Best Practices: Increasing Personal Use Compliance
What’s a fleet manager to do when drivers fail to comply with personal use reporting? Fleet managers share proven practices that emphasize policy, communication, and consequences.
A according to a recent Automotive Fleet survey, 91 percent of responding fleets allow personal use of a company-provided vehicle, a figure up from recent years. A common lament among many fleet managers, however, is the effort expended to boost driver compliance with vehicle use and reporting policies. How to motivate, cajole, or admonish drivers to submit, in particular, mileage information, data important to so many fleet management cost factors?
A review of successful personal use compliance programs reveals common practices:
● Well-defined, clearly stated policies.
● Targeted and repeated communications.
● Consistently applied consequences.
At UGL Unicco, a Boston area-based facilities maintenance services provider, fleet manager Pete Belloli employs several tactics to maintain reporting compliance.
The company deploys a 625-vehicle fleet for service, sales, and operations management functions. The fleet includes primarily cargo vans and pickups, with sedans, box trucks, dump trucks, and shuttle buses.
Belloli relies on his leasing company's reporting program for mileage data files. All applicable drivers must enter their data monthly. Salaried sedan drivers' incomes are inputted quarterly on W-2 forms, although that process may change. "We are discussing charging drivers via payroll deduction, a certain amount per week," said Belloli.
Currently, he sends a reminder e-mail each quarter, alerting drivers they need to report their mileage. In addition, the leasing company e-mails drivers whose data is missing for the previous quarter.
Drivers who miss reporting personal use data are charged a penalty; 100 percent of mileage in the missing month(s) is inputted as personal use. This practice "has a significant motivating effect on timely data submission by the drivers," Belloli noted.
"To keep drivers honest," Belloli reviews the percentages of reported personal mileage. "Those drivers reporting low percentages are asked to confirm the numbers and to document why personal usage is so low," he said.