The AA are starting to have grave concerns for the age, experience and ability of young drivers getting behind the wheel and onto the van insurance policies of small-medium business fleets. As well as relevant experience, there are other factors of their social life that may not only have consequences for your van and its young driver but also impact on your fleet van cover and your company’s image.
Dave Richards, AA Drivetech’s marketing director, is under the impression that, as companies look to save money on their wage bills they are employing young and inexperienced drivers who can quite literally pass their test one day and be driving a large 3.5 ton commercial vehicle for a living the very next day. With the extortionate cost of van insurance for young drivers, this practise serves a dual purpose.
The business employing fresh-faced delivery men and women are saving money as the minimum wage is lower and the young driver is gaining the experience of possible motorway driving – that they may have had no training for – on the company’s van insurance rather than having to shell out for their own.
Depending on what level of van insurance the organisation has, they may even be permitted to use the van not only for work, but also as a method of transport to get in and out of work.
From the AA’s point of view, there are several points of fact that organisations involved in this manner of employment are taking an unnecessary risk, with the employee, the vehicle they’re entrusted with and the impact it could have on the fleet insurance and the potential brand image of the business. On paper, it may look like cost-savings on the salary bill but there may well be repercussions the next time the transport department come to renew their fleet van insurance.
The areas Dave Richards is talking about are those high risk areas that have seen insurance for young drivers spiral in recent times as he calls for restraint when in control of the vehicle, perception of risk management and managing the transition of driving large vehicles on their own and for sometimes prolonged periods.
With that in mind, The AA’s Drivetech program may just prove its weight in gold as its coverage for all aspects of commercial driving work as an excellent induction series to driving full time. Targeted to a specific band the program is suitable for van drivers for all ages and covers a whole spectrum of driving in a short time space and relatively low cost, especially once you factor in the long term savings to be had in vehicle wear and tear and the cheapest van insurance possible to suit your business fit and driver quality.
Whatever an organisation can do to protect itself, its van drivers and other road users is imperarative, especially as van drivers act as ambassadors for the business with every delivery they make. Getting a customer’s product their in one piece and on time is a great way to make a long-lasting impression.