On paper, using a grey fleet makes good business sense because you are relieved of many financial responsibilities, such as vehicle maintenance costs. But the reality is that it can be very costly and time-consuming for your business as it requires much more than simply monitoring the mileage of your employees’ vehicles.

According to Fleet Alliance, approximately 12 billion business miles are driven by grey fleet vehicles each year – costing employers more than £5.5 billion per year in claims for mileage and fuel allowances.

Although there are no official statistics on the costs or extent of South Africa’s use of grey fleets, the business idea exists. Findings from a 2015 Fleet Management Excellence survey shows that out of 60 South African passenger and commercial vehicle fleets, only 7% had ever inspected their grey fleets for safety purposes. This shows that many South African organizations use grey fleets and find it challenging to effectively manage them as well.

How to Effectively Manage Your Grey Fleet Using Telematics

Leveraging the power of telematics can help tackle the challenges facing fleet managers with respect to managing grey fleet vehicles. Through its ability to generate vital vehicle operating data, fleet managers can use the information to benefit their businesses in five ways.

1. Train Drivers to Practice Safe Driving

In South Africa, there is no legal obligation binding companies to manage their grey fleets. However, companies have a legal duty to look after their employees when they are at work. Therefore, as it is your employees who drive their vehicles for work purposes, it is your company’s responsibility to ensure drivers are engaged in safe driving behaviour while on the road.

Using Geotab’s fleet management system will enable to see when drivers accelerate too quickly, brake too harshly, or idle for too long. Then fleet managers can create safety policies through MyGeotab’s Exception Rules feature. Fleet managers can select various exception such as speed to help guide vehicles and drivers. This will improve driving behaviour significantly. Furthermore, drivers will benefit from this because safer driving practices will help them stay safe and extend the lives of their vehicles. Read more how to use telematics to ensure driver compliance.

2. Know Your Employees Whereabouts with Real-Time Monitoring

Without a fleet management system, knowing your employees’ movements is very difficult. Drivers could be running their errands during office hours for everything you know. With Geotab’s GO7 device, however, you can view the vehicles location information in real-time – allowing you to monitor and know the exact location of a vehicle at any given time.

3. Detect and Defend Your Company Against Fraudulent Claims for Mileage and Fuel Costs

Sometimes drivers use the time of the company to run their errands. And they might claim the journey as work-related rather than having to make a note that it was a private journey. By using telematics, it can be easy to pick out fraudulent expense claims. Fleet managers can access reliable evidence of exactly how many kilometres were travelled, when, and where. So, if an employee decides to embark on a long detour halfway through a business journey, it can easily be spotted.

4. Improve Efficiency and Reduce the Costs of Fuel Expenses Claim with the MyGeotab Route Optimization Tool

For example, if an employee uses longer routes, it can cost your business a lot of money to pay for claims for mileage and fuel costs. By using MyGeotab’s route optimization tool, fleet managers can find the most efficient and cost-effective routes that drivers can use. Not only will this help to reduce the cost of claims for expenses, but it will also help to improve efficiency.

5. Be on Top of Vehicle Maintenance Schedules to Avoid Breakdowns

When running a grey fleet, you don’t have to worry about vehicle maintenance. But when the vehicle of your employee breaks down, it can be very costly for your business. Using Geotab’s fleet management software can help you be on top of vehicle maintenance schedules. Fleet managers can access engine health information through the software. They can also create alerts to enable them to track mechanical wear and tear. This allows you to schedule the maintenance required and replace parts when they need replacement – protecting your business against costly downtime. This will also benefit your employees as mechanical wear and tear will be reduced, prolonging the life of their vehicles.

Author: The Geotab Africa Team                   

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