A BMW may top the list of dream vehicles amongst company car drivers, but whether it would be kept clean or not is another matter.
Despite the interior of the car resembling a luxury pad, with drivers splashing out on a host of high-tech gadgets including six-disc CD players, top class sound systems and climate controls, the UK company car driver is failing to pay enough attention to the exterior of the vehicle, according to new research by Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance.
A whopping 43% of company car drivers own up to the fact they don't clean their cars as often as they should, with 4% admitting that at some point, the words 'Clean Me' have been written in the dirt! Even more shocking, some respondents admit to NEVER having had their company car cleaned.
The survey also brought to light the fact that 75% of companies do not have a policy on car cleaning, and only 3% of companies cover the costs of cleaning, leaving it to individual drivers to take the onus.
Frances Bodington, President of the Federation of Image Consultants, agrees that, just as you wouldn't go to a meeting wearing a dirty suit, you wouldn't turn up to a meeting in a dirty car. She says, "While a dirty car would probably be expected of a farmer, for a business person it would be a real "image wrecker". Bearing in mind that we make snap decisions about the people we meet within seconds of meeting, a filthy car would immediately ring alarm bells, suggesting that the owner of the car doesn't take enough care of his or her possessions, and therefore will probably not take care of their clients/customers. In business it's also important to look successful - a dirty car does not do this!"
When it comes to cars, fleet managers are obviously concerned with key fundamentals such as in increasing fuel prices and health and safety. However, keeping a company car in top shape is important, especially if it is on contract hire. Proper care of the car's appearance will really pay off at trade-in time.
Sean Bingham, New Business Director at Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance says, "A dirty car can hide minor damage which, if not repaired swiftly, can lead to greater repair costs after time has elapsed."
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