The AA has reminded businesses to ensure all company vehicles are fully prepared for winter driving, with the launch of its ‘TRACE’ advice guide.
Stuart Thomas, head of fleet services at The AA, said: “Many businesses have drivers who cover a lot of mileage and, in winter, they can be subjected to delays from severe road conditions. By preparing in advance and taking a few simple steps to ensure their vehicle is ready for the colder months, businesses can avoid potentially damaging repair costs and delays.”
T – Tyres: They need to be in good condition and fully inflated. Consider special winter tyres with more grip for high-mileage drivers, particularly in more rural locations. Snow chains, which can be attached if conditions are severe, can also be an alternative.
R – Reports: Allow plenty of time for journeys and plan around the weather reports and traffic updates. Always be prepared and ensure drivers communicate with clients and customers if delays are likely.
A – Anti-freeze: If there isn’t adequate vehicle anti-freeze within the cooling system, a business could incur potentially severe costs from damage such as a frozen engine or cracked cylinder block. Fleets should ensure windscreen wipers are working well and washer bottles are topped up with fluid that won’t freeze.
C – Cover: Check business breakdown cover. If the worst happens and a vehicle breaks down, having cover will save costs and time, with repairs covered and dealt with straight away.
E – Emergency: Carry an emergency kit. Bad weather can cause severe delays so be prepared with some basic equipment such a thermos flask, spray on de-icer, torch with a hazard warning flasher light and blankets.
Mr Thomas concluded: “Breakdowns can be more common, more dangerous and more inconvenient during the winter months. Just one breakdown on the motorway could cost a business more than £250, not including loss of earnings, whereas the right breakdown package would see repairs and parts covered on the spot. However, preparing cars for the winter so they don’t break down in the first place is the best approach of all.”