We’ve all been there. Hot on the heels of an important business meeting and we notice an ominous red light on our car dashboard.
Immediate panic. Is this a serious warning or can I chance it? Will I make my meeting or be able to deliver products on time? And, most importantly – is this vehicle still safe to drive?Reliable vehicles are a must for any business - to the extent that poor transport can make or break company success. With fleet management services from your car leasing agent, a red light needn’t mean disaster imminent.
According to 2016 figures from Transport Infrastructure Ireland there has been a 3.4% year-on-year increase in the number of cars on Irish roads, with increases of over 10% recorded in some areas, and the AA has recorded a corresponding increase in the number of breakdowns. According to the AA, leading reasons for requiring breakdown assistance include: flat or faulty battery, starter motor, damaged tyres and wheels and spark plug failure.
For SMEs in Ireland that rely on vehicles to do business, access to a reliable fleet is not an optional extra - it’s an imperative. Guarding against these common breakdown causes are crucial for protecting how you do business. But can business car leasing offer any benefits to the age-old problem of car breakdown?
Reliable transport despite unreliable circumstances
Ireland is enjoying the boom of technological investment, the benefits of a highly-educated workforce, and economic activity is steadily increasing. However, Ireland’s road network can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. As little as an hour outside Dublin city centre can leave a driver on a rural country road with intermittent mobile phone signal. If a vehicle breakdown were to occur, the driver could easily find themselves stranded, late to close a deal, and otherwise very frustrated. Reduce the occurence of these scenarios with regular car servicing from your business car leasing agent.
Full fleet management services
Choosing to lease car fleets means that SME employees can avail of car leasing services such as 24/7 call-out services. These perks mean that drivers can take advantage of well-established networks of car servicing. Business car leasing companies that have a presence throughout Ireland, the UK and the EU will also have a strong network of roadside protection services in these countries - meaning that mechanic services and appraisals are widely available.
Indeed, many car fleet leasing companies offer roadside assistance, which will meet breakdowns and do everything in their power to get the car up and running again so your employees can stay mobile.. It is this close customer relationship that gives business car leasing the edge when it comes to breakdown recovery.
Awareness of contractual obligations and entitlements
Ensuring that drivers are aware of their contractual obligations and entitlements regarding breakdowns is important.
At a recent event curated by Nissan and Sixt leasing Ireland, Garda Superintendent Con O'Donoghue addressed an audience of car fleet leasing businesses, users and SME owners. Stating that leasing companies have a duty of care to ensure that drivers are aware of their rights and obligations, O’Donoghue said, ‘the lack of clear instruction and policy around car use contributed to confusion, and often led to the fudging of the law. Not taking time to fasten seat belts, poor scheduling, and inappropriate mobile phone use, also conspire to make driving an occupational hazard’.
With this in mind, competent leasing companies should insist that SME owners and their drivers are fully aware of their contractual obligations and entitlements. In general, business car leasing companies expect the following from their drivers in the event of an accident or breakdown:
Not admit or accept liability
Obtain and notify the leasing company of all the names and addresses of all involved parties, including witnesses
Secure the vehicle and inform the police right away if anyone is injured, the road is blocked or if any property has been damaged,
Call the number for the Breakdown Assistance Service on the Rental Agreement.
Third party protection
Choosing a business leasing company that offers Third Party Protection (TPP) is the final step in securing a reliable, up-to-date and secure leasing service. TPP covers claims made against you and other approved drivers in the event of the death or injury to the other party in an accident. TPP offers unlimited liability and provides cover for damage to property to the sum of £5,000,000. Working with a company that provides strong driver protection gives reassurance to the employees on the ground and SMEs who do not have to worry about administrative work in securing this type of protection.
Business car leasing companies offer SMEs the opportunity to put safety nets in place for their drivers and their businesses in one contract. Working closely with customer care advisors, businesses can determine a plan that suits them and choose vehicles that suit employee needs, too.