By Co-Pilot, Volvo

1 in 3 company car drivers will be involved in an accident this year. It’s impossible to eliminate the risk, but there’s plenty that can be done to mitigate it. Volvo’s pioneering support programme for fleet decision makers does just that. Co-Pilot is a scheme for SME customers, helping them keep within legislation and look after employees while they’re on the road plus reducing the impact on the bottom line of accidents.

Launched last summer, Co-Pilot has now been rolled out online, with a dedicated website www.copilotuk.com for members that provides a one-stop source of advice, support and discounts.

Co-Pilot is a partnership between Volvo and fleet compliance specialist Fleet 21, as well as a range of companies that provide special offers to members. The list of Co-Pilot partners includes Specsavers, Romex, RoadHawk and HERE Maps.

Through Co-Pilot, Volvo offers SMEs that purchase one of its new models (subject to terms and conditions) a tailored fleet support package for up to 20 employees. It’s not always the company car drivers at risk and should include employees who drive on business in their own cars.

This includes a Fleet 21 driver compliance pack, detailing company policies for any employee that drives on the job. It covers topics such as braking distances, mobile phone use and rules governing drink driving.

Fleet operators are legally required to provide such a policy document to their staff. Fleet 21 gives it to Co-Pilot members in the form of an attractive handbook, personalised with the employer’s branding. In addition, Co-Pilot members receive driving licence checks for employees, driver risk assessments and advice on the law.

“Co-Pilot is a major initiative for Volvo,” comments Volvo Cars’ head of business sales, Selwyn Cooper. “We’re the only manufacturer in the UK to offer such a programme, and I believe it really sets us apart from the competition.”

Cooper thinks the key to Co-Pilot’s popularity is the pressure it takes away from fleet decision makers in SMEs.

“In many companies of this size,” he says, “fleet management is rolled into another job, which means the person responsible has a lot of demands on their time. Thanks to Co-Pilot, our business customers can have confidence that they are sticking to the letter of the law, and helping to keep their drivers out of harm’s way.”

The other key benefit to small business is the savings that can be made or Business Optimisation and comes in two forms. Firstly there are the savings made from accident reduction whether technology on the cars, reduction in downtime or cost of rental cars and so on . And secondly, the advice and best practices on the website for members and the partner discounts (where appropriate).

With a social media campaign to support the website launch, Co-Pilot is set to become highly recognised over the coming months. To find out more, search Co-Pilot Business on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and follow the stories as they unfold.