It’s more common than not for your new company car to come without a spare wheel. According to a report by Honest John, nine out of ten new vehicles are sold without a full-size spare wheel as standard.
Manufacturers see removing the spare tyre and replacing with a tyre repair kit as a quick way to cut costs and save on space and weight. A saving which does help to reduce CO2 output, and certainly comes in handy when it comes to company car tax bandings.
But, when it comes to punctures, there’s nothing better than a spare tyre to get drivers on their way quickly.
Last year, over half of all Sandicliffe Motor Contracts driver-related roadside call outs were for tyres. If a driver finds themselves on the side of the road with a busted tyre beyond repair, with no spare tyre and no space saver, there is no option but for the vehicle to be recovered.
Which causes significant distress for the driver and can certainly inconvenience your customers.
Costs to businesses
Like Sandicliffe Motor Contracts, most contract hire providers include roadside assistance or accident recovery as part of their maintenance package, so the actual cost of recovery is already accounted for.
However, if you take into consideration the cost of vehicle downtime, this is where businesses can be hit hard.
For job roles where access to a vehicle is business-critical, any time off the road whilst the vehicle is being recovered and fitted with a new tyre can be extremely costly. In another study, RAC Business calculated that it could cost small businesses up to £500 a day in lost revenue whilst a vehicle sits idle waiting for repair.
And, as quick as we aim to get our drivers back on the road, sometimes extenuating circumstances such as busy periods in the workshops or a replacement tyre is out of stock, can mean that some repairs can get held up.
How much does a spare wheel cost?
Across the manufacturers, prices vary. For a Vauxhall Insignia they cost around £110 and for a Jaguar XE, you can pay up to £160 for a space saver.
Although this may seem like a hefty upfront cost – and granted, a spare wheel isn’t the most exciting optional extra! But £130 split across a three -year contract would cost as little as £4 a month.
And yes, even though you still need to book in for a new tyre, this can be managed under far less strenuous circumstances and a time that suits. Customers can also take advantage of Kwik Fit Mobile Services. New tyres can be fitted either at home or at a work address.
How does your fleet policy outline what to do when it comes to punctures?
Under no circumstances should drivers ever attempt to change a wheel. The presence of a spare wheel is not there to encourage employees to retrofit the tyre themselves. All drivers should be advised to call their breakdown service for expert support.
Considerations moving forward…
For high mileage drivers, consider adding a clause to the fleet policy that stipulates that any employee driving 25,000 – 30,000 miles per year must have a spare wheel fitted. You can also take advantage of better rates at the vehicle order stage, rather than having one fitted retrospectively.
However, if you wish to see spare wheel costs for any your existing fleet vehicles, speak with your Account Manager or Fleet Co-Ordinator.
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