Top tips for fleet managers during COVID-19 isolation
If your business is affected by COVID-19 and you are in need of guidance, please get in touch with a member of our team.
We have developed our top tips for businesses to help you manage your fleets effectively during this isolation phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have included how we can help you to keep your vehicles safe and road legal, as well as the latest updates on fuel and government advice on MOTs, vehicle checks and other changes that should ease some of the pressures.
Tip 1 – Keeping your drivers safe
The advice remains from the health service that we must keep our hands, and those surfaces we touch, as clean as possible. This especially applies to those drivers out on the road who will be in and out of their vehicles, refuelling and making payments. We suggest to:
- Always adhere to the two metre social distancing measures in place by the government when drivers are queuing to pay for fuel or goods while at garages and inside stations.
- Always use disposal gloves where available when refuelling to avoid touching the nozzle or when paying for fuel to avoid direct contact to the payment terminal if it cannot be a contactless payment (although contactless should be used wherever possible).
- For those drivers who have a chip and signature payment card, always carry their own pen with them to use when paying for the transaction.
- Always use outdoor payment terminals or night payment hatches where possible and your card allows. And look at refuelling during quieter times of the day if and when possible.
- Always keep hands, car touchpoints and payment cards clean by using anti-bacterial wipes where possible on surfaces and hand washing or hand gels for personal use.
Tip 2 - Keeping your vehicles safe
Keeping your vehicle safe and road legal is not only a requirement by law but keeping your vehicles well maintained also saves you money in the long run.
ServicePoint, our online portal, supports you to manage the maintenance of your privately maintained vehicles, and keep your business moving. You can visit the site locator to easily identify a garage near you.
We work closely with thousands of franchised and independent garages nationwide, including tyre and glass specialists, to deliver cost savings and discounts on maintenance repair work. So, we take away stress as we simplify vehicle maintenance bookings, authorisation and invoice processing through our cloud platform. This gives you greater transparency in your vehicle maintenance cost management.
It is also important to be aware of other parts of vehicle safety, as well as changes in government policy, including:
- Keep them clean after every use, especially if your vehicles are used by more than driver throughout a day or week.
- Make simple checks to your vehicle – for additional advice on checking your vehicle is safe to drive, you can also visit the government’s check your vehicle is safe to drive page.
- Check your tyres – it is essential to keep your tyres road legal and some garages will remain open for essential repair work, subject to observing other COVID-19 precautions. You can read our latest blog on how tyre laws still apply during lockdown for more information.
- Vehicle MOTs – the government announced in March that all vehicle owners (cars, motorcycles and vans) will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home. Those vehicles that usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020.
- Larger vehicle MOTs – the government also announced that larger vehicles, such as lorries, will have their annual tests suspended for up to 3 months.
Additional guidance from the government for MOTs due before and after the threshold dates, can be found here:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): MOTs for cars, vans and motorcycles due before 30 March 2020
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): MOTs for cars, vans and motorcycles due from 30 March 2020
Tip 3 - Keep control of fluctuating fuel costs
With all the challenges businesses are facing right now, it has never been more important to keep an extra eye on running costs.
Fuel is, by its nature, one of the biggest vehicle expenses owners face when operating a fleet or company car, and price is varying dramatically even within individual local areas. We suggest:
- Familiarise yourself with price fluctuation, covered in our blog on the impact on fuel and wider implications about the wider implications at play within the fuel market and what is causing this price fluctuation.
- Keep in touch with the UK’s latest fuel prices to stay on top of the prices in your area. This is especially important as its hard to make any predictions for the future of fuel prices at this time.
- Take advantage of discounts – with access to the UK’s largest fuel card network, covering 90% of UK sites, including low cost supermarkets and Discount Diesel* sites, we ensure your employees can avoid pricier options, helping to lower your overheads.
- Save money – using our fuel cards not only save you money on the cost of fuel but also gives you greater control over card usage through our online management tool – Allstar Online.
- All of this helps you stay in control of costs, ensures your business stays productive while your drivers are on the road and lessens the administrative load. We’ve got it all covered.
Tip 4 - Take advantage of changes in policy
There have been some recent changes in policy that will help businesses lower their costs when operating in London.
To help support the supply chain, in particular to the effort to keep the capital’s supermarkets fully stocked, London Mayor Sadiq Khan asked Transport for London (TfL) to suspend all road user charging schemes indefinitely. This includes the Congestion and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges.
Tip 5 – Always be aware of fraud and scams
Sadly, in times of crisis, the fraudsters are still at work but there are some steps you can make to protect your fleet and your business, including:
- Ensure you and your employees pay using secure methods; for example, fuel or expenses cards rather than cash.
- Check online purchases are made using proper authentication such as Verified by Visa, standard on all our Visa cards (you can check and change permissions for each card, including enabling online purchases, using Allstar Online).
- Make sure you remain vigilant - check your invoices and statements for any unusual activity and take corrective measures against any spending which are against your internal policy. Call us on 0370 419 5165 if you suspect any fraud on your account.
- Be aware that we will never call you asking for your full PIN, password or payment details.
Helping your business cope with COVID-19
We understand the pressures that small businesses are under during this pandemic, especially those managing fleets but the good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to ensure full business as usual for your drivers out on the road.