Annual GE Capital Fleet Study Finds 4% Drop in Fleet Car Maintenance Costs

GE Cap­i­tal Fleet Ser­vices announced the results of its 19th annu­al fleet pas­sen­ger car main­te­nance study, which found that over­all fleet car main­te­nance costs decreased by four per­cent in 2013 as com­pared to 2012. Main­te­nance costs include unsched­uled repair ser­vices, pre­ven­ta­tive main­te­nance, tires and replace­ment rentals.

The study ana­lyzed actu­al main­te­nance expens­es incurred by near­ly 37,000 pas­sen­ger cars from Jan­u­ary 1 to Decem­ber 31, 2013. Research found month­ly pre­ven­tive main­te­nance expens­es decreased 14 per­cent in 2013 and aver­age vehi­cle main­te­nance costs decreased from $50.47 to $48.36 per vehi­cle per month.

Key fac­tors ref­er­enced in the study that influ­enced the down­ward trend include:

• Increased oil ser­vice inter­vals – Despite the fact that costs for oil ser­vices increased by three dol­lars from the pre­vi­ous year ($39 to $42), the inter­val for oil changes increased from 3.6 months to 4.3 months and from 7,515 miles to 8,817 miles. This can be attrib­uted to improve­ments in engine design, onboard vehi­cle tech­nol­o­gy and oil qual­i­ty.

• Prop­er vehi­cle cycling – Although costs for replace­ment tires increased by 10 per­cent in 2013 as com­pared to 2012, few­er tires were pur­chased due to prop­er vehi­cle cycling. This result­ed in a three per­cent decrease in over­all tire cost per vehi­cle. Addi­tion­al­ly, new tire tech­nol­o­gy has helped to extend tire tread life.

• Improve­ment in over­all vehi­cle qual­i­ty – Over­all vehi­cle qual­i­ty con­tin­ued to improve across the indus­try, result­ing in longer last­ing parts and less fre­quent main­te­nance require­ments.

“Vehi­cle qual­i­ty improve­ments will con­tin­ue to present oppor­tu­ni­ties for fleet main­te­nance sav­ings in 2014 and beyond,” said Eric Strom, main­te­nance and safe­ty prod­uct man­ag­er for. “How­ev­er, labor rates, rental costs and the price of replace­ment parts are expect­ed to increase in the year ahead. As cost sav­ings remains a top pri­or­i­ty for fleet man­agers, our team of experts aims to pro­vide cus­tomers with a thor­ough list of options for find­ing and achiev­ing sav­ings with­in their fleet.”

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