A better way to manage vehicle damage charges

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As you’d expect, finding new ways to reduce vehicle related costs consistently tops the list of priorities for the majority of fleet decision-makers. However, a recent research study* conducted by LeasePlan, whilst reconfirming the importance of cutting expenditure, also highlighted that predictability of costs carried a similar, and in some cases greater, significance to the level of cost itself.

So as 2015 drew to a close, LeasePlan set about looking for new opportunities to tick both boxes; provide genuine cost savings while delivering greater certainty over future fleet costs. Of course, given our long history of innovating to provide greater cost transparency, many of the obvious areas were already well covered but, as we continued to dig deeper, one area for improvement became clear: Damage Recharges.

While the condition of a returned vehicle can never be wholly predicted, the categorisation of any damage, and the costs associated with its repair, can and should be made simple to understand and as predictable as possible. And it’s for this very reason that we have now revised what was formerly called our Fixed Fee Matrix and have introduced a new Flat Fee Price Matrix for the many of the most common types of damage reported at the end of a vehicle’s contract.

The new fee structure has already been shown to deliver a reduction in cost for around 80% of the most common damage categories while offering greater clarity when it comes to the definition of damage type. The new charging system, which applies to Smart Repairs and small damages, is perhaps best illustrated by a couple of examples:

Example 1
A car is returned with a dent around 12cm long on the driver’s door but with no damage to the paintwork.

Previous Cost £166.59
Revised Cost £97.98

Saving: 41%

Example 2
A van is returned with multiple stone chips to the bonnet, with some light corrosion of the exposed metal.

Previous Cost £75.56
Revised Cost £50.00

Saving: 34%

For further pricing information, a full matrix of charges can be downloaded by clicking here.

We have also simplified the rules for certain types of common damage. For example, small chips in the ‘A zone’ of windscreens can now be repaired, rather than requiring glass to be replaced, and the cost of roof repairs has been brought into line with the fees for damage to other body panels. As example 1 illustrates, dents without paint damage are costed using an hourly rate to repair just the metal. We will also no longer charge for paint.

The really good news is that the new charging structure has already been implemented, so damage to any vehicles now being returned will be charged at the revised rates. It’s just one more example of why it really is easier to leaseplan.


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