Safety Concerns Drive Kwik-Fit Brake Business Boom
Kwik-Fit Fleet says that safety concerns by fleets have led to record levels of company car and van brake inspection and replacement work.
Last year, Kwik-Fit Fleet launched a major brake initiative aimed at winning an increased share of the UK company car brake replacement market. The result was an increase in the volume of fleet-specific brake work at the company’s centres of 41 per cent on 2003 levels.
And this trend has continued in the first half of this year, with a near 40 per cent rise in fleet brake-related work compared with the first six months of 2004.
A combination of extended vehicle service intervals and the growing importance of at-work driving safety initiatives means regular brake inspections are more critical than ever, says the company. Kwik-Fit’s research indicates that the company’s no appointment, centre-based Brake Safety Programme initiative compares with most franchised dealers unable to offer a booking within 14 days of a telephone call being made.
Despite the safety-critical importance of a vehicle’s brakes, many company car and van drivers and fleet managers rely on an infrequent vehicle service or MoT as the only way of checking brakes, points out Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Mike Wise. However, more cars today are fitted with warning lights ‘flashing up’ a potential brake-related problem and advising that maintenance is carried out immediately.
“As vehicle handbooks advise these problems to be investigated as soon as possible, many motorists are looking to Kwik-Fit to undertake the work as dealerships cannot promise prompt attention,” Mr. Wise explained.
The lifespan of brake pads, discs and other parts varies according to mileage, the type of vehicle, the way it is driven and how it is loaded, but the average company car driver can expect to replace the brake pads once a year. However, says Kwik-Fit Fleet, many vehicles, due to their design and usage, may require brake inspections as often as four times a year.
Kwik-Fit centres have access to brake parts for around 5,000 different vehicles with a guaranteed delivery time of 60 minutes if the part is not in stock.
The overall UK car brake market is valued at £590 million, of which the company car brake replacement market is worth an estimated £100 million.