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What Are Fleet Vehicles?

Fleet management employees are often tasked with maintaining vehicles and checking diagnostic trouble codes.
Taxis are a type of fleet vehicle.
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  • Written By: Mike Howells
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 02 October 2014
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As the name suggests, fleet vehicles are vehicles bought or leased, and used en masse by a company or government entity. These are typically a popular make of car, truck, or van with easily obtainable parts and service. The most visible kinds of fleet vehicles include buses, taxis, emergency response vehicles, rental cars, and delivery trucks, and are typically painted in unique or company-specific colors to make them easily recognizable. Less prominent fleets — usually for state or employee use — may not be color-coordinated, but typically bear some type of identification.

Depending on the company or organization, types of fleet vehicles can range from cars to vans to trucks. They tend to endure much harder use than personally-owned vehicles, due to demands of the job for which they are intended. A single vehicle may be subjected to constant use by a number of different operators, not all of whom may use the same degree of care or attention. Additionally, fleet vehicles, by the nature of their ongoing operation, are more likely to be subjected to mechanical and cosmetic wear and tear. They are also routinely used to travel several hundreds of thousands of miles (or kilometers), far beyond the typical lifespan of a privately-owned car or truck.

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Tracking, financing, maintenance, replacement, and other ongoing activities related to the upkeep of a vehicle fleet are collectively known as fleet management. Governments and companies with large fleets will often have entire departments devoted to fleet management, or outsource the work to dedicated companies. In the delivery industry, for example, a fleet management employee's duties may range from monitoring the global positioning system (GPS) tracking of vehicles to performing automotive diagnostic and maintenance checks.

Most commercial fleet management programs also monitor the mileage, fuel economy, and other statistics related to the performance of vehicles, and use the data to optimize routes and minimize costs for such things as fuel consumption and maintenance. Vehicle tracking can also be used to generate profiles of particular drivers, providing for quantitative analysis of their performance. A crucial aspect of fleet management relates to the eventual, but inevitable, need to replace old vehicles with new ones. Since many governments and organizations purchase replacement fleet vehicles in cash, on an as-needed basis, fleets tend to consist of older models. There are industry standard databases that allow fleet operators to plot the life cycle of vehicles and their replacement needs.

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John57
Post 4

Sometimes you can get a pretty good deal if you buy a used fleet vehicle. We have a friend who buys all of his cars from his company when they are done using them as fleet vehicles.

There are several advantages to buying them as he knows who has owned the vehicle and has all the maintenance records that were done on it.

They don't usually have a ton of miles on them when they are sold, so there is still quite a bit of good driving time left for them.

If you are looking for a car that has a lot of extras, this probably wouldn't be something you would be interested in. Most of them just have standard features and don't have any luxuries on them.

winslo2004
Post 3

Selling commercial fleet vehicles is the best job in the car business. You don't sell one car at a time, you sell 10, or 20, or sometimes 100 or more. You might make a little less per car or truck, but you sell a whole bunch of units so you still make out.

The trick to this kind of job is that you have to be the type of person who is really good at building relationships. Big corporate buyers tend to deal with people they know. So you have to make sure they know you.

If you ever want to try selling cars, figuring out what you need to do to get into fleet sales is the smart way to go. At least it was for me.

BigManCar
Post 2

You can sometimes get a good deal on a used fleet car or truck. Some companies with large fleets, as well as some government agencies, offer their fleet vehicles for sale at certain intervals. You know they maintenance and inspections will have been done over the course of the car's life.

The only concern is that they usually have a lot of miles. Like any used car, I would have a mechanic take a look at it, but I have bought a couple of trucks like this and they have served me well.

Nepal2016
Post 1

I used to work for Ford, and one of the nice things about it was that if you had to go somewhere during the work day you could sign out a pool car and use it instead of your own. Saved wear and tear, also saved on gas since they had an onsite gas station that required a swipe card to use but billed the gas to some department or other. I don't know which department, but I know it didn't cost me anything.

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