Things businesses should consider before hiring a Fleet Manager
- What does a Fleet Manager do?
- What should you look for in a Fleet Manager?
- Do I need a Fleet Manager?
If you have a business and are thinking of getting a fleet of cars, then it’s possible you will also be considering hiring someone to manage that fleet.
A Fleet Manager is exactly what it sounds like, it’s someone who manages your company fleet for you as an employee of your business.
So, what’s their role as Fleet Manager? Do you really need to hire someone to carry out the job and if so, what sort of person should you be looking for?
What does a Fleet Manager do?
So, what exactly does the role of Fleet Manager entail?
Quite often you will see them referred to as Fleet Supervisors, Fleet Maintenance Managers or Fleet Maintenance Supervisors. Throughout this article, you will see us refer to them using all four of these terms.
What are the specific responsibilities of a Fleet Supervisor?
The most important responsibility that a Fleet Manager has is to ensure that the company is compliant. This includes making sure that the employment contracts for those driving company vehicles are appropriate and that the employees have a valid UK driving licence.
They will also have to organise insurance and make sure that the policy has enough cover, in case there is an accident. It’s also necessary to ensure that all company employees are abiding by UK driving laws and the Highway Code.
Arranging the fleet
Without a fleet, there is no need for a Fleet Manager. One of their responsibilities is to organise the fleet. This organisation includes advising the company Directors on the best way to get the fleet. There are several ways to do this, but it will either be through a vehicle broker, a dealership, or a used car dealership.
They will also need to advise the directors on the best, most cost-effective way to fund the fleet. There are several options for funding, including business leasing, with something like Contract Hire or a Finance Lease, or a purchase scheme such as Hire Purchase. Alternatively, if you’re considering buying your vehicles outright, you may want to buy using cash or look at getting a fleet that’s second-hand.
Another thing that a Fleet Supervisor will have to determine having looked at business requirements, is what sort of vehicles you are going to get. Some companies decide that they want all their vehicles to be the same, otherwise known as a uniform fleet. Other companies have a system where they provide different vehicles for different levels of employees.
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Ensuring the vehicle is road legal
The Fleet Supervisor is also responsible for making sure the fleet is road legal. This responsibility includes ensuring that all the vehicles are serviced regularly and are always road legal. It is also the responsibility to ensure that all drivers have the legal documentation required to drive.
All of these requirements are your responsibility as an employer, part of the duty of care you have for your employees.
Another important role that the Fleet Supervisor has is ensuring that the drivers are staying within the pre-agreed mileage allowance. When you lease a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you will have agreed to a set mileage that you have to stick to. If any of the vehicles go over the contracted mileage then you will be subject to additional fees. The Fleet Supervisor will also be responsible for ensuring that the mileage is logged on a regular basis.
A Fleet Maintenance Supervisor is not only responsible for ensuring that company employees are keeping below the pre-agreed mileage for the vehicles, they are also responsible for ensuring your company fleet is well-maintained.
How the fleet is maintained is up to you. You can either negotiate an hourly rate with a local dealership or add a maintenance package to your finance agreement.
If you have a large fleet then it can be incredibly time-consuming to organise an hourly rate with local dealerships, especially if you know that they will need to be maintained at multiple locations across the country. However, it can be hugely beneficial if your fleet is going to be looked after at the same location.
If the fleet is going to be based at multiple locations across the country then it’s worth considering organising maintenance agreements as there will be dealerships nationwide that are approved for getting your vehicles serviced.
The Fleet Manager is responsible for ensuring that all the vehicles in the fleet are well-maintained and get services regularly.
What should you look for in a Fleet Manager?
Now you’re aware of all the things that a Fleet Manager is responsible for, let’s look at the things you need to consider before you hire someone to fill the role.
Finding the right Fleet Manager
Supervising a fleet is a huge responsibility and you want to ensure that you’re hiring the right person for the job. One who is qualified and has the right experience that means they’re up to the job and the responsibility that comes with it.
When looking for a Fleet Maintenance Manager, you should ensure that the right candidate has the following:
- A proven track record of Fleet Management
- Knowledge of the challenges that they may encounter as part of the role and how to solve them
- Vehicle knowledge. If they’re going to be working to ensure that your company fleet is kept in good condition, including the benefit of different tyre types then they should have some experience with vehicles.
It’s vital that you find a candidate who has experience as the role is one with an incredible amount of responsibility.
A key thing that you need to consider when looking to hire someone who will look after your fleet is the cost. The employee will be hired by you and therefore on your payroll. The typical salary for someone in this role is around £40,000 per annum. Of course, there are the other costs associated with any role, including National Insurance and a company car plus office space and any other benefits offered to your other employees. As an estimate, we’re looking at approximately £50,000 to hire someone within your business to maintain and manage your vehicle fleet.
It’s important to take this into consideration when you’re thinking about hiring a new employee as a Fleet Manager. Is it a necessary role that you want to spend money on? Can your business afford it?
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Do I need a Fleet Manager?
You may have read this article because you’re thinking about a fleet for your business and you need to know what goes into ensuring things are managed correctly. Ultimately, though, your question will probably have been ‘do I need a Fleet Manager for my business?’
In-house Fleet Manager
If your business has a fleet of over 80 vehicles then hiring someone to manage it internally is the best solution. Your Fleet Manager will be able to manage the whole fleet in-house, doing all of the tasks that we have mentioned in this article and ultimately you will save money by hiring someone to specifically carry out this role.
Installing trackers on the vehicle?
If you have a smaller fleet of vehicles then it’s worth considering installing trackers in your vehicles instead of hiring someone to manage your fleet in-house.
A vehicle tracker will not only tell you where the vehicles are during work hours, but it will also provide you with a mountain of data about your fleet. This includes things such as the mileage, the efficiency of the vehicle and the efficiency of the driver. It also gives you data on how well your employees are driving and whether they’re sticking to the speed limits and the Highway Code. A tracker allows you to measure the fleet’s efficiency and helps to lower insurance costs.
Combining trackers in your fleet vehicles and an external fleet management company means that you won’t need someone in your office full-time.
External fleet management companies
If you have a smaller fleet and you’re not looking to hire an in-house Fleet Manager then another option is to find an external Fleet Management company to manage it for you.
They are independent companies who can take responsibility for managing the day to day of having a fleet of not more than 70 vehicles.
We would recommend combining vehicle trackers with an external company, which ensures your business has a cost-effective management system in place to look after your fleet.
Ultimately, it’s down to what you think is best for your business and your fleet situation. If you are unsure, then we recommend contacting a vehicle broker, such as OSV, who will be able to talk you through your options in regards to Fleet Maintenance.
Hopefully, this has cleared a few things up in regards to what to consider before hiring a Fleet Manager. There are many things to consider including the cost of hiring a Manager, how much responsibility they have and what to look for when hiring for this role. It is also worth considering whether you need one in the first place.