For a business with a company-provided vehicle program, a fleet of functioning vehicles is essential. Keeping fleet vehicles in working order requires a fair amount of maintenance. Some of that is routine, while some can be unexpected. Let’s dig into the process and costs associated with fleet vehicle maintenance.
Fleet vehicle maintenance is simply caring for the vehicles in a company-provided vehicle program. Employees want to drive well-kept, safe vehicles, just as employers want to put safe vehicles on the road. There are several subsets of maintenance.
The first is general vehicle upkeep. This includes the basics: oil checks, tire rotations, filter changes, etc. Fleet programs carry the maintenance costs of every mile driven – business or personal – making it a more expensive approach.
The second is accident repair. Because they’re often on the roads for both business and personal use, fleet vehicles are involved in accidents at a higher rate. The damage of that accident might be anything from a fender bender to a totaled vehicle. While the costs of regular maintenance stretched across an entire company fleet can be expensive, the cost of repairs is steadily increasing. And that doesn’t even include the potential lawsuit costs.
Finally, there’s idle vehicle maintenance. Whether an employee has transitioned to a new role or out of the company, that leaves a vehicle in the lot. Typical replacement of employees is three months. Depending on the season, there are costs to prepare and move a vehicle to storage, where it isn’t doing much more than depreciating. During the pandemic, most vehicles sat idle while companies did what they could to adapt. Some of those vehicles may still be either in storage, and all will have some level of additional maintenance to be sure they are ready for the road.
Some companies have a position like a fleet manager that handles vehicles in house. Others use fleet management companies to handle most of the process for them. Inheritors of a fleet will begin their process by gathering data on the vehicles, including: ownership history, accident history, mileage, general condition and repair and maintenance history. Then they’ll implement a preventative maintenance schedule based on mileage and previous service check history. From there, it’s a process of determining when to replace fleet vehicles.
To recap, fleet vehicles require a lot of maintenance. There’s preventative maintenance, accident repair (or replacement) and idle asset maintenance. This further requires either a company or salaried positions to manage. That doesn’t account for the cost of fuel either. For a fleet of any size, those expenses are big. The bigger the fleet is, the more those costs balloon.
Even companies that have had fleet vehicles since their inception, there are alternatives. Vehicle programs that reimburse employees for the business use of personal vehicles always spend less than fleet programs. They also mitigate the risk of negligent entrustment lawsuits.
Interested in learning more about an alternative vehicle program? Read about FAVR today.