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How to Manage Multiple Business Vehicles

The Art of Managing Multiple Business Vehicles

Yes, you could call it “Fleet Management”, but we’ve found that phrase can give the wrong impression. Very often, when we talk to clients about fleets, they form a mental picture of rows of cars or a neat line of trucks and wagons.

In our world, if you’ve more than one vehicle you have compliance responsibilities. Five or more, and you’ve got a fleet and all the tasks associated.

That’s right, whether your business has five or five hundred vehicles, managing your fleet will involve you dealing with some or all of the following:

Vehicles

  • MOT 
  • Vehicle Roadworthiness 
  • Road Tax 
  • Telematics 
  • Maintenance

Drivers:

  • Driver calls 
  • Breakdowns 
  • Accidents 
  • Driver Training 
  • Licence Checks

Legal:

  • Fleet Policy
  • Health & Safety Compliance
  • Duty of Care
  • Grey Fleet Responsibilities

Administration:

  • Supplier Management
  • Credit Lines
  • Insurance Database
  • Service Histories

Costs:

  • Finance and Leasing
  • Mileage and Fuel Expenses
  • Whole Life Costings

And that isn’t an exhaustive list. How do you manage all of that? Well, when you have one or two vehicles, it’s not too much for someone to do alongside their day job. One person, without tools, knowledge and support, can probably handle 5-10 vehicles but, eventually, it does become a significant task.

So, it becomes a chore that someone has to do. Inevitably there’ll be spreadsheets. And they’ll be on that one person’s computer, which you won’t be able to access when someone asks you for the information. As your fleet grows, you’ll find the whole system becomes fragmented, and there’ll be a feeling that you’re not really in control.

But, aside from the time that someone has to devote to managing your company vehicles, there is also a question about qualification. How qualified or experienced is that person to be handling this critical part of your company. The more you delve into the subject of fleet management, the more you find it’s a complex subject. On the face of it, fleet management can seem like a box-ticking exercise. But it isn’t.

So, what do you do? Traditionally there are two routes open to you. Either outsource it to a company that’ll charge handsomely for the privilege, or you hire a Fleet Manager to manage it all internally.

In our experience, the first option doesn’t work too well as small businesses usually want to retain some element of control. Plus, there’s a significant cost involved. The second option of employing a fleet manager is fine if you have a big company with a large fleet (100+ vehicles) to control but isn’t a full-time job for most smaller businesses.

However, now there is a third option. A hybrid where you can manage your fleet in-house without having to devote much time to the process. And it won’t cost you anything extra.

We call it our Partner Programme.

The ethos is to empower small businesses to manage their fleets professionally without needing a professional.

When you become a KeyFleet Partner, we break down your fleet management needs into smaller topics.

Vehicle Replacement Programme

Rather than phoning us and asking to price up a particular vehicle for you, we create a strategy based on which types of vehicle you like, specifications and usage requirements. Based on the WholeLife Cost of the vehicle, we then make a programme, upload it into our system, and your KeyFleet relationship manager will contact the drivers in the months approaching the end of the contract. They will either execute all of this on your behalf then present the final order to you for sign off or, if you’d like more control, they will liaise with you during the process. If you have a new employee who needs a company vehicle, you just point them to your Relationship Manager, and they will arrange everything.

Risk Management Programme

As you run vehicles in your business, either owned/leased by the company or the “Grey Fleet”, comprised of employees’ private vehicles they use for business, you are responsible for the vehicles and drivers.

In a business context, the law sees those company vehicles as an extension of the workplace and subject to health and safety regulations. In the same way you have to make sure the equipment in your business is safe to use, you have to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy, well-maintained and fit for purpose. As for the drivers, you have to check they have a valid licence and relevant insurance documents. Finally, you have to make sure your company has all the required policies and procedures in place.

Our free, online risk audit will give you an indication of how at-risk you are with your current policies

As a KeyFleet Partner, we will help you complete the risk assessment survey. Then we will create a full policy document for you, handbooks for you to issue to your drivers, and schedule regular licence and vehicle checks.

Keys Software

Our Keys software sits at the core of all your fleet management activities. All of your company and grey fleet vehicle and driver details sit within the system. As well as providing a store of all your fleet information, it also drives alerts for the activities you need to perform. For example, when a licence needs checking, a policy expires, a maintenance task needs carrying out. Keys will tell you and record the results.

Partner Bolt-Ons

As well as the previous features, we can also attach other elements such as:

Full Accident Management

If any of your drivers have an accident, they don’t phone you. They call our accident management line, who take care of everything from getting your driver home to towing away the car to organising repairs.

Windscreen Repair & Replacement

Through our partners, Autoglass, we will have you back on the road anywhere in the UK.

Spot-Hire of Vehicles

For those one-off or short-term requirements such as a new starter on a probationary period.


In summary, the best way to manage your fleet is via our Partner Programme. If you’d like to try the Keys software, we have a free version you can trial on our website or ask our team about our Partner Programme on 01772 73 73 83.




Key Finance and Leasing Ltd, t/a KeyFleet are a credit broker and not a lender, we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered No : 714978

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