Safely maintaining, servicing and repairing a minibus
It is always tempting to settle for 'cheap' leasing or maintenance costs but, as always, you get what you pay for. Hampshire Transport Management (HTM) has a uniquely thorough approach to servicing school and college vehicles. It balances costs with a rigorous approach to safety, aiming not to be the lowest cost supplier but one providing the best real value.
Duty of care
Minibus operators have a duty of care under health and safety legislation. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) treats a vehicle used for business as work equipment, meaning that it is subject to The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER). Employers also have a duty of care to the drivers and passengers of these vehicles to ensure that the vehicles are safe and legal.
An HTM quoted lease rate, therefore, includes a 69-point safety inspection at regular intervals (minibuses every 12 weeks) to ensure compliance and peace of mind for the vehicle operator, passengers and their parents.
An HTM lease covers all tyre repairs except those caused by negligence. Most lease companies do not include puncture repairs as part of the lease agreement.
Hampshire Transport Management (HTM), the County Council’s own vehicle supply and management unit, provides vehicle servicing, repair and maintenance plus fuel supply services from five strategically located workshops in Micheldever, Hook, Petersfield, Bishops Waltham and Totton.
Subject to availability, HTM will also supply a courtesy vehicle when a vehicle is being serviced or inspected. Most lease companies will ask you to take the vehicle to a main dealer who may not be conveniently located for you.
Vehicle recovery following a breakdown or accident
HTM supply a recovery service that will get the vehicle to a repair facility and will also ensure that any passengers are transported to their destination. Most other leasing companies will only recover the vehicle following a breakdown or accident.
Alternatively, Community Transport has a fleet policy with the AA and can offer competitively-priced membership to schools for the recovery of the vehicle and transport home for passengers.
HTM will assess what accident repairs are required, arrange for estimates and carry out the repairs. Most leasing companies leave it to the vehicle operator to arrange for accident repairs.
Excess mileage charge
HTM charge only 5p per mile for mileage exceeding that in the lease term. Most leasing companies charge over 10p per mile excess mileage.