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Brexit and the cost of vehicle repairs

Vehicle maintenance costs can be expensive, volatile and challenging to control at the best of times.

But according to Dan Godfrey, senior technician in the Grosvenor Group’s maintenance control team, Brexit could add another layer of uncertainty that could make servicing, maintenance and repair costs more unpredictable than ever.

The SMMT(Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) has made its position very clear around a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Their official statement reads: ‘The automotive industry has been consistent and united – a ‘no deal’ Brexit would have a devastating impact on the sector and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports.

It would end frictionless trade, add billions to the cost of importing and exporting and put jobs at risk.’

However, deal or no deal, Dan believes that leaving the EU will place an even greater strain on companies to manage their maintenance costs more vigilantly than ever before.

“If you are a fleet manager operating a vehicle fleet where you manage and pay for your own servicing, maintenance and repairs, the job is likely to get very tough,” he said.

“Very few fleet managers are qualified technicians, and the Brexit process could impact on parts supply and pricing, labour costs and the speed of repairs.

“Managing that process and controlling the costs will require very specialist skills indeed, and an industry knowledge of when, for example, manufacturer parts can be replaced with non-genuine ones, whether a repair can wait (enabling a driver to remain mobile and use the vehicle while apart is being shipped) or if the work is needed as a matter of urgency, and whether any price increases are fair and equitable.

“It’s for this reason why I foresee our ‘pay on use’ maintenance management service becoming increasingly popular as companies seek to tap into the expertise of our team of maintenance technicians, and our OSCAR 365 fleet management system, to manage all servicing, maintenance, repairs and fast fit items on their behalf.”

Dan also argues that, outside of Brexit, the management of vehicle maintenance is going to change dramatically in the coming years anyway as we see a stark increase in electric vehicles on our roads.

“Electric and plug in hybrid vehicles are bringing a whole new dimension to servicing, maintenance and repairs,” he continued. “After all, with a fully electric vehicle many of the traditional elements don’t exist and you’re dealing with a whole new ball game of technology and diagnostics. We’re moving into an era of software updates rather than oil changes!

“It’s for this reason why I can see many companies asking specialist fleet management providers, such as Interactive Fleet Management, to manage their maintenance for them as it becomes an increasingly specialist discipline and one that is very costly if you get it wrong.”

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