Auto fleet management is a series of procedures which are used to manage an automobile fleet, a collection of vehicles maintained for use by customers or employees of a company. Many large companies maintain a fleet of vehicles for the use of their employees, providing employees with customized vehicles to use at work in addition to vehicles which can be used for commuting. Car rental companies and some large auto shops also maintain auto fleets for the use of their customers.
Many companies use computer programs for auto fleet management. Managing a fleet of vehicles can get extremely complex, and a computer program can help people track vehicles and look up important information quickly. Written records may also be maintained, depending on the company and their preferences.
One aspect of auto fleet management is dealing with the physical location of the vehicles. It is necessary to know where all of the vehicles in a fleet are: in a storage lot, in repair, with an employee, or with a customer. It may also be necessary to move vehicles or to juggle vehicle locations. For example, a car rental location which gets a lot of one way rental turn ins may need to periodically drive some of its stock to another location, while a location which gets numerous one way requests would need to get cars from another location.
Maintenance is also a critical part of auto fleet management. Routine maintenance reminders can be programmed into a system so that people know when vehicles need service, and individual files on vehicles can also record repairs which the vehicles may have needed to create a complete service record. Computer programs can also network with recall announcement networks, so that if a recall is issued on a vehicle or component, a warning will pop up in the auto fleet management software.
In the case of a company which stocks work vehicles such as utility trucks for employees, the auto fleet management system may also include periodic inspections of the vehicles along with restocking procedures when vehicles are brought back in. This ensures that when an employee takes a vehicle out, it will have the tools and supplies needed on the job. In rental car companies, inspections are used to confirm that cars are returned in good condition and to clear vehicles for release to a new rental customer.
Another aspect of fleet management involves disposition of vehicles. Vehicles may be sold, often at auction, when they are too old, have too many miles, are no longer appropriate for the job, or are considered surplus.