Procurement · 26 May 2016

Potholes and faulty tires cost small firms thousands

One-third of rural entrepreneurs citied potholes as the biggest transport issue they regularly face
Small business owners have to grapple with the cost and inconvenience of commercial vehicle breakdowns for an average of 14 working days each year, according to new research commissioned by insurer RAC.

Flat tyres are the most common issue faced by small firm leaders, with the problem accounting for over one-third of breakdowns. Faulty batteries and low oil levels are also common causes of vehicle failure.

The productivity lost while transport is out of action was estimated by the insurer to cost small companies almost 3, 500 each year while four-in-ten owners admitted to spending more than 75 hours a year dealing with vehicle problems.

this is a significant sum of money for UK SME owners to be losing, when a lot of these faults can be detected and prevented before they lead to vehicles breaking down, said RAC telematics managing director Nick Walker.

employees are becoming busier and busier in their working lives and therefore it’s difficult sometimes to stay on top of company car maintenance, especially if the vehicle is shared by several employees in a car pool there is a tendency for people to assume somebody else will deal with issues if it’s not their own car.

Additional new research published out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shed light on another probable cause of damaged vehicles, with one-third of rural entrepreneurs citing potholes as the biggest transport issue they regularly face.

the government is investing in transport but the lion’s share goes to big flagship projects on the strategic road network, said FSB national chairman, Mike Cherry.

most small businesses mainly rely on their local roads and public transport, so there is a strong case to prioritise investment in these smaller projects which will help to alleviate congestion and bottlenecks.

the current devolution agenda in England presents a real opportunity to make a positive difference to rural communities. Small businesses want to see more resources earmarked for rural transport. This will help support rural small businesses as well as the UK tourism industry, which are both disproportionately affected when local bus networks and roads are left to deteriorate.



Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics as well as running a tutoring company.

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