Research by Ford Retail has revealed that UK SMEs are losing up to £30,000 a year from vehicle downtime. The survey showed that a massive 88 per cent of small businesses believed they aren't big enough to warrant a fleet management service, which could be causing the accumulation of higher costs associated with managing and repairing their fleets. On average, each fleet vehicle spends four days off the road per year as a result of damage and repair, costing the business on average £200 a day in loss of manpower and productivity. One in ten of those surveyed believed the true cost is closer to £600, with another 6 per cent saying it was up to £800 a day. For a firm with a fleet of 10 vehicles, this represents £8,000 loss a year, with fleets of 30 incurring costs closer to £30,000. Small businesses often fail to consider the management time spent on fleet vehicles, which can account for around 200 hours a year for things like fuel management, purchasing, vehicle replacement, tax and insurance. Almost half of respondents revealed that it is often the business owner or managing director who is responsible for managing their businesses' fleet, with only 24 per cent employing a dedicated fleet manager or fleet management firm. Alan Maloney, sales development director at Ford Retail, said: 'Our research reveals that many of the UK's small businesses are seriously miscalculating the true cost of maintaining their fleets, large or small, and in most cases spending far more than is necessary. 'UK plc is looking at SMEs to lift us out of the downturn, and with so many wasting thousands of pounds a year in time and money, we would implore all small businesses to review their fleet requirements.î Ford's research also highlighted that over half of SMEs are most concerned about fuel management and the increasing cost of fuel in relation to their fleets.