Fleet decision-makers' pay ranges from under £20,000 to £57,000 depending on the size of fleet, the industry sector, and other executive responsibilities.
The study of pay and benefits shows an average salary of £34,854 and an average pay rise of 4.7% over the year to February 2002. Furthermore, some fleet executives qualify for bonuses, based on their own and corporate performances.
Incomes Data Services (IDS) Management Pay Review conducted the benchmark survey of 'the most senior person responsible for the organisation's fleet' that range in size from 31 vehicles to 9,500 vehicles.
The survey reveals the different departments in which 'fleet' sits within various organisations, ranging from pensions and share save to facilities, support service and HR, to purchasing, and to finance. Only three of the organisations surveyed identified fleet, or transport services, as an independent department in its own right.
The highest paid fleet managers work in manufacturing, where the average salary is £45,756, followed by public sector organisations where the average is £31,030 and the service sector with an average of £31,004.
The widest range of salaries was found in the public sector, where the highest paid earns £25,000 more than the lowest, a range of £19,300 to £44,000.
IDS found a logical correlation between the salary level and fleet size, with managers responsible for fleets of up to 1,000 vehicles earning an average of £31,874 compared to an average £37,021 for fleets in excess of 1,000 vehicles.
However, the link between fleet size and salary is not a failsafe correlation, with the lowest earning fleet manager in the survey running 440 vehicles, while the second-highest paid executive on £52,000 is responsible for the largest fleet.
The secret to earning an above average fleet salary appears to be taking responsibilities beyond fleet. The highest paid fleet manager, for example, only spends 15% of working time on fleet issues, and the average salary of managers with other duties is £41,401, compared to £28,962 for full time fleet managers.
There is also a noticeable salary advantage from working in dedicated fleet departments or within HR departments where the average pay is £39,637 and £38,593 respectively, compared to £27,075 in purchasing and £33,253 in facilities departments.
Bonuses represent a significant way for some fleet managers to increase their pay, with IDS identifying one fleet manager who received a bonus of £9,500, although much of this is perhaps due to other responsibilities given that fleet issues occupied just 5% of his time.
For managers whose time is spent entirely on fleet duties, bonuses ranged from 1.8% to 8% of salary, with an average cash value of £979.