into is the lowing of claims and taking measures to convince your insurance company that you are taking the correct steps to continue to lower your risk profile and frequency of future claims.

Get the drivers on board to reduce accidents

Start by taking control and bringing on board the drivers, let them know that the company focus is lowering fleet costs and that reducing the frequency of accidents plays a big role .

Let the workforce know that all accidents will be monitored and in cases that the accident is down to driver error, additional training will be provided. At the same time it could be wise to initiate a rewards program, maybe team based to get drivers motivated and tied into the new way forward.

2 Driver Training

Don't wait until the accident has happened be proactive and provide additional training. Use your knowledge that young drivers under 25 are more risk and if they need a company car can the driving be restricted to within office hours or daylight hours. Whilst that may seem unfair it has been proved to be effective to lowering accidents and thus premiums and the government is backing a similar approach  .

3 Install dash cameras

These are mostly forward facing, but you can also get cameras that can record in front and behind the vehicle. These can help  defend against any false claims or what is known within the industry as crash for cash. It also has a hidden benefit of intimidating any would be tailgaters once they see the camera ( even if not rear facing you can swivel it around so they now  they are being filmed).

Another added benefit that has been noticed is that the driver behind the wheel no longer drives in a manner that is risky which in turn leads to a lower number of accidents in which your drivers are at fault. 

4 Install Tracking Devices

A concealed tracking device will enable the location of your vehicle to be instantly available to the police. Cybit is one of the leaders in this technology and trusted by the insurance industry

5 Trim your policy

Don’t include insurance for things that you do not need or things that can be replaced cheaply by your company take for example windscreens.  Breakdown recovery is another option that can be outsourced to a local recovery company that provides coverage in the region that you operate or nationally.

6 Report all accidents quickly

The insurance company must know of any accident immediately in order to reduce and mitigate any claims from the third party. For example if the third party intends to hire a replacement vehicle your broker may have arrangements with a hire firm to provide this at a vastly reduced cost. If the underwriter has not been informed in a timely manner the third party may have gone direct to an expensive car rental agency.

7 Be honest

Fighting a claim that you are guilty of can turn out to be expensive. If you are at fault it is best to admit it and reduce any court costs that most likely you or rather your underwriter will be then liable for.  

The above list whilst not exhaustive is a good starting base as you embark on applying approaches to lowering the cost of company fleet insurance 

Most Reliable Fleet Vehicles in 2017

Reliable Fleet Vehicles in 2017

reliable fleet

50% of cars sold in the UK will be for use in a company fleet. Company cars are a great way to attract the best talent in any business sector and is seen as a must have perk for any business employee. A lot of companies also provide a petrol card for free petrol to further attract the best. 

The costs to the company in charge of a car or HGV fleet is naturally high. Spending time and researching how to make savings and reduce overheads is key to being a good fleet manager. The goal is to source a motor fleet that is both attractive to the perspective employee, can be purchased at a reasonable price and is economical to run. 

Economical to run equates to a car that is reliable 365 days a year regardless of the number of miles you put on the clock. Fleet insurance is another factor and is strongly aligned to how expensive the car is to buy plus the average repair costs. 

Whilst from the fleet managers perspective it would be great to buy only the most reliable cars under £15,000 for all company employees. In reality they have to buy a cross section from budget to luxury to match other work benefits and importantly to attract and retain the best talent. 

A survey of UK fleet managers carries out by fleet news found the Germans monopolising the top 3 positions with the BMW 3 series taking top spot as the most reliable fleet car in 2017 

Most Reliable Cars in 2017 are German

  • 1
    BMW 3 Series
  • 2
    Volkswagen Golf
  • 3
    Audi A4 

Where are Mercedes you may ask, they did squeeze in at position 7 with the c class, but only just made it into the top 10. VW made significant gains and is hot on the heels of BMW for the best fleet car in 2018.

The Japanese cars

Whilst Germans are known for their engineering skills and attention to detail leading to perfection in any manufacturing sector the Japanese run a close second. This is born out by Honda which also has a deserved reputation for endurance making to position 4. 

