7 Mar 22

New fleet standard for vehicle handovers

Fleet managers need to ensure the handover of new vehicles to company car and van drivers includes familiarisation with the most important functions, as the complexity of electric and plug-in hybrid models increases dramatically.

The Association of Fleet Professionals, which represents fleet managers in the UK, has developed a new industry standard to cover the deliveries of cars and vans, with a nine-point checklist.

Paul Hollick, chair of the AFP, said: “The Dealer Standard is quite simple in its intent – to ensure that the vehicle is delivered in excellent condition to the fleet end user, who is shown the fundamentals of how it works and treated courteously.

“The need for this kind of benchmark has become apparent over time as a number of factors have emerged. Probably the most significant is that cars and vans have been rapidly becoming more complex. The time when a driver could sit in the seat of a new model and work out all the key functions in a couple of minutes are long gone.

“Modern vehicles require a degree of familiarisation on handover – especially in instances where drivers are adopting an electric model for the first time – in order to be used safely and effectively.”

Consistency in handovers

The new standard aims to create consistency in handover practices, which have come under pressure due to social distancing during the pandemic.

The principal elements of vehicle handover addressed by the standard are:

  • A handover process is required either physically or virtually and must include basic driving and safety-related controls, as well as Bluetooth, navigation and other key features.
  • Dealers should be able to advise the customer if required on where they can obtain support on using a vehicle app. This is particularly important on EVs that have preconditioning, vehicle locking and other features remote which may be essential.
  • Safety items should be shown to be present including spare wheel location, repair kit, locking wheel nut location and bonnet release.
  • Guidance on refuelling, charging and additives should be provided. For EVs, this should cover charging cables.
  • An instruction manual and service book should be provided or otherwise details given on how to access digital manuals found online or through the vehicle infotainment system.
  • Inspection condition and handover documents should be provided, either on paper or electronically.
  • The vehicle should be thoroughly checked for damage, and the driver given time to evaluate the vehicle and photograph any damage if necessary.
  • There should be a formal damage and compliant rectification process that is designed to minimise inconvenience and disappointment.
  • Once the vehicle has been signed for, it is accepted that any issues outside of warranty must be dealt with by the driver.
Authored by: Jonathan Manning