Thinking points - The company pool cars

“Pool cars are amazing, they don’t need oil, maintenance or even cleaning”. Those were the tongue in cheek words of one of Fleetcare’s account managers. For the most part businesses pool cars (fleet cars which can be used by all authorised company drivers) get a raw deal. In many cases they don’t get the care and attention they need and at resale time businesses can lose thousands. Like many company kitchens; company cars are used and abused until somebody sets down some realistic ground rules. For most businesses this lack of care can be down to a lack of policy and attention to detail in the area. This week we have put together some key questions and thoughts on pool cars to raise the plight of these long suffering vehicles.

The top questions

First and foremost it must be pointed out that this is not an article about how to maintain a vehicle. That area and others are covered by many other blogs found in our blog section. The articles on “what's involved in a vehicle service” ,“preparing for the worst- planning for accidents”, or our article on depreciation may help. This article is all about the special considerations and key sticking points of managing or caring specifically for a set of pool vehicles. Below are eight of the top questions you should be asking yourself before you create a new policy in the area.

1. Where do the vehicles stay – Do staff bring the vehicles home for the evening/weekend? Do you have adequate and safe storage on site?

2. Purpose and terms of use – Do you have a current policy on the correct use of the company cars? This can include ideal driving style and when and for what purpose the vehicle can be driven.

3. Maintenance and servicing responsibility – Who is ultimately responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the vehicles?

4. Infringements – Is their a sign in sign out log with times, dates and odometer readings so infringements can be paid by the offending driver?

5. Accidents – Is there a set policy on who to call or what to do in the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle?

6. Inspections – Are the vehicles inspected after each use? Are up to date logs kept of the vehicles condition?

7. Cleaning – Who is expected to clean the vehicle? Are drivers aware of the standards the vehicle is expected to be in on completion of use?

8. Fuel usage – Who is expected to re-fill the vehicle? Is the driver expected to refill out of his or her pocket or are the costs to be expensed?

Final thoughts

In most cases, the plight of a pool car can be compared to the plight of a rental car. Both the rental and the pool car will be driven to excess and abused to within an inch of their lives. The difference it would seem, is with how the cars are cared for in between users. While the rental car will (in most cases) be checked up and inspected between users, the pool car may not. In the end it needs to be remembered that many, if not all cases this can be remedied with a well thought out policy and communication in the area. In the end drivers need to remember their own duty of care to other drivers in the fleet, especially when it comes to safety.

Have you had a bad pool car experience?

Do your drivers treat your pool cars poorly?

Please comment below.

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