Almost 90% of commercial fleets allow personal use of the company-provided vehicles. Although it is a very common industry practice, there is an ongoing debate about how much should a company charge for personal use. Allow us to explain.
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A company fleet can often be the backbone of any business. The way a company delivers their goods, finalise on deals made, and close a transaction once packages or items have been delivered. But, if your drivers aren’t as productive as they could be, are businesses out there missing a trick? The main point being is that a company vehicle is the responsibility of the driver behind the wheel. How fast that vehicle goes, what route it takes, can simply be a split decision. But the wrong decision could end up costing a business not only time, but money. With a company fleet not working as it should be, you can end up seeing unforeseen costs incurred on the bottom line. Which is why vehicle tracking can improve driver productivity.
Any business who has some sort of company fleet will admit that this part of the business can be the backbone of the operations side. It’s the difference to completing a transaction with a customer or client, and essentially, without it, a business could struggle to deliver products or even end up paying out far more than needed for someone else to deliver for them. So protecting these assets are vital, and a vehicle tracking system could help you do just that.
For many years drivers have been faced with tough decisions when it comes to choosing either a petrol or diesel model. Each has its own benefits in terms of performance, economy and how much you pay at the pumps; but in recent years we’ve seen diesel drivers being punished because of their carbon dioxide emissions. While it’s great for the environment that the powers that be are looking to reduce emissions by forcing manufacturers to develop more environmentally-friendly vehicles, diesel drivers and transport managers have been feeling the effects in their bank accounts. There have already been a number of increases in terms of taxation and potential penalties, and there have even been talks about many diesel cars dropping in value over the next few years affecting drivers when it comes to selling their existing models.
Technology is a strange sector where so many radical new inventions come along all tipped to be “the next big thing.” Whether it’s a smartphone, a laptop or some kind of witchcraft-controlled device that lets you switch all the lights in your home on without moving from your sofa; we’ve seen some incredible innovations and plenty of fairly poor ones too.
A few years ago, the introduction of electric and hybrid cars was a much-promising, greener alternative to petrol-run vehicles. But, that was about it. The technologies used a decade ago did not allow investors to decide to invest in electric vehicles for their fleet because thy did not offer the conveniences and functionalities that their petrol peers provide.
For any business, it is all about the costs, and maintaining a fleet of vehicles can certainly make those costs skyrocket when not looked after carefully. The issue many businesses find, or even fleet managers responsible for the vehicles and policies in place, is that driving the vehicles is technically out of your control. All any company can do is place their trust in the employee who drives the fleet van or car. However, more businesses are looking at the beneficial uses of telematics in their fleets.
Over the years we’ve seen all kinds of different forms of technology developed to aid drivers going about their daily duties. Some have certainly worked and saved drivers hours in terms of time they would’ve spent in motorway queues, while others haven’t worked quite so effectively. One thing that has been developed in recent years that has without a doubt benefited drivers and fleet managers alike, however, is telematics. Designed to provide instant feedback to managers back at the depot and drivers out on the road, telematics systems utilise all kinds of different forms of data to give accurate, real-time information that can then be used to inform decisions further along the route and for the fleet of drivers as a whole.
Increasing business efficiencies can be a lucrative strategy, as we've seen in previous blog posts – the increasing need zero-tolerance where the accuracy of business mileage and expenses are concerned was a primary motivation for Staffordshire based ArB (Tree Care Specialists) incorporating the use of RAM Tracking technology into their fleet management housekeeping. This was not only driven by the need to differentiate in types of usage internally but also to provide customers accurate costs based on the work completed and could ensure there was no ambiguity. RAM Tracking was the clear winner following comparison with a number of other vehicle solution specialists. RAM Tracking’s competitive costing and excellent customer service stood out and ultimately helped aid the final decision.
Making sure that you’re meeting the demands of the taxman is a given for any company, but it has to be said that HMRC can be a much more benevolent organisation than you might first imagine. While it’s true to say that HMRC does want you to pay any tax due, HMRC is also working towards a thriving and vibrant economy. HMRC seeks to help you make the most of your business opportunities and – for those who run a fleet of cars or vans – HMRC offer taxable benefits that can help you ease your tax burden. As ever, it’s critical to understand how the system works so we’ve asked RAM Tracking’s finance expert, James Monks, to put together an easy-to-follow overview of how it works.
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