Fleets are experiencing severe vehicle off road time (VOR), caused by a shortage of car and van parts, says the Association of Fleet Professionals.

The AFP say that members are regularly reporting a range of service, maintenance and repair (SMR) issues. Most challenging was the supply of parts, which suppliers said was outside of their control. Other problems, including levels of communication, were described as disappointing by fleets.

“Garages and workshops – from small independents to franchise dealers and repairer networks to fast-fits – are facing similar problems to almost every other part of the motor industry”, said AFP chair Paul Hollick. “Getting hold of many parts is difficult while finding trained staff is challenging. These facts are having a direct impact on fleet VOR times and are not the fault of suppliers.

“However, other aspects of dealing with SMR at the moment are more frustrating. Simply getting the attention of suppliers to book in work and resolve any issues that are being encountered can be difficult, especially when it comes to manufacturer warranty work.”

Hollick explained: “A key annoyance is that if vehicles are booked in for a number of SMR jobs, they are often being handed back with just the easier ones resolved and excuses made for anything more complex, along with advice to make a new booking and no dates available in the near future.

“There is a feeling within the AFP that often a real intention to tackle bigger jobs is limited.”

The situation has been exacerbated because so many fleets have been forced by new vehicle supply issues into keeping older cars and vans on the road. More SMR issues are associated with older vehicles, so fleets become even more operationally dependent on garages and workshops.

The AFP feel that its members would appreciate more straightforward conversations from suppliers, even if the supply issues cannot be resolved in the short term.