The Kia from Korea is also gaining a good reputation with the UK fleet sector and manged to take position 10. Other manufactures to take note of in the reliability category include Nissan, Mini and Ford  

What is Multi-Car Insurance?

What is Multi-Car Insurance?

Protect your fleet today. Compare quotes from multiple brokers.

What is multi car insurance? This type of cover is primarily for families that have more than one car in their household. If you fall into this category as do many families in the UK then you have probably at one time or another considered looking into getting multi-car insurance.

A policy of this type can usually cover up to five cars and will offer the same benefits as do regular insurance policies. In addition, insurers will give you a discount because you are insuring more than one car with them.

Statistics issued by the UK government show that one in three families now own more than just one car. The cost of insurance is on the rise, so it is a good idea to shop around and consider options such as a multi car policy. 

Nowadays, with high house and rental prices, many older children will opt to stay at home for just a bit longer. It’s not unusual to have three or four cars on the drive. A household of flat-sharing young professionals could easily have five cars registered to them.

Insurance companies claim that families that have more than one vehicle routinely save more than twenty per cent on their insurance premiums. Do take note that this is a claim and it may not always be the cheaest option. 

How does Multi-car Insurance actually work?

An insurance company will offer a group of people who reside at the same address an umbrella policy which they can all benefit from and insure their vehicles under. The really great thing about this in addition to the discount is the fact that there’s just one single renewal date for the policy each year, plus only one set of paperwork

Even if the insured vehicles have different named and main drivers, the policy still works, providing they are all registered at the same address. That said, let it be known that a household that has just two cars and as many drivers will most likely see the same savings.

The vehicles that are covered on a Multi-car policy must be for private use only. The drivers that are covered on the policy can drive all the cars insured, providing that there are indeed registered as named drivers of said vehicles.

Not all providers of multi car insurance are on Comparison sites

Whilst it is advised to to get multi car insurance quotes from a few comparative sites. It should be noted that some brokers do not offer their products to comparative sites. For these  you must go direct to their website to get your quote. This can be done after you have used sites like this to compare what is on offer with other key UK providers of multi car insurance

What is Multi Car Insurance?

Fleet management

How to manage a Fleet of Business Vehicles

7 Ways to Reduce Fleet Operating Costs

  • Fleet Maintenance

Many times, the person in charge of the fleet has many other duties such as warehouse supervisor, human resources director, controller, and maintenance manager. Sometimes, those other duties tend to push fleet far down the list.

Often times, a fleet may qualify for incentives from auto manufacturers. Trade associations may offer discounts. Whether they be large or small, the manager’s top of the list priority is to reduce fleet costs.

Due to the fact that fleets quite often run their vehicle to high mileage, maintenance is always a top issue. In order to instil greater accountability with drivers and drive (no pun intended) costs down, implement simple maintenance and repair guidelines.

  • Fuel Costs &  Remarketing

An ever-present pain point is fuel conservation. As is often the case, many fleets are not able to identify their fuel spend or even understand the amount of their fuel fraud. A low-cost (or even no-cost) fuel card program has been known to save 15% or more on fleet fuel costs.

How about remarketing ? In simple terms … selling one of your fleet vans when you’re done with it. There are specific months that used vehicles command a higher price than others. Educate yourself as to when this is, and if possible, time your sale to match this period.

As you read these words today, understand that there is a new crop of internal combustion engines in the making that will not only lessen your fuel spend, but also reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Out Sourcing & Insurance

If you still find yourself short of time to implement these and other initiatives, or investigate what’s on the horizon in your industry, then you may want to consider outsourcing some of the work to a fleet management company. You could also get yourself connected to a fleet-minded dealer who would be able to act as a consultant regarding fleet related matters.

Lastly, let’s mention insurance coverage for your fleet. If you are leasing vehicles, there’s often the situation where a dealer will require you to have a higher level of cover, siting the fact that it is they, not you, who own the vehicle. Shop around for your fleet insurance, as it can be critical to saving money.

