After months of standstill, coronavirus lockdown restrictions are being gradually eased in England, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to follow suit in the coming weeks. Although strict guidelines are in place for most businesses, including major new occupational safety and social distancing rules, the slow and arduous return to economic normality has finally begun.
This is good news for everyone and it gives fleet managers and drivers the chance to start clearing their backlogs of vehicle repairs and maintenance. It’s important, though, that as this process begins, expectations for local garages, service and repair stations and tyre fitters are kept in check.
Like other businesses, garages, tyre fitters and body repair workshops have already implemented, or are starting to implement, far-reaching social distancing rules and vehicle sanitation protocols. In some cases, entire locations are having to be physically re-arranged to meet new standards. This will limit their repair and maintenance capacity in the weeks ahead and is likely to exacerbate delays to appointments and servicing times. Similarly, we can expect few home-collection pick-ups and deliveries, and mobile maintenance services.
With this in mind, fleet professionals need to be smart and plan accordingly. The road to recovery is a team effort involving every member of society, so we all have an important part to play.
Here are our top tips to help make your fleet lockdown exit run as smoothly as possible:
- Prioritise any vehicles that are due for mandatory inspections. These must be scheduled and performed on time in line with regulations and insurance requirements. Keep in mind that the Government has introduced a 6-month extension period for MOTs to be carried out if the expiry date is on or after 30 March 2020.
- Try to delay non-critical repairs where possible, so that limited capacity at service centres can be directed where it is needed most.
- Streamline all appointments for inspection, service and maintenance through the LeasePlan DriverLine as the single point of contact.
- Remind drivers of problems that can occur when vehicles stand idle for a long period of time, and advise on how to prevent them.
Fleet managers and drivers will play a key role in helping ensure an orderly return to business, so it’s vital you continue to stay on top of the latest legislative and technical developments.
Find out more
Look out for our upcoming webinar series ‘Lifting the lockdown’ where our expert team provide further gudiance everything from service delivery to driver safety.