Northern Ireland is UK’s worst region and North West is best for fleet vehicle off-road times

Northern Ireland has the longest average fleet vehicle off-road (VOR) times in the UK at 2.40 days, according to new figures we’ve released.

In comparison, the shortest VOR wait is in the North West, with 1.82 days between when a car or van enters a workshop and is finally repaired.

The statistics have been compiled from our 1link Service Network platform, used by vehicle operators totalling more than four million units to manage and process SMR.

Our data also shows that VOR times have increased quite dramatically in almost all regions since the onset of the pandemic. For example, VOR in Scotland has risen from 1.96 days in 2020 to 2.04 in 2021, 2.16 in 2022 and 2.39 in 2023.

Tim Meadows, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It is interesting to see how VOR across the UK varies quite dramatically, with a difference of nearly a day between the longest and shortest. For fleets that rely on a high level of utilisation, that is a relatively significant period of time.

“Obviously, these figures are very much a reflection of local supply and demand for service and maintenance – as well as the impact of ongoing issues such as parts shortages – but they also mean that there are potential opportunities for national fleets to steer their SMR buying towards areas where VOR times are shorter in an effort to minimise the issue.”

VOR had become much more of a concern for businesses operating vehicles since the pandemic, he explained, thanks to a range of factors including the quite dramatic ageing of fleets due to new car and van supply shortages.

“Older vehicles almost unavoidably require more maintenance while getting hold of parts for them can be tricker than newer equivalents. That means that VOR times for fleets have risen and there is quite a lot of managerial effort being placed on containing these SMR waiting times as much as possible.

“Some fleets are employing a number of strategies, ranging from pre-MOT checks to ensure that vehicles pass their test and are not taken off the road, through to ‘bundling’ of jobs where a number of issues on the vehicles are addressed at the same time.”

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