Dealer vehicle safety checks need to give ‘more information’ to fleets, says FleetCheck
Safety checks carried out by dealers when servicing
cars and vans need to provide “more useful information” to fleets, according to
The fleet software specialist said that the current
checks, which tended to use traffic light or estimated percentage wear
indicators, were of limited practical use.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “We are all familiar with
the kind of one-sheet vehicle safety checks that are handed to you when you
collect a vehicle after servicing, showing items such as tyre and brake pad
“What is not well-known about these documents is that they actually have a legal
significance. Health and safety guidelines mean that any notification of a
vehicle fault needs to be acknowledged and addressed by the fleet.
“However, the problem is - and we speak to fleets regularly who complain about
this - that the information provided is of very limited value. Take brake pads,
for example. The dealer may report to the customer that they are 70% worn but
they give no indication to the fleet about when they are likely to actually to
need replacing. They present the fleet with a health and safety problem but no
Mr Golding said it would be relatively simple for a dealer - with the backing
of its franchise manufacturer or an independent expert body - to estimate the
likely fail date or mileage based on their experience of the vehicles in
question and, for the sake of safety, to use a worst case scenario when making
“I have owned and run dealerships myself, and had many conversations with
dealers about this issue. They need to start giving more useful information to
fleets by, instead of just saying that the pads are 70% worn, stating clearly
that they are likely to need checking again or replacing in an estimated three
months or 5,000 miles, for example.
“This would be genuinely useful information for fleets
and, of course, would be of advantage to the dealer, who is much more likely to
capture the work that has been flagged up if there is a timescale indicated.
This applies especially to jobs such as tyres and pads that many dealers tend
to lose to fast-fits.”
Mr Golding added that a further complication was that, in cases where vehicles
were leased, the safety checks themselves were often passed to the leasing
company rather than the fleet.
“This is an issue because, as explained, the safety check has a legal status.
If it never actually reaches the fleet and there is a resulting accident that
triggers an HSE investigation, then the audit trail of paperwork breaks down.
It is an area that needs addressing.”