The New Year is traditionally the time for resolutions. However, rather than (or as well as) creating them for yourself, we have some vehicle/fleet related recommendations that you may also find useful.
Ensure you don’t neglect your tyres and check the condition of them on a regular basis. The condition of your tyres affects your vehicle’s performance and mpg, so we recommend you familiarise yourself with the warning signs to recognise whether they need replacing.
Good maintenance includes checking the whole tyre from tread depth to tyre pressure. In addition, wheel alignment and balance are important so if you have hit a pothole or kerbed the wheel it is useful to get these checked. The RAC have recently announced a 24% year on year increase in 2015 for the number of callouts due to poor road surfaces.
Whilst the legal limit for minimum tyre depth is 1.6mm, replacement is often recommended once tread reaches 2mm due to the impact on tyre performance.
When it comes to minor vehicle damage such as a chipped windscreen, we highly recommend getting it sorted as soon as possible.
We advise utilising Smart repairs for any minor bodywork damage to avoid the risk of increased costs being incurred when the vehicle is returned at the end of the contract.
According to a Fleet News report published in August 2015 the average end of contract charge across the industry’s top 50 suppliers was £274. Spread over a 36 month contract this is an additional cost of nearly £8 per month!
Check Your Fluids
At least once a month, make time to check your vehicle’s fluids, topping up if and when necessary. Remember to check the engine coolant, screen wash and oil. Without oil, your vehicle’s engine could be irreparably damaged in under a minute.
Most vehicles now advise drivers when there is a problem or a service is due. Ignoring these warnings can lead to expensive repairs and potential issues with Warranties. Do not ignore these messages and we advise booking your vehicle in for services as soon as possible.
Keep Your Vehicle Clean
It can be easy to neglect your car’s cleanliness, but now is the perfect chance to make a habit of keeping it spotless. You want to ensure that your vehicle is kept in excellent condition, tending to any wear and tear. To keep on top of the internal maintenance, we advise scheduling a “tidy my car day” each month.
Driving efficiently can help improve your vehicle’s performance as well as cut fuel costs. It’s never too late to change the way you drive so here are some useful tips for you.
- Remove all unnecessary baggage from your vehicle
- Keep to the speed limit
- Avoid accelerating too rapidly
- Don’t brake harshly or aggressively drive round corners
- Don’t consistently run your car down to the fuel warning light or below
According to Insurer LV, 827,000 drivers (two thirds were under the age of 35) had to be rescued in 2015 after running out of fuel. Worryingly this figure has been increasing year on year since 2011. Avoid the risk of a breakdown by topping up your fuel tank efficiently.
By driving safely, you’re helping not only you, but also other drivers get to their destination with ease. Police are getting tougher and tougher on motorists in a range of areas.
Motorists who use their phone whilst driving could face four penalty points on their licence and fines range from £100 to £150. According to AA Populus research, 23% of 19,000 AA members admitted that in 2015 they had “been distracted”, had a near miss or a crash whilst using or interacting with a mobile phone.
There are a number of very simple and easy to implement ways that you could improve your driving safety, why not give some of them a try…….
- Abiding by the national speed limits
- Not using your mobile phone whilst driving
- Not drinking alcohol altogether
- Use caution when driving in bad weather
- Avoiding driving whilst tired
- Planning your route in advance
- Ensure you have equipment and clothing relevant to the weather/road conditions you may encounter
Happy New Year, remember it isn’t too late to make last minute resolutions and we hope we’ve inspired you with our suggestions. If you’ve made any that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you.
Join the conversation on Twitter
Over the next week, we’ll be asking a series of industry poll questions following on from our 10 New Year’s resolutions. Head over to our Twitter to join us for more fleet related information using #FOresolutions and remember to stay involved for the results.