It seems simple enough: fleet drivers record the miles they’ve driven, fleet executives take those records and can then distribute necessary payments to suppliers, vendors, customers and anyone involved in the transportation process. But what happens when those records are inaccurate? Recent research shows that nearly nine out of 10 fleet drivers lie about their mileage records, a fact that can severely skew an entity’s payment process.
Flexed.co.uk spoke to 1,200 company drivers and found that nearly every company with a car fleet is losing money through inaccurate claims. However, most fleet executives seem to put up with what they think are acceptable losses, according to Mark Hall from Flexed, a car rental agency.
That survey showed that almost two-thirds of respondents said they had added personal miles to their total for personal gain and 20 percent said they’d added private miles by mistake.
Additionally, 89 percent of respondents said they had submitted an inaccurate mileage claim in the past.
While statistics like that can be alarming, there is no reason for companies to put up with such practices, nor to settle for them as being acceptable losses, said Vertivia sales director Paul Chater. Vertivia is a UK fleet management firm, and has also conducted its own research on tracking mileage.
“An online business mileage system can be employed to accurately capture drivers’ mileage records, eradicate bogus claims and ensure that companies are only paying out appropriate levels of mileage reimbursement,” Chater told Fleet News.
According to the Vertivia research, the average fall across its fleet was 1,874 business miles per driver or 10.6 percent of the total business miles driven. Vertivia explained that this led to a saving in claimed mileage expenses of £281 per annum per driver, based on an average saving of 1,874 miles at a typical business mileage rate of 15p per mile.
Moreover, as recorded business miles went down, recorded private mileages as a proportion of the total went up. Specifically, the mileages rose from an average of 18.5 percent to 24.7 percent.
The results show that a mileage capture system can have a profound effect on the business miles driven and claimed by company drivers, Chater explained to the news source.
“The very fact that business miles and private miles are being recorded accurately, and that there is total transparency in the way the miles are captured, does seem to have a dramatic impact on driver behaviors,” Chater said.
So how do fleet managers prevent something like this from happening?
A good option could be geolocation services, and other telematics technology. For example, Enterprise Fleet Management recently partnered with Geotab, a GPS fleet management and vehicle tracking firm. PYMNTS.com reported on the match last month, and how Geotab plans to help customers improve fleet productivity, fleet optimization, driver safety and regulatory compliance.
In terms of mileage, telematics technology can assist fleet managers in detecting engine issues and in creating better trip planning with route optimization. With more effective dispatching, fleets can reduce the number of miles driven, explained Geotab marketing manager Maria Sotra.
Along similar lines, Navman Wireless USA announced in June that it had added electronic driver log and driver vehicle inspection reporting (DVIR) options to its OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking system.
With the right technology in place, fleet managers cannot guarantee that driver scams – or just plain errors – will never occur, but it at least gives them the chance to rectify the situation as soon as possible.