Fleet management can be a surprisingly misleading world that is frequently misunderstood and often misjudged. So here we take a look at ten of the most common misunderstandings of this profession and explain just why there are such misconceptions.

  1. Fleet management is anything but a full time job

Fleet management is a difficult, challenging job that places plenty of demand upon its role holder. However despite this many think that fleet management is a job that can be handled within part time hours. Few really grasp that the average fleet manager must work with a plethora of employees, often being required to work outside of standard office hours and undertaking tasks that really fall outside of their job description (such as advising employees on selling or buying vehicles privately). Taking care of fleet insurance is another thing that fleet managers have to stay on top of.

  1. Vehicles should be amortized on 50-month schedule (or 2% per month)

Perhaps it’s because it’s a nice, straight forward figure, or perhaps this notion started some time ago when it may have been relevant, however whatever the reason the 2% per month rule is not only misleading, but moreover wildly impractical.

Instead fleet managers should always focus upon the aim of reducing capitalised costs that truly reflect the market value at the point of replacement. Such amortisation dates will then vary greatly from situation to situation and from company to company. 

  1. Accident fault is the same as chargeability

It’s been frequently found that too many fleet managers base chargeability upon whether or not the accident is the fault of the driver. In such instances they then overlook the fact that drivers should always drive defensively, which remains true even where the accident may be the fault of another. 

  1. Reconditioning always devalues a vehicle

Many felt mangers believe re-condition to always devalue a vehicle. However, whilst in many cases this is true (and particularly applies to providing a vehicle with a complete makeover) undertaking minor reconditioning tasks can actually increase its value. This includes work that will help the vehicle in selling more quickly (after all, time is money, regardless of the area of business in which you work). 

  1. Drivers aren’t bothered about fleet costs, after all it isn’t their money

All too often employees are done a disservice as management presume that they don’t care about the tools and vehicles at their disposal. However this is far from typical and in actuality the majority of employees will recognise that what is good for the business is good for the bottom line and consequentially for their job prospects. 

  1. Replacements can’t benefit from an extended policy without some sort of financial penalty

Many people, both within and outside of the fleet management profession, presume that extending a policy’s lifetime results in vehicles that become increasingly expensive, requiring part and components replacements. However whilst such situations demand extensive analysis, this is far from applicable in all instances.

To this end replacement roles should form part of the cost reduction review and should be coupled with a complete preventive maintenance program. 

  1. Fleet management consists of car enthusiasts who just happen to work as a fleet manager

Fleet managers are often mistook for greased up mechanics and car enthusiasts. It seems that, for whatever reason, many take the fleet management business as one based upon car mechanics rather than the careful tracking and analysis of new and used vehicle markets: which are, after all, two completely different industries. 

  1. Strategic sourcing means that the fleet manager is completely outside of the decision making process

A recent misunderstanding that has developed is that source professionals can undertake their jobs without the input of a fleet manager.  However just because there exists sourcing within the fleet RFP process doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that the need for solid fleet management is ignored. 

  1. Fleet management is today completely different from the fleet management of yesterday

This myth has been a matter of heated debate over the years, however when all is said and done the role of the fleet manager still requires a determination of what vehicles should be used for what roles, as well as a consideration of the driver’s safety; this basic remit has not changed over the years and fleet managers today are still required to develop, implement and update a policy that fits the fleet accordingly.           

  1. The fleet management professional is slowly dying out with outsourcing filling their spaces

Today companies are increasingly choosing to outsource certain aspects of the fleet manager’s role, however this is far from the position itself being outsourced.

There will always be a need for an in-house fleet manager and where companies have attempted to outsource the role there has been a realisation that companies and individuals outside of the company rarely understand the fleet, the company’s needs or have a grasp upon the business’s resources.