Drivers who are given a personal car from their company are getting into accidents that cost employers much more than their commercial vehicle counterparts, according to new research from LeasePlan.
The study found that commercial vehicle drivers in the United Kingdom were costing companies an average of £182 in accident costs per year. A considerably lower average compared to the £291 accrued by perk drivers.
LeasePlan, a global vehicle leasing and fleet and vehicle management company, analyzed over 28,000 drivers during its research. The company also found the results were similar for out-of-contract maintenance costs, in which the average perk driver accrued £145 in maintenance costs annually, compared to a commercial vehicle driver at £98.
This two groups averaged a comparable amount of miles driven each year: 23,309 for commercial vehicle drivers and 25,795 for per drivers.
However, commercial drivers did show a higher cost when it came to traffic tickets, violations and fines, but the lower accident costs were surprising, considering the larger size and weight involved with most commercial vans.
Across the drivers analyzed, LeasePlan found that the bottom 20 percent of drivers accounted for 76 percent of the total costs incurred, amounting to £8.5 million in unexpected fleet costs. This figure indicates there is substantial savings potential if driver behavior is addressed.
The findings were segmented not only by whether drivers were responsible for commercial or passenger vehicles, but also by what industry was represented. The highest costs were associated with those in the leisure and information technology sectors, while drivers employed in government and finance industry were the most conservative and least costly.
The results are evidence that commercial fleet drivers are perhaps receiving significantly more criticism than they deserve, and that industry efforts to teach economical and safe driving habits are paying off.