10 Software shows the way to savings
Time is money, so it should stand to reason that something that saves time could also save money.
Fleet software is only as good as the data you put into it, but it can transform your view of the fleet, pinpoint potential savings immediately and allow you to concentrate on exception management rather than crisis management.
11 A daily dose of fleet savings
When a daily rental car is as little as £13 a day, it may seem hard to look for further savings, but there are often plenty to be had. Check invoices carefully for common errors.
Watch damage recharges closely and challenge late return claims or weekend rental costs.
This will provide a strong base for more extensive use of rental, as it can be used to cope with extra short-term vehicle demands and also to provide a cost-effective alternative to grey fleet mileage.
12 Challenge vehicle allocation
Who is using what and why? This is a question that fleet managers are asking more often as they try to minimise their costs without impacting on customer service levels for the wider business.
The answer lies in vehicle allocation.
A recent roundtable discussion among Britain’s biggest fleets, the Fleet200, found they were much more confident about challenging why employees were provided with cars and vans, especially if they did not meet defined criteria for provision, such as a required annual business mileage or a clear job need.
13 Keep your road warriors under watch
When an employee says they have to see a client, it is difficult to argue, but just understanding how many miles the business is covering and why can provide valuable insight into how a company is performing.
If you consistently educate departmental managers to ask whether mileage is necessary and point out the potential time benefits of not spending hours on the road every day, the business can benefit in the long run.
14 A more accurate perspective with wholelife costs
How much does each vehicle on your fleet cost? A simple answer would be based on list price or leasing rate, but what about factors such as fuel, SMR, damage or taxation?
Including all the relevant factors that affect a vehicle’s true cost of ownership (TCO) can turn a bargain into a burden.
A spokesman for ARI Fleet says: “Measuring TCO may help uncover hidden opportunities for savings. While a particular vehicle may be cheaper to acquire, other variables could make it more expensive in the long-term.”
Arval’s Mike Waters agrees: “What may appear from a monthly rental to be the most cost-effective vehicle isn’t always the case when you factor in the full range of costs.
"In one case, a vehicle with a £495 higher rental over three years was £1,051 cheaper in TCO terms.”
TCO calculations should take into consideration areas such as fuel, Class 1A National Insurance Contributions, lease rental disallowances and corporation tax savings.
However, the exact methodology should be tailored to your business.
15 Take grey fleet out of the shadows
There is a common complaint that grey fleet is a grey area.
A lack of information is made worse by blurred management responsibility, which means the issue often goes unmanaged and unchecked.
However, a company has the same legal responsibility to its grey fleet drivers as it does to employees in company cars.
Furthermore, if a grey fleet driver has a collision while on business and proves to be uninsured, for example because their cover doesn’t include business journeys, then the claim will simply migrate to the employer.
In turn, the company’s own insurer is unlikely to agree to any claim, so the cost of any incident comes straight off the business bottom line.
However, when managed properly, grey fleet can be a solution to rising company car costs.
Ian Featherstone, knowledge manager, Energy Saving Trust, says: “A well-managed grey fleet can provide a flexible and cost-effective travel solution.”