Every employer has that one reckless driver who is a driving liability. You don’t want to fire this person but you also don’t want them to bring down your entire operation. Here’s how to protect your company car from employee misuse.
Set A Friendly, But Firm, Policy On Behavior
Set a friendly, but firm policy on how you will handle damage to your vehicles, behavior while driving, cleaning and maintenance. For example, you may want to institute a no smoking policy in the vehicle to keep it clean and damage-free from smoke and cigarette use.
Some employees will choose to break this rule. When they do, they should be held responsible for damages. When you make everything known upfront, there are no surprises and no one should be shocked when disciplinary action is taken against them.
Perform Regular Inspections
Do regular inspections of your vehicles to keep them in good working order. If you require employee driving logs, you can inspect those, too, and trace damages back to specific employees. This makes it easier to figure out who the problem employees are so that disciplinary action can be implemented in a fair and equitable manner.
Inspections may uncover overt damage, like physical damage to the interior or exterior, or excessive wear and tear on the vehicle caused by negligent driving habits or other habits that may cause premature failure.
Give Employees The Option Of Ownership
Give employees “skin in the game.” When you offer to give the employees the vehicle at trade-in time, or an option to purchase the vehicle from you at trade in for a discounted price, you increase the likelihood that they will take care of the vehicles.
Set Up A Safe Driving Program – Make It Mandatory
You can’t eliminate all bad behavior, but you can curb it by mandating safe driving classes. You could even bring in Andrade Law Offices to explain the consequences of unsafe driving, from a legal standpoint. Make it clear what the employees are and are not responsible for.
For example, what is the company’s policy on employee car accidents? What is the legal position or ramifications in your state? When employees understand this upfront, they are more likely to take precautions to protect themselves and, by extension, your company.
Bill Employees For Abuse
This one might raise the ire of some employees, but it should. When an employee knowingly flaunts the rules, and damages your vehicle as a result, that employee should be held accountable. You can bill employees for damages, deduct expenses from the employee’s paycheck, and enforce other disciplinary action.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, of course. The right way is to make the policy on vehicle damage clear, educate employees on safe driving, then outline consequences in clear and no-nonsense language.
Make it clear that employees will be responsible for purposefully damaging the vehicle. You could also make employees responsible for any damage, with allowances for first-time damage.
Jordan Chan is a mechanic who has worked on various fleets of company cars so knows firsthand what the vehicles are put through! When he gets out of his overalls he enjoys sitting down in front of the computer and churning out an article or two each evening for auto and business blogs.