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Average Monthly Personal Use Charges Increase to $110

Fleets are increasing personal charges in 2010 while decreasing the number of eligible drivers.

August 2010, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

For a PDF of this article, including charts, click here.

Personal use fees continue to climb this year, increasing to an average monthly charge of $110. This number has inched up from $103 in 2008 and $108 in 2009. In Automotive Fleet's annual personal use survey, several fleets noted recent or upcoming changes in personal use policy, additional surcharges, and a decreased number of employees provided the perk of personal use of a company-provided vehicle.

"Many companies added or increased personal use charges in late 2008/early 2009 as a result of higher fuel prices and their desire to cut costs," said Mark Smith, general manager, strategic consulting for GE Capital Fleet Services. "Since mid-2009, most companies have been holding steady with personal use charges they have already put in place. We have seen a shift toward smaller vehicles over the past 18 months and some adjustments to personal use charges as a result of those changes."

Personal Use Decreases in 2010 While Charges Increase

The overall percentage of fleets allowing personal use in 2010, 86 percent, decreased from the 91 percent figure reported in the 2009 personal use survey, and is more than a full percentage point lower than the 87.1 percent of fleets allowing personal use in 2008.

One communications fleet is moving away from personal use.

"We are in the process of writing a new policy that will no longer allow any personal use of company-provided vehicles," said one fleet manager, who wished to remain anonymous.

Utilized as a perk for hiring and retaining top-level employees, personal use is increasingly coming under scrutiny by fleets.

The Irving, Texas-based laundry service, sales, and equipment company Coinmach Corp. & Appliance Warehouse is another company looking to eliminate personal use.

"Coinmach is moving out of the sedan business to eliminate personal use. We will become a 100-percent service fleet over the next 36 months. All sales, management, and executives are moving to a flat allowance. We monitor fuel consumption through our fuel card reporting program and drivers are aware misuse can result in termination," said Lisa Kneggs, fleet manager, Coinmach.

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