The effective management of company vehicles will affect your company’s bottom line from the initial purchase, through the years of maintenance, to the final disposal. Depending on the industry, company vehicles can be a part of the brand image, such as service vehicles, or used by sales staff to create a particular image with your clients. In some cases, a small company may have one or two staff cars available for errands, so employees won’t need to use a personal vehicle. Whatever the purpose, company vehicles need oversite to ensure optimum safety and ensure the vehicles continue to meet the business needs. Here are some essential actions to consider in managing your vehicles.
Obtain the Correct Insurance Coverage
You need correct type and amount of insurance coverage to cover the driving your employees will do. The insurance carrier will require the driver’s license for each driver and, depending on policy coverage, may need the vehicles to come back to the office at the end of the day. Make sure and communicate exactly how the cars will be used. With company vehicles, the right kind of insurance and coverage is vital. It’s a good idea to obtain several quotes. Look for cheap car insurance that provides adequate coverage for your business.
Set a Company Policy
Before allowing employees to drive company vehicles, you should set the rules. It would be best if you had a company vehicle policy. The policy should be clear and communicated to all employees who drive. An initial training course with an annual follow-up for safety and program requirements would be a sound investment. Your policy should state what the employees are allowed to do with the car, both at and outside of work. If you allow employees to take the vehicles home, say whether vehicles can be used for personnel errands and if non-employee passengers, such as family members, are allowed. Your company policy should also instruct employees on the steps to take in the event of an accident, mechanical breakdown, moving violation, or parking ticket. A good company vehicle policy protects the company and the employees.
Maintain Maintenance Logs
All vehicles need regular maintenance. To ensure the maintenance is performed at proper intervals, keep electronic mileage logs for each vehicle. When it is time for routine maintenance to be performed, notify the employee if the car is out of the office. If at the facility, schedule the maintenance. A log documenting routine and unexpected maintenance will ensure the vehicle is serviced on time and help cut down unforeseen repairs.
An accurate log of costs will help you decide whether to perform a major repair. If the vehicle is worth less than the amount of the repair, consider salvage. Whether you’ve leased or purchased the car outright, your accounting records will give you figures to help in the decisions of when to sell a vehicle and when to buy or lease something new.
Contract with Roadside Assistance
Flat tires and unexpected mechanical failures do occur. Employees need to know who to call when an issue arises. Provide the number on the key fob. Roadside assistance can be contracted with a private service provider or through your insurance company.
Perform Daily Safety Inspections
The company policy should provide a daily checklist for employees that requires a walk around the vehicle and a place for them to annotate any damage or safety concerns such as worn or improper tire inflation. Take action on all safety matters.
Depending on the number of company vehicles you have, explore some of the many fleet management software programs available today. These programs will track your mileage, record your fuel usage and maintenance records. Most provide a variety of reports and allow ways to query data perform financial analysis.
As you can see, if you have company vehicles, you need to manage them actively. Accurate records will protect your assets. A sound company policy will protect your employees and your assets. Vehicles are a significant cost to the business. The proper management of your fleet will help provide the greatest return on your investment.