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Fleet or Reimbursement? It's No Longer One or the Other

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Common Misconceptions Both fleet and reimbursement programs are subject to long-held misconceptions. Fleets have been characterized as overly expensive due to the initial cost of purchasing and maintaining corporate vehicles. Fleet managers, however, oen believe their option is more economical because the vehicles are bought at wholesale value and are better maintained than personal cars, vans, and trucks. Reimbursement has been stereotyped as being costly due to the lack of control over vehicle maintenance and the subsequent potential for high vehicle repair costs. Reimbursement managers are quick to point out that vehicle maintenance costs should be included in accurate reimbursement programs, and employees assume the additional costs associated with their decisions to delay maintenance of their personal vehicles. Both sides have valid points. Fleet and reimbursement programs each come with initial and ongoing costs – but both options are equitable and economical as long as companies have the correct technology in place to accurately reimburse employees for business use (of a personal vehicle) or charge employees for personal use (of a company vehicle). To make an informed decision, though, managers must understand the pros and cons of both options. Vehicle Program Evolution Employers have two options to choose from when providing for their mobile workers: offering company- owned vehicles (fleets) or reimbursing employees for the business use of their personal vehicles. Deciding between the two is no easy endeavor, as both fleet and reimbursement programs have distinct benefits. In the past, companies oen chose one or the other – compromising between conflicting business needs and objectives. However, recent developments in soware, mobile phones, and technology platforms, have made initiating and maintaining effective fleet and reimbursement programs easier than ever before. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, knowing the specific benefits of each program (and learning about custom hybrid options that integrate both) is increasingly important for all mobile workforce managers. FLEET OR REIMBURSEMENT? IT'S NO LONGER 'ONE OR THE OTHER' The barriers to enacting effective mobile workforce management programs have fallen. Previously, mobile workforce managers interested in effective, cost-saving programs had to choose between fleet and reimbursement programs. This inflexibility created a large divide in the mobile workforce management industry, as both programs come with significant benefits to consider. Thanks to rapid advances in mileage capture technology, companies no longer need to choose. With the appropriate technology in place to accurately capture business, commute, and personal mileage, employers can create equitable programs customized to fit their specific individual needs. The ability to offer flexible and accurate vehicle programs has never been easier, while staying with inaccurate programs has never been more costly.

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