Dispensing with a fleet management specialist and splitting their duties between HR and finance is exposing companies to risk, warns Tony Donnelly, owner of FleetLocum.
Donnelly, owner the company which provides contract fleet management staff to companies across Europe, says this may be costing companies much more than they are saving in salaries.
He said: “Companies need to acknowledge their risk. It’s not just the reputational damage or the financial cost were fines to be incurred – there is a significant duty of care to be addressed and accurate records kept demonstrating compliance with driving at work legislation – especially where businesses provide an allowance for their employees to buy their own car and then use it for business purposes.
"For example, driving licences need to be seen at least once a year for both fleet and car allowance drivers and recorded, and the same goes for insurance certificates to confirm that the employer is covered when the car is being driven for business purposes.
"Just as important is proof that servicing and maintenance is carried out in accordance with the manufacturers recommended intervals.
"All of this is required in addition to records kept about how individual driving behaviour is assessed and monitored across the wider fleet.
"A dedicated member of staff may appear to be a cost to the company but an expert can cut costs across the board while closely managing a company’s risk.”
Donnelly said FleetLocum has grown in recent years as more and more companies have recognised that they need a fleet manager, at least in the short term, to set up the correct processes and compliance checks.
Their work has also resulted in a more productive and better value relationship with leasing companies for their clients.
He added: “Companies can’t outsource their duty of care to a leasing company.
"It’s also in a company’s interest to put their second or third highest business cost under scrutiny.
"Far from being a cost to a business, we can help to reduce additional charges and build a stronger relationship with the leasing company based on trust and mutual respect.”
The growing complexity of fleet management requires an expert to work on fool-proof processes to satisfy the legal requirements as well as the corporate need for cost-effectiveness.
Each FleetLocum is embedded in a company for the required amount of time, but also has access to colleagues across Europe who have similar expertise and challenges for additional support and advice on the latest developments.