10 steps to keeping your vans on the road, and vehicle repair costs to a minimum

October 15, 2012

1. Employ a professional accident management company

Accident management is a complex issue. Choosing the right company should save you time and money regardless of the size of your fleet, due to the experienced control of claims and repair costs. 

2. Make sure your repair network is PAS 125 approved 

PAS 125 is the BSI standard for vehicle body repairs which ensures a safe and technically sound repair and gives you peace of mind. 

Not all body repairers are PAS125 accredited. Sub standard repairs can cost your money, could be dangerous and can affect the resell value.

3. Consider a mobile solution when you can’t hire like for like specialist vans

Commercial vehicles often carry specialist equipment, racking and tools, it is not always possible to hire a specialist van that meets your exact needs, so consider a solution where the repairer comes to you.

4. Insist on detailed management reporting

This will allow you to manage budgets accurately, keep track of every repair, identify problem areas and analyse trends. Management Information also enables effective risk management through the analysis of the claims history. Compare the reports from various accident management providers to find out which suits your requirements.

5. Check repair coverage

Make sure your accident management company has an approved network of repairers which covers the whole of the UK. Smaller repair chains offer limited coverage, inconsistent reporting, different standards and guarantees. The capability to centrally deploy repairs is a significant consideration to minimize VOR and for oversize vehicles the oven size required is a major factor.

6. Consider mobile repairs

Ensure your repairs are immediately triaged (assessed) to determine the most efficient repair method.  A repair handled by a professional mobile service provider may reduce your off-the-road time to one day.  However, make sure that the mobile provider is part of a fixed-site chain so that they can easily refer severe repairs back to a bodyshop. Some deployments can be undertaken when the vehicle is at work or on a job.

7. Reduce your claims with ‘less than excess’ repairs 

Pay for low-value repairs rather than claiming but agree contractual terms with a body repair group that allows you to know your likely expenditure.  Often you can secure fixed price repairs via a matrix approach to pricing. 

8. Make sure that repair quotes are ‘engineered’

‘Engineering’ means checking a vehicle repair quote against industry accepted costings. A professional accident repair company will ‘engineer’ each quotation. Ask to see the engineered quotations for every repair.

9. In-life and End-of-life work

If a vehicle is on a lease, the return condition is central to the contractual conditions. By undertaking In-life and End-of-life repaint and reworking you can maximise the residual value by presenting the van in its best possible condition. The removal of logos can be undertaken at defleet in a highly cost effective manner. By agreeing fixed price service agreements, a Fleet Manager has budget clarity and transparency of costs.

10. Driver training – prevention is better than cure

Driver error remains the single biggest reason for car accidents. Prevention is better than cure, so provide advanced driver training to your fleet drivers, starting with the ones who have had accidents historically. Accident and damage patterns can be identified using Management Information.

Experts in Accident Management

Nationwide, accident management
If you’re looking for accident management support and advice, why not turn to the experts? As the leading and largest vehicle body repair group in the UK, Nationwide is a trusted name when it comes to accident management. 

Nationwide provides market-leading services to organisations and businesses across the country, offering the only truly in-house one-stop-shop for accident management in the industry. Services include first notification of loss, deployment, engineering, claims handling, third party capture and salvage. Repair deployment is via a triage process used to minimise vehicle off-road time and rental charges.

 “Nationwide is a trusted name when it comes to accident management” 

This gives fleet managers access to Nationwide’s market-leading mobile repair service, which can save them thousands of pounds in down time, together with its chain of wholly-owned repair centres which provide the widest coverage in the UK.

With seamless transition from one service to the next, the whole process is fully integrated. This is supported by flexible, comprehensive, online management reporting designed specifically with the fleet manager in mind. 

With dedicated business support teams, Nationwide provides accident management support for fleets ranging in size from ten vehicles to tens of thou¬sands.

 T: 01606 562352 E: info@nationwiderepairs.co.uk W: www.nationwiderepairs.co.uk