As the new financial year approaches, businesses across the UK are confirming budgets and gearing up to steer their operations through yet another period of uncertainty and change. We believe fleets and drivers must concentrate on improving the aspects of fleet management within their control. An element that businesses can take more ownership of with immediate effect is accident management.

Courtesy car challenges - are you aware?

Did you know that if you're involved in an accident, it's now less likely that you'll receive a replacement courtesy car vehicle? The automotive landscape has witnessed considerable changes, resulting in a mass shortage of courtesy vehicles, regardless of any agreement you may have with your insurer.

Persistent disruptions in the supply chain have resulted in delays and shortages of new vehicles, causing prices of both new and second-hand cars to soar by over 20% in recent years. Repairers are encountering difficulties in expanding their fleets of courtesy vehicles due to these limitations. Additionally, prolonged order delays for essential parts further exacerbate the situation, often leading to extended periods of courtesy car usage.

These challenges have prompted some insurers to write off repairable vehicles to avoid courtesy car provision, particularly under policies with credit-hire provisions. Insurance policies requiring electric vehicle (EV) courtesy car provision present an additional obstacle due, again, to supply issues and repair costs. This has left many businesses without a lifeline when an accident occurs, with no available vehicle supply. This perfect storm calls for a strategic response from those affected - our customers.

Analyse your accident management history

Efficient accident management can deliver the following benefits:

  • Control all fleet-related costs
  • Reduce vehicle downtime
  • Minimise business disruption
  • Maximise driver and vehicle productivity
  • Protect vehicle resale values through quality assured, guaranteed repairs
  • Save time on admin, such as documentation and accounting

Analysing your accident management history, including average vehicle downtime and associated costs, can empower businesses to develop tailored mitigation strategies for use not only for the next financial year, but for the longer term too. It may seem time consuming, but taking proactive measures, such as implementing temporary solutions like vehicle rotation and amended shift patterns in the event of a vehicle incident, can pay future dividends and ease uncertainty. 

Always ahead

Many businesses are also opting for end-to-end accident management solutions to streamline incident management processes and ensure business continuity. Looking ahead, it's crucial for businesses to acknowledge the changing landscape and adjust fleet expectations accordingly. Adopting robust accident management solutions will be pivotal in maximising productivity while minimising disruption in the face of accidents. Despite the challenges this year could present, 2024 is still filled with promise for those who plan ahead.

The AA, in collaboration with expert partners, is leading initiatives to tackle these challenges. We're excited to be working in close partnership with our customers to help them simplify fleet management, amplify efficiency, and optimise costs. We'll continue building on our legacy of being 'always ahead' in 2024 and beyond.

To find out more please visit: AA Business Services