Using a fleet insurance broker has many well-known benefits. The biggest of these is without a doubt, the time you will save by not having to shop around for the insurance yourself. An important fact to remember is that Fleet Insurance is a very specialized area. To search the insurance market, and then obtain quotes yourself, could take quite a bit of your time. A good broker will know how to streamline the process for you, and as is very often the case, save you money as well.

  • 3 Using a route planning program

Investing in a route planning solution can enable you to minimize fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear of vehicles by choosing the most optimal route for your vehicles.

  • 4 Repair first instead of replacing parts

Extra and unnecessary expenses are also incurred when car parts are replaced right away instead of being repaired first. Repairing windscreens, for instance, is up to 20 percent cheaper than replacing them.

  • 5  Wisely schedule preventive maintenance 

Many fleet managers still believe that vehicles should undergo regular preventive maintenance practices such as changing oil every 3,000 miles, or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

However, newer cars don’t need that frequent oil changes. Most car experts suggest intervals of 7,500 up to 10,000 miles before subjecting the vehicle to an oil change.

  • 6 Combine your insurance policies

Fleet Insurance premiums can also add up to fleet operating costs. You can scale down costs of premiums by speaking to your insurance company and asking if you can combine public and employee liability cover with fleet policy.

  • 7 Minimise travel whenever possible

Finally, you can cut down on fuel expenses by encouraging your employees to use video conferences and similar technologies whenever possible. This strategy can also delay the wear and tear of vehicles.

Indeed, there are plenty of things that you can do now to reduce your fleet’s operating costs.

Tips to Reducing Fleet Insurance

7 Ways to Reduce Fleet Operating Costs

7 Ways to Reduce Fleet Operating Costs

The rising costs of fuel compounded by the depreciation of the British pound against the US dollar are expected to further increase fleet operating costs in the United Kingdom. It is not surprising that companies are looking for different ways to lower the costs of maintaining a fleet.

If you’re a business owner concerned about this development, or you are in charge of managing your company’s fleet, you might want to follow the following tips to reduce your fleet operating costs.  Any fleet manager that would like to share any tips please add to comments section below the article, thank you in advance.

  • 1 Fuel Cards

Fuel expense is undeniably one of, if not the largest, costs that companies have to shoulder when they maintain a fleet. You can better manage your fleet’s fuel consumption by imposing the use of fuel cards.

Fuel cards not only help fleet managers keep track of the fuel expenses of their vehicles. It can also come in handy in detecting fraud.

If your drivers use fuel cards, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to fill up with more fuel than they could have used.

Fleet managers will also be able to identify which drivers are filling up their vehicles with premium fuels.

  • 2 Promote good driving habits

One of the best ways to control fuel expenses is to promote good driving habits among your drivers. The Energy Savings Trust says it is possible for fleets to cut down fuel costs by 15 percent annually if drivers learn how to drive more efficiently.

From keeping tyres at the right pressure to turning off the engine when the vehicle is stationary for more than three minutes

  • 3 Using a route planning program

Investing in a route planning solution can enable you to minimize fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear of vehicles by choosing the most optimal route for your vehicles.

  • 4 Repair first instead of replacing parts

Extra and unnecessary expenses are also incurred when car parts are replaced right away instead of being repaired first. Repairing windscreens, for instance, is up to 20 percent cheaper than replacing them.

  • 5  Wisely schedule preventive maintenance 

Many fleet managers still believe that vehicles should undergo regular preventive maintenance practices such as changing oil every 3,000 miles, or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

However, newer cars don’t need that frequent oil changes. Most car experts suggest intervals of 7,500 up to 10,000 miles before subjecting the vehicle to an oil change.

  • 6 Combine your insurance policies

Fleet Insurance premiums can also add up to fleet operating costs. You can scale down costs of premiums by speaking to your insurance company and asking if you can combine public and employee liability cover with fleet policy.

  • 7 Minimise travel whenever possible

Finally, you can cut down on fuel expenses by encouraging your employees to use video conferences and similar technologies whenever possible. This strategy can also delay the wear and tear of vehicles.

Indeed, there are plenty of things that you can do now to reduce your fleet’s operating costs.