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Small businesses in the UK say they have to deal with vehicles being out of action for almost three working weeks (14 days) on average each year, due to preventable breakdowns. Research by RAC Business has discovered this equates to an average income loss of £248 per day for each working day lost, or £3,472 across the year.

breakdownsCommon faults causing employee breakdowns include flat tyres (36%), faulty batteries (25%), electrical faults (23%) and low oil levels (22%), according to business owners and managers who took part in the survey.

The data shows that one-in-five small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that up to 50% of these breakdowns could have been prevented if managers received early warning to the problem, and in some cases by using in-car technology such as telematics.

In addition to the financial burden these preventable faults are causing SMEs, there is also a significant impact on business managers’ time, with 42% of firms spending more than 75 hours a year dealing with out of action vehicles.

RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker says: “This is a significant sum of money for UK SMEs to be losing, when a lot of these faults can be detected and prevented before they lead to vehicles breaking down.

“Employees are becoming busier and busier in their working lives and therefore it’s difficult sometimes to stay on top of company car maintenance, especially if the vehicle is shared by several employees in a car pool.

“There is a tendency for people to assume somebody else will deal with issues if it’s not their own car. In that case technology such as telematics can help managers to predict, and therefore prevent possible issues with vehicles.

“Having this sort of data and insight at their fingertips will empower managers to save their business both time and money by reducing avoidable vehicle maintenance.”