Most of us have experience of driving a vehicle with a tendency to edge towards the side of the road (or the middle of the road) when left unadjusted for more than a second. A survey has shown that four million UK drivers currently drive vehicles with steering problems – that’s around one in eight motorists. One million of these drivers say that their vehicles pull to one side ‘significantly.’
Kwik Fit’s study found that the problem was greatest for younger drivers, with a quarter reporting that their vehicles veered off course. This is probably because these drivers are generally driving cheaper, older cars, or don’t have the money to repair a non-critical fault.
This ‘pull’ could be down to differing tyre pressures, tyres that are mismatched or have worn down at different rates, or evidence of a more serious issue – misalignment of the wheels themselves. Kwik Fit suggests that many alignment problems arise when cars hit potholes. Tyres, wheels and suspension may be damaged. Although steering problems do not usually prevent the safe operation of a fleet vehicle, they do still present problems for fleet managers and drivers alike. The determination of these stubborn vehicles is unfortunately not great news for fleet maintenance costs. Steering problems tend to increase fuel consumption and tyre wear, often exacerbating the problem over time.
For fleets, fixing these problems is important, but often the cost may exceed the eventual benefits – particularly if you expect to replace the fleet vehicle in the near future. Instead, use fuel cards to help you make savings on fuel, cutting the cost of running your fleet and freeing up more funds for all-important fleet maintenance.