The Agile Fleet

Insights, ideas, & expertise for optimal fleet management

Should human services workers use their personal vehicles to serve at-risk populations? Probably not, and here's why.

Posted by The Agile Fleet on August 07, 2018


Human services workers rely on vehicles to serve at-risk populations, helping people find their way toward healthier living. But providing workers with the right vehicles, at the right location, at the right time (when they need them!) is not always such a simple task. As a result, workers often turn to their own vehicles to do their jobs. But is that such a good idea? 

We don't think so. Not only does reimbursement for personal vehicle use drain budgets, personal vehicle use for official business can represent an organization unprofessionally. 

So why do people choose their own vehicle over using shared vehicles? One reason is that employees tend to feel more comfortable driving their own cars. Since many agencies have not established a clear policy requiring use of a personal vehicle versus use of the motor pool, people naturally gravitate toward using their own. Or, the process of reserving and using motor pool vehicles is so burdensome that few want to bother using them. Some people even view personal vehicle reimbursement as a perk or even worse, a supplement to their income.

No matter the reason, personal vehicle use (POV) expense reimbursement continues to be a drain on many organizational budgets. Unfortunately, costs related to personal vehicle use can be tricky to manage. Inflated expenses occur when employees overestimate their mileage instead of recording it precisely. Some staff members might even intentionally pad their mileage or make personal detours during business travel. Another negative aspect of POV use is the time it takes for personnel to process large volumes of expense reports, which adds to POV-related costs. And oftentimes fleet managers are not even aware of the budget burdon because reimbursements are charged to operational budgets, not the fleet budget.

While it may seem easier to carry on with a well-established practice, fleets can significantly reduce this unnecessary expense and offer workers official vehicles easily by using an automated motor pool solution. Besides reducing costs and offering an alternative to personal vehicle usage, a self-service vehicle sharing program can help human services organizations operate more efficiently in many other ways, such as helping them to:

  • Automate the scheduling & coordination of vehicles across departments and the entire organization
  • Offer vehicle pick-up and drop-off during non-standard office hours (e.g. nights & weekends)
  • Automatically communicate & enforce policy during the vehicle reservation process
  • Eliminate paper-based processes that make access to vehicles easy for workers, including online reservations and automated key dispatching
  • Effortlessly collect fleet metrics for utilization reporting, right-sizing and vehicle accountability
  • Ensure accountability for cleanliness, fuel levels, and transgressions (e.g. toll violations & parking tickets)
  • Improve worker safety
  • Reduce cost of operating the fleet through increased utilization and accountability

Want to learn more? The State of Michigan and Charles County Department of Social Services will be panelists sharing their motor pool success stories along with Agile Fleet experts on our upcoming live webinar: Motor Pool for Social Services Organizations to be held August 30, 2018 at 2 p.m. If you are interested in attending, please sign up below. Limited slots are available.


Topics: Government Motor Pool, Motor Pool Technology

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