Tips for reducing vehicle maintenance costs

Cutting down on unnecessary maintenance costs without compromising standards should be on every fleet manager’s agenda. The key areas to think about are:

Vehicle utilisation: Make sure you spread the level of wear and tear across your fleet, effectively decreasing the frequency of maintenance. Load consolidation and more efficient routeing and scheduling can both help lower mileage.

Fault identification: Many vehicle faults can be identified quite early – around 50% of them during driver walkaround checks. Identifying faults early means repair, rather than replacement, is often an option.

Maintenance scheduling: Have a proper maintenance schedule and stick to it – but keep a sensible balance in place. Don’t submit vehicles for servicing just because they reach a six-week interval, for example; instead, make sure they are maintained according to use. Conversely, don’t miss or delay a service interval that’s due, or faults could develop.

Driver training: The level of wear and tear on vehicle components will often depend on driving style. Driver training can help encourage a less abrasive style.

Vehicle disposal: Running vehicles for considerable periods before disposal may be a false economy, raising maintenance costs. In the long-term, you could be better off buying newer vehicles.

Outsourcing: Monitor the costs and effectiveness of any in-house workshop in terms of utilisation, running costs, tooling and equipment hire, then compare these against a variety of quotes from third parties. Don’t forget to negotiate with maintenance providers – it’s a competitive market and you may be able to get a much better deal by doing so. Length of contract, overall cost and service levels are the main areas to discuss.

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