Managing Fuel, Maintenance, and Telematics are Top Concerns for Fleet Managers

telematics in fleet leasingA recent article in Automotive Fleet highlights surveys of fleet managers. They analyzed fleet experiences specific to three of the biggest trends facing the industry, which are:

Continued fuel volatility and increased costs.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is predicting that the national average price per gallon (PPG) for the year will hover “around” $3.40 to $3.60. Diesel will clock in at about $3.90. The question, of course, is how long will these prices (which are down from 2011) hold fast? While there is no firm number that can be gleaned from the data, one thing is certain: the article notes that “the days of consistent fuel prices are gone (for fleets).”

Changes in maintenance costs.

One of the consequences of fleets retaining their vehicles longer – often beyond replacement policy guidelines – is that many repairs fall outside of warranty coverage, adding to maintenance costs. Across vehicle classes and years in service, the top five categories of spend are tires, brakes, preventive maintenance, engine, and electrical. The good news for fleets is that the average cost per vehicle transaction has fallen in each of the top five maintenance categories. For instance, preventive maintenance is only a third of the cost per vehicle in 2012 versus 2010.

Proliferation of fleets adding telematics.

Technology, in the form of telematics solutions, is the way many fleets are looking to manage their operations more efficiently. In fact, telematics/GPS is the most widely used management technology among fleets. Telematics is increasingly becoming a pivotal tool in managing drivers and costs. In one survey, the majority of fleet managers (59%) said that telematics would make “most” of their fleets’ processes more efficient; a little less than one-third said that telematics would improve about “half” of the fleet processes. Surprisingly, 2% of fleet managers believe that telematics would be of no benefit to their fleet.

While there are expenses that are out of the hands of fleet managers, as the statistics show, there are always ways to combat rising costs, either through driver behavior, e.g., eco-driving, or through technological innovations, e.g., telematics, and the fleet industry will need to continue to adapt to ever-changing challenges and technology.

Capital Lease Group is a leading fleet leasing provider in Massachusetts and beyond. We are committed to structuring a lease that will be designed to fit your business rather than having your business conform to the confines of a standard lease. We will invest the time to understand each customer’s individual needs while offering a full range of leasing services and products that will complement each customer’s goals. Our experienced staff of knowledgeable experts in sales, administration, and service will help you feel comfortable so that your main focus will be on your company’s vision while we handle all of your fleet requirements.