Driver Competence Makes All The Difference

Fleet managers seeking innovative ways to lower costs should take heed of a recent report issued by Chevin Fleet Solutions, the fleet management software company. According to customer data that the company analyzed, there is a substantial reduction in costs yielded by a company’s most competent drivers, and an equally significant increase in costs effected by the least competent. The difference between the two is a remarkable 25%, with the best drivers reflecting a 12% reduction in cost and the worst representing an increase of 13%.

According to David Gladding, sales director at Chevin, “There is a growing awareness among fleets about the level of impact that driver behavior can have on overall costs and these figures underline their concern. In terms of an average vehicle life cycle, the difference between the best and worst drivers will run into thousands of pounds per vehicle, and even on a medium-sized fleet, could mean a total six figure variance.”

The study revealed that there are several areas in which a driver’s behaviour has an impact on costs. Most notable among these are fuel, maintenance, accidents and the condition in which they keep their vehicle. According to Gladding, “Generally, fleet managers recognize that less responsible drivers will have higher fule consumption and cause more wear and tear to their vehicle, resulting in higher SMR costs. However, there is also a strong correlation between that kind of driver behaviour and increased accident rates, as well as a general level of carelessness about the vehicle that can impact on residual values.”

The most effective method of dealing with these issues is through tighter driver controls and an emphasis on personal responsibility for the vehicle condition. “Where employers make it clear that drivers have a high level of responsibility for the condition and use of their vehicle, the level of variance does close. Not completely, obviously, but enough to make a stronger stance worthwhile.”