By Daniel Hunter

Small businesses in the UK are spending on average almost £1,700 every year maintaining each of their company cars, according to new research by RAC Business - with one in five (20%) spending more than £2,000 per car.

The survey carried out among 1,000 small businesses found that firms in Scotland are feeling the expense most of all with more than a third (37%) spending between £3,000 and £4,000 annually on company car maintenance.

In comparison small businesses in the East Midlands are the least affected financially, with 44% spending between £1,000 and £1,500 on servicing each of their company cars per annum.

Despite some signs of recovery in parts of the economy small businesses still face financial challenges from running costs and cash flow, which RAC Business says can be helped by looking at alternative fleet management options.

RAC sales director for corporate partnerships Jenny Powley, said: “Keeping a company car fit for purpose does require regular and thorough maintenance — without it, a business is looking at a hefty price tag in terms of unexpected servicing and breakdown costs.

"With the economy still in a fragile state, as business owners know too well, it is vital to keep those unexpected costs to a minimum by looking at different options for your fleet.

“For example, by leasing rather than purchasing vehicles businesses can control costs as servicing and repair can be part of the package. There are other services to support businesses such as breakdown, telematics and accident management that are included in the leasing agreement, depending on the supplier.

“Leasing also gives businesses the opportunity to financially plan ahead in one of their largest areas of spending, which will have a positive impact on the success of that business, potentially cutting out thousands of pounds in unnecessary costs every year.”