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More benefits of our lease return inspection

Apart from the huge financial benefits of our lease return services (itemised on the previous article), there are also benefits which should appeal to companies and their fleet managers. These include:

Plus, with your cars being returned in good order and the minimum of fuss, there are benefits to the lease company... ask them if they reward good customers!

Peace of mind that our service covers all the bases

Peace of mind that our service covers all the bases We have been running our lease return services for a number of years now, having many customers and dealing with many lease companies, so we feel we have a good grasp of all the problems and have designed our service with these in mind. We realize it isn't just a case of saving money on your fleet. The whole process of returning cars can end up as a huge headache.

"I'm giving it back to my fleet manager tomorrow and getting another car, so I want to spend as little money as possible... it's not my problem!"*

One of the biggest problems is that your drivers haven't grasped that the car and any damage on it is their responsibility -- they will almost always feel that if they didn't do the damage, on a car that doesn't belong to them, then they shouldn't have to pay. When they look at their car prior to return, they don't want to see any damage, so often they don't. They think that if you can't find anything with a quick look, then the car will be okay. The result is that you are sending cars back with your fingers crossed hoping that they will pass. But when you do get the bill back and pass this onto your driver, they get upset because they feel they are being charged unfairly, you then have arguments with your employee about damage they never saw.

Our services and the resources on this website have been designed to help you to overcome this kind of problem, and we are always mindful of the concerns of fleet managers and their drivers.

Easy fire-&-forget process

We make it easy for drivers and fleet managers to use our service. All you have to do is give your drivers the web-address of our 6-step guide. This guide tells them everything they need to know, from why they are returning their car, who is responsible and who pays, to how to book an appointment and how to get here. But it doesn't end there... the guide tells them where to find relevant information about returning a car, how to save money by doing some of the work them self, and how to prepare the car for return. We provide other online resources too including our comprehensive lease guide and mileage manager.

Educating the drivers of their responsibilities

As we have already mentioned, one of the problems is that many drivers, as far as they are concerned, have "a company car". They haven't seen it as their problem the whole time they have been in possession of it, and they really don't want to start now! It often seems to us that they have the attitude that if they ignore the problem, it will go away. By the time it dawns on then that they really are going to have to take responsibility, they have the bill in their hand and they have been on the phone for the last hour shouting at the fleet manager -- by this time it's far too late to avoid many of the costs.
Furthermore, because they haven't taken this on, they really weren't aware of what the responsibilities are. We have a great deal of sympathy with this, because we know only too well the whole issue of 'Fair Wear & Tear' is very complicated. Knowing what is fair and what is not is very hard to do, even then knowing the best way to deal with the damage takes a great deal of knowledge and experience.

We believe that the answer to this is to educate drivers and make lots of information available to them, and allowing them to make informed decisions.

Helping the drivers to take on this responsibility

We would only be providing half a service if we just pointed out the problems, without also providing the answers. Or as is often the case, presenting the driver with a range of options. It may be the case that accepting recharges is cheaper than having a repair done. Other times, sourcing and replacing a part yourself may make more sense that having a dealer replace the part or having a repair done. We ensure the driver is aware of the options and give them helpful advice as to the best course of action.

The prevention of arguments later, between employee/fleet-manager/lease-company

Once the fleet manager and the driver have the inspection report, there are no arguments. You will know exactly what is wrong with the car at that point (we even list damage we believe to be acceptable wear & tear) and what needs to be done and you can work together to resolve the issues. Your drivers won't claim that they have been charged for damage that wasn't on the car, unless they have been charged for damage not on our report. This means that you won't be caught in the middle between your employees and your lease company, resulting in an easier relationship with both.

Lease companies tell as that some of their fleet customers are somewhat 'challenging', returning cars in poor conditions, and it's usually these customers that dispute the charges. Keeping the lease the company happy should be your long term goal - it can pay dividends!

Reduced workload for fleet managers

Our service reduces the workload of fleet managers in two ways: Firstly because you have to spend less time managing drivers to return their cars, just point them in the direction of our Six Step Guide, and our Lease Return Guide which is constantly updated to cover all the questions asked by drivers based on actual feedback, such as questions about lost keys. Secondly you cut down on the amount of time arguing about recharges... e.g. for keys!

Get a true measure of what is going on with your fleet

We know that many companies are rewarding drivers who take care of their cars. But are you really rewarding the right people?
Lease companies lose a lot of money through damaged missed by over worked inspectors working in less than perfect conditions. It's possible that a tatty car can incur few charges because it was inspected on a rainy friday afternoon, while a car in good condition incurs heavy recharges because minor damage was in the most expensive places, and all of it was noted by a diligent inspector.
Unlike the lease companies, we have the luxury of working under controlled conditions and allocate adequate time to carry out a thorough inspections, meaning that our reports are the most accurate gauge of which drivers should be on your christmas list, and which need to be sent for re-education.

Some cars you send to us will not benefit from a financial saving if there is very little wrong with them, so it may only be that peace of mind, a valet and education is all that a driver gains. But these cars and their drivers will serve as an example to the rest of your fleet, (especially if you are highlighting their good practice by rewarding them), and this education will serve to ensure your drivers take great care of their cars in the coming years.

Education for the next lease car

...which brings us back to the subject of education once again. A larger part of the damage inflicted on vehicles is completely avoidable and comes about due to carelessness, bad habits and lack of forethought (we are all guilty of this!). We believe that prevention is better than cure, so as well as helping to educate your drivers of their responsibilities and how best to discharge them, we also educate them on how to care for their lease cars during the period they own them.

What your drivers can learn from us may even effect the choice of car they make on their next lease, choosing sturdy, robust and practical cars instead of being tempted by the car salesman with flashy sports wheels which are delicate and expensive to repair. [more]

Unbiased, independent reports and advice,
with no obligation to buy our other services.

When you purchase our lease return service, the price reflects the amount of time and skill involved, so we don't depend on getting the repair work to pay for the time taken to do the report. Furthermore, because we have built the system around a thorough understanding of fleet operations, we know that every fleet car returned, there are multiple parties we need to keep on-side -- the fleet manager, the driver, and the lease company. We would never recommend work that doesn't need to be done, because we know that saving money is the prime consideration, but nor would we ever recommend 'quick fixes' or cover-ups, because we know that cheating the lease company will backfire. An honest and unbiased report is the best solution for you, your drivers, the lease company, and for us.

With each inspection report listing damage to a car, you will also receive a summary of recommendations and advice, and a free estimate for the work to be carried out by us. You are under no obligation to have the work done by us and are free to go to the market to find the best deal. In fact, it is highly likely that we will recommend body shops, trimmers, and windscreen fitters. We may also recommend that the driver do some of the work them self and we give advice to how to go about it.

However, if you do wish us to do the work, we are a one-stop-shop. We can repair the vast majority of damage including scuffs, chips, dents, alloy wheel refurbishing, and interior repairs. We even have a working relationship with a reasonably priced local car body repair shop - just please remember, repairs take time, so we recommend starting the process several weeks before the car is due to go back.

Next time you have a car to return, why not give us a try. Please see our Contact menu.


*A quote from a driver who visited us on the day this article was written. She wanted to spend £10 on a car wash.

† The lease companies demand that a repair is carried out to an acceptable standard. We have seen paintwork work done by 'the brother-in-law's best mate' which would definitely incur recharges. As with most things in life, cheapest isn't always best and you usually get what you pay for.
Some lease companies will only accept body shop work carried out by approved centres.

More benefits of our lease return inspection The Triangle of Terror! Why drivers don't make good inspectors

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This page was last updated on Tue, 16 November, 2010