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What your drivers get up to outside of working hours is their business. The whereabouts of your vehicles, however, is very much yours.
It’s one thing to keep tabs on your fleet while you’re on the clock, but do you know what happens to your vehicles once you or your drivers finish for the day? According to Verizon Connect’s Fleet Manager Survey 2018*, 24% of managers surveyed believe their drivers never use vehicles for personal use, while 40% believe they do so occasionally, and 24% regularly.
But what exactly does this tell us? Not a great deal. While it’s great that fleet managers are aware that personal use takes place in their fleet, unless they are also actively tracking the whereabouts of their vehicles outside of working hours, it’s not possible to build a full and accurate picture of fleet operations.
Personal use: How much is too much?
Knowing that personal use takes place is one thing, but without knowing exactly how much, there’s no way of measuring the impact it could be having on your fleet and its profitability. What actually constitutes regular or occasional use, for example? Is ‘occasional’ personal use adding 10 miles a week to your vehicles or 100? It’s vital that fleet managers know the answers to these questions because it could have a serious impact on the business’ bottom line.
Personal use adds more than just further miles to your fleet too. There’s the potential for extra fuel costs and added wear and tear on the vehicle, before you even think about the impact on the reputation of your business. Consider an employee carries out a substandard personal job using your sign-written van, or causes a serious road traffic accident outside of working hours – how would you deal with this situation?
Should I allow personal use?
There is no right answer to this question.
It is entirely at your discretion whether you allow drivers to use their vehicles out of hours. What you must do, however, is have a system in place that lets you to track the impact of such use on your fleet – how much extra mileage is it accounting for, is it impacting on the health of your vehicles and are drivers replacing any fuel used out of hours?
With the answers to these questions at your disposal, you can put in place a personal use policy that works for everyone, the business and the driver, and ensure that such use is not having a detrimental impact on the performance and profitability of your fleet operation.
Click here to view the full Fleet Manager Survey 2018.