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Three common executive fleet management mistakes - and how to avoid them

Published: 10 June 2019 - Sarah Mead

Your executive fleet can play an important logistic role in your business. It may be used to carry products, materials, customers, or employees themselves. Managing it wisely is essential to the efficiency and profitability of the organisation. Yet businesses often make mistakes in this area. Here are the five most common executive fleet management mistakes companies make. We’ll also share a few tips on how to avoid making them yourself.

Using a selector

A sales fleet belongs to the company, but the odds are that the senior executive or salesperson driving it has a personal attachment to the vehicle. The driver will certainly have their own preferences such as the model of the car, preferred age, or the type of vehicle they drive. One solution is to give them a choice, so that they can pick the vehicle that is right for them instead of having it assigned to them.

One way you could do this is to work with a company like Vantage Leasing, allowing your employees to choose from a variety of vehicles. Their lease deals often allow you to avoid a processing fee and any up-front fees. Companies that enter a lease deal with them can take advantage of cheaper business lease terms than employees would pay on their own. Then you can allow executives to choose any vehicle they want that falls within your policy guidelines and minimise the overall costs.

Failing to apply regular policies

If your company has a fleet of vehicles or has employees driving their own vehicles for company purposes, you can be held liable for their driving habits. This is why businesses should have clear policies regarding violations.

If someone has received too many parking tickets, regularly receives speeding tickets, or has been in too many car accidents, they should lose the privilege of driving a company vehicle for personal use. For serious offences like impaired or reckless driving, they may need to have their company vehicle access revoked. The company cannot afford to have executives and sales people getting away with offences that would get a delivery driver fired. At a minimum, it hurts morale. At worst, it makes the company liable for any damage the executive does while generating bad press for the firm.

Note that all of this requires having formal policies for assigning vehicles, supervising drivers, and when they are to be turned in. A lack of such procedures is one of the worst mistakes you can make in fleet management.

Not having a plan for disposal

Businesses should have a set policy for disposing of vehicles both when employees leave the firm and when the vehicle is at the end of its life. You should therefore have set criteria for determining when an older vehicle should be sold and when it is transferred to another driver. You will also need to create a formal employee purchase policy so that employees can buy their company vehicle at any time, including when they are leaving the company. If you don’t have these types of policies, you run the risk of inconsistent decisions that lead to accusations of favouritism.

Executive fleet management is complex, time-consuming and often frustrating. Avoid making these mistakes, and your job will be much easier.

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