UK construction companies unclear on fleet use

By Leila Steed29 July 2021

Survey by fleet management specialist Vimcar finds 37% do not know how and when company vehicles are being used

Construction site workers

As many as 37% of construction managers in the UK do not know how and when their company vehicles are being used, according to research carried out by fleet management specialist Vimcar.

The German company collected the data this month (July 2021), through a survey of over 100 fleet-owning construction industry businesses.

It found that 87% of construction managers restrict employee use of fleet vehicles, without a clear understanding of how the fleet operates, and that a third have had vehicles stolen in the past.

Furthermore, the company’s data showed that when it came to use of the vehicles, 43% of survey respondents “could not say how long employees spent with customers” and that 37% of construction managers “did not know whether their employees turned up to a job on time or even at all”.

According to Vimcar, which provides fleet management software to small and medium sized businesses, “the data points to a worrying trend that construction managers have insufficient visibility over how and when their vehicles are being used”.

Ronald Clancy, UK country manager at Vimcar, said, “Vehicle misuse costs the construction services industry thousands in terms of extra fuel, HMRC fines, and unnecessary maintenance expenses.”

He added, “A GPS fleet management system that includes features such as live tracking, geofencing and data exportation would not only enable trust and transparency between managers and their employees, but also prevent the disasters of vehicle theft.”

Vimcar cited the latest vehicle sales research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a UK trade association that represents around 800 automotive companies - including Audi UK, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motoring Europe and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

According to the SMMT’s June 2021 market release, UK sales of pickups, 4x4s and vans in the 2 to 6 tonne range are up 4.7% on pre-pandemic levels, with the demand for deliveries, e-commerce and essential services fuelling the rise.

Clancy said, “As van sales continue to rise, fleet managers and business owners must consider the real cost of their growing fleet to their business and uncover ways to maximise efficiency.”

The company’s research also indicated that construction managers “need a clearer understanding of their fleets”, with 88% saying they would like to receive regular notifications about how employees are using their company vehicles.

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