Mandurah Mail

What are pool vehicles? The definition and benefits

When multiple employees have access to a fleet of vehicles, operations efficiency is greatly enhanced. Picture Shutterstock
When multiple employees have access to a fleet of vehicles, operations efficiency is greatly enhanced. Picture Shutterstock

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Carpooling is nothing new. Companies in various industries have been promoting and incentivising it for decades.

But what is a pool vehicle fleet, exactly, and how can it benefit your business?

Keep reading to find out.

What is the difference between pool vehicles and company cars?

Pool and company vehicles, while similar, are not one and the same.

The difference between them is simple but important.

Company vehicles (usually cars) are designated for a single employee.

That means it can only be used by that one employee, who is not allowed to share it with anyone else.

Company cars are used for both business and personal reasons and are oftentimes kept at the employee's home. In other words, a company car is regarded as a benefit for an individual worker and is therefore subject to specific taxes.

On the other hand, pool vehicles (typically cars or vans) are company assets which can be used by more than one employee.

Unlike company cars, pool vehicles are considered essential to a business' day-to-day operations.

They cannot be used for personal business and they must be parked on the company' property when not in use (with a few minor exceptions).

As a result, they are not subject to the same taxes as company cars.

Benefits of using pool vehicles

Generally speaking, vehicle booking is one component of a comprehensive fleet management system which includes GPS tracking, telematics, and on-board computers and other devices.

Applied effectively, fleet vehicle management software arms you with the solutions needed to improve safety and efficiency, minimise risk, and optimise your business.

The primary, direct benefits of vehicle booking software are enhanced compliance, allocation, and utilisation for your vehicles and employees; also the streamlining and organisation of critical data points. But there are broader benefits as well. We discuss a few of them in this section.

Cost savings

Needless to say, it's cheaper to purchase one vehicle for several employees than it is to purchase one vehicle for each employee.

You also have fewer vehicles to refuel, maintain, and manage, which saves you a lot of time and money in the long-term. Not least of all, pool vehicles are not taxed as heavily as company cars.

Availability and efficiency

When multiple employees have access to a fleet of vehicles, the efficiency of your operations are greatly enhanced.

Workers can complete tasks in a timely fashion without having to delegate them to a coworker with vehicle access denied to other employees.

Reduced carbon footprint

Pool vehicles are a greener solution than company cars.

A smaller, shared fleet of vehicles translates to a considerable reduction in carbon tailpipe emissions, one of the leading causes of climate change.

For businesses that want to become greener but are unable to afford the high cost of transitioning to an electric vehicle fleet, pool vehicles offer a good alternative solution.

Managing your business' pool vehicles

As with any other aspect of your business, managing a fleet of pool vehicles represents a challenge. Implementing a vehicle booking system can save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration.

Apart from the bookings themselves, a good vehicle booking system will include a range of additional features such as:

  • pool vehicle log books
  • timed reservations
  • key management
  • automatic email reminders
  • pool booking exception reporting
  • damage reporting
  • pool booking utilisation score

Another advantage of vehicle booking systems is that they make it easy for you to demonstrate that you have not mis-classified a company car as a pool car for taxation reasons.

As we noted earlier, company cars are taxed more heavily than pool cars, so businesses sometimes try to avoid paying the higher tax by calling a vehicle a pool car but using it as a company car.

Doing so is a serious tax violation subject to heavy fines.