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Company car breakdowns can cost your business time and money in lost productivity and, with winter in full swing, can be a more frequent and unpleasant experience for all.

shutterstock_279745049Recent research by RAC Business found that Croydon is the breakdown hotspot of the UK, with more company car drivers experiencing faults there than anywhere else. Croydon, which is a major hub for business activity due to the busy A23 and A232 trunk roads, has topped the RAC’s list every year since 2010. Added to this, the fact that there are more commercial vehicles on the road means the London borough has dealt with a 24% rise in the number of business car roadside recoveries in the UK since 2010. Last year alone, we helped almost 500,000 company vehicle drivers get back on the road.

Aside from the obvious inconveniences to the individual driver, breaking down in a company vehicle can waste valuable business time. For one in three small businesses the cost of a vehicle off the road can be anything up to £500 a day, which can have a major impact on productivity and a company’s bottom line.

While some specific roads and areas are prone to breakdowns or incidents simply due to the volume of cars passing through or condition of the road, here are a few tips to consider to minimise the chance of having vehicles off the road.

  1. Look after the battery

A flat or failing battery is among the biggest causes of car breakdown. Keep batteries in top condition by advising employees to turn off lights and interior electrics before they switch off the ignition.

  1. Keep your cars regularly serviced

It almost goes without saying but regular car maintenance and servicing maintains the overall vehicle health and should find anything that’s failing before it causes your car to break down. Management tools like RAC Business Club can help you by providing alerts and reminders to ensure you keep on top of servicing and car maintenance across all your business vehicles.

  1. Take care of your tyres

The tyres on your vehicles can affect fuel economy as well as performance. Having the correct tyre pressure can keep your employees safe on the road, as well as saving your business money by contributing to better fuel efficiency. Check all vehicle tread depth regularly and look for any damage to tyres – including the spare.

  1. Regularly check fluid levels

Checking engine fluid levels regularly can ensure your vehicles run smoothly and components last longer. Make sure the oil, coolant and washer fluid are at the right levels and consistency and top them up if needed, according to manufacturer’s specifications.

  1. Prepare for bad weather

Make sure all employees understand the importance of preparing for bad weather and are regularly checking their car lights and wiper blades so that they can see and be seen at all times. Make sure all lights are clean and free from cracks, and wiper blades are smear free. Replace wiper blades if they become worn or split.

By Jenny Powley, Sales Director Corporate, RAC Business