7 Quick Steps to Managing the Vehicle Fleet

Company vehicles are one of the most expensive line items on a P&L. Additionally, they are generally one of the items that management teams aren’t equipped to measure, manage or more importantly, reduce costs.

The effective management of a Vehicle Fleet is both time consuming, and with so many factors to consider, is never easy. There are so many factors to consider, and of course many of them do require keeping up to date with who’s driving which vehicle and what’s happening in the market making it a tedious task that no one wants to be responsible for.

There are organisations that specialise in financing and collecting data, but as we’ve seen so often, that service is limited. It does need someone with a direct interest in the drivers well being and safety as well as ensuring the vehicle is managed and maintained. Working as an independent, we see the following as examples of areas that perhaps don’t get enough focus (sometimes with costly outcomes).

Following is our list of 7 quick steps to managing your vehicle fleet to save you money:

  1. Start with picking the right vehicles. Cost, specification, life cycle, resale value, fuel consumption, safety rating, maintenance costs, the list goes on. Unfortunately the decision can often be emotional (I just like brand X). We’d suggest that you find someone without strong emotional views to assist with the process and who will listen.
  2. A well written policy document that clearly defines the organisational and driver responsibilities is critical. Ensure that every driver reads and signs it, accepting those responsibilities.
  3. Well publicised procedures to check that policies are being followed (what gets measured gets done!), and don’t forget to institute checks to confirm that drivers are licensed (infringement notices are a good prompt to check licences of individuals).
  4. Ensure vehicles are regularly serviced, adhering to manufacturers recommended service patterns. Failure to do this not only reduces resale value (ensure logbooks are kept up to date), but more importantly impacts safety of drivers and passengers.
  5. Issue periodic driver safety reminders, focusing on things like long trips, tyre inflation, wet weather driving etc.
  6. Well publicised cost monitoring processes. Fleet Management companies are a great help here, but they only measure. It’s up to the organisation to use that data to keep costs under control.
  7. Focus on vehicle condition (bumps, scratches etc.) especially in the 6 months prior to trade in. A badly presented vehicle will impact value (obviously). This is particularly important when working through a financing fleet manager. Anything outside “Fair wear and tear” guidelines is punished with make good claims, often beyond the cost of organising the repairs yourself.

For more information about this Fleet Vehicle checklist or any other advice, please phone 1300 727 347 or send us an email.

Robin Dunlop has been helping businesses Australia wide improve their fleet management resulting time and cost savings. Read more about how Robin worked with a client and saved them in excess of $100K per year!