Important Aspects of a Fleet Policy
A well-designed set of fleet policies acts as a roadmap to a successful fleet program. These policies will ensure that your drivers know exactly what to expect from a given scenario. A good policy system will also help to streamline processes for your fleet lessor, greatly reducing the number of phone calls/emails that certain issues require.
There’s no shortage of processes that need to be outlined in policies, but the following are some of the most important in regards to saving you, your drivers, and even your fleet provider a lot of time.
Be sure to clearly establish the driver paid option policy. Your employees should have a clear understanding of what they are and aren’t allowed to add. If this differs based on the employee’s job function, be sure to create a policy for each. It’s also vital that the payment process is clearly outlined and a policy is in place for any end-of-lease reimbursements upon the remarketing of the vehicle.
Handling violations is a necessary evil of a fleet program. Given the amount of time that doing so can require, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a clearly defined process in place. Some companies require their drivers to pay for any violations they incur. In this scenario the fleet provider notifies the driver of any violations instead of paying them and billing the company. If this is the case, a policy needs to be created to advise as such. The policy should also detail what happens with late charges or if a violation is set to become delinquent.
There are many other aspects of violations that need to be outlined to prevent any disputes with drivers. Are certain violation types always the responsibility of the driver (i.e. distracted phone use)? Will the company cover a portion of typical moving violations? If your fleet provider pays it on your driver’s behalf, do they need to cover any processing fees?
Can drivers use their vehicles for personal use on weekends and after work? Is personal use restricted to the employee, or can licensed family members also drive the vehicle? If so, is there an age limit on those that can?
The policy should also outline how personal use charges are calculated. Is it through a cents-per-mile calculation, the annual lease value method, or the fair market value method? If a driver wants to take their vehicle on an extended road trip, they should know beforehand if they’re approved to do so.
Upfits and Delivery Process
Do particular vehicles always get certain upfits? For example, all medium-duty trucks need a first aid kit and fire extinguisher. By creating standardized upfit policies you can simplify new vehicle ordering while also ensuring accuracy in the ordering process.
Rental vehicles can be a costly aspect of fleet management if not handled properly. Unnecessary rentals can quickly drive variable expenses up. The monetary cost isn’t the only aspect though; there’s also the downtime that can accumulate if it’s unclear whether or not a driver is approved for a rental. Situations in which rentals are approved, as well as acceptable vehicle types, should be outlined so that your fleet provider can quickly get your driver back on the road.
Do drivers have the option to buy their vehicle once it’s coming off lease? If so, is there a discount, or do they pay fair market value? Remaining book value? Should quotes be sent to the drivers or to the fleet manager for processing? This policy will help everyone involved to be on the same page from the start and can greatly simplify the task of selling cars to drivers.