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Fleet review urged to manage post-pandemic operations

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Venson Automotive Solutions is reminding fleets to take time to carefully consider how they manage their post-pandemic fleet requirements. 

Many fleets saw an increase in demand for their delivery or mobile services during the pandemic, while others had company cars sit idle on driveways.

Either way, says Venson, fleet requirements have changed dramatically since the first lockdown in March 2020 and restrictions being lifted.   

“The impact of COVID-19 has had far reaching consequences on fleet utilisation and expenditure,” said Simon Staton, client management director at Venson Automotive Solutions.

“Fleet expenditure is typically the second largest operational cost after staff budgets so any significant change to how a fleet runs, can have a big impact on expenditure. 

“As we emerge from the pandemic and the economy begins to find its new footing, it is very difficult for fleet managers and businesses to predict their fleet requirements.”  

Staton explains that fleet expenses, such as fuel and accident management have been reduced over the past 16 or so months, but uncertainty and complications affecting business operations remain.

“It is therefore crucial for an organisation to ensure that they are receiving value for money and the right level of service needed to meet its fleet operation objectives,” he added. 

To help businesses navigate the new landscape, Venson Automotive Solutions is offering tips for fleets and businesses on how to reduce costs and streamline the utilisation of vehicles.  

Challenge Your Fleet Supplier  

There is no need to fear challenging the established order, says Venson, in fact shaking things up can be mutually beneficial for both parties.

The sign of a genuinely effective fleet supplier is one that works with a fleet manager to ensure their fleet policy is the most appropriate for their needs, it says.

In addition, fleet managers must ensure they know about the ‘hidden’ costs from their supplier, such as administration, maintenance, tyres and windscreen recharges.  

Review Company Vehicle Policy  

Vehicle wholelife costs are one of the least-considered but most important factors when it comes to selecting vehicles for a fleet policy, continues Venson.

Fuel Costs 

Fuel bills can be tackled with a variety of tactics. First and foremost is ensuring the vehicles themselves are properly maintained with regular servicing and tyre pressure checks – fuel costs can be 5% to 10% higher if tyre pressure is incorrect, says Venson.

Utilising telematics can help in achieving lower fuel costs by educating drivers to take the shortest route possible, avoid congestion and not make excessive journeys.

Driver Training  

Most drivers will feel they don’t require training, but with less time behind the wheel due to the pandemic it would be hugely beneficial for driver safety, argues Venson. 

Salary Sacrifice  

Furthermore, Venson says that Government changes in tax rates and NIC have made salary sacrifice a more attractive option for companies in recent months.

Staton said: “Knowing and understanding what you’re getting from your fleet management company is critical.

“On paper some providers can look to be delivering the cheaper option, but then too far down the line organisations realise that they are not achieving the tangible, long-term savings they thought.” 

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