Pool vehicle management: advantages, organization and taxation of pool vehicles in the fleet

Pool vehicle management can be organized efficiently and transparently with an appropriate software solution

Sharing vehicles is becoming increasingly important in the vehicle fleet, as it offers the opportunity to utilize the fleet more efficiently and thus reduce costs. Even though the classic personal company car is still popular, more and more companies are flirting with the concept of pool vehicles. In this article, we take a closer look at pool vehicle management, explain what the differences are to company cars and how car sharing software simplifies the organization and booking of pool vehicles.

What is a pool car?

A pool vehicle is a vehicle that is shared by more than one person. A fleet may consist entirely or only partially of pool vehicles. Who may use and have access to the carsharing vehicles should be clearly regulated in a pool vehicle agreement. This is because there may also be exceptions to the rights of use.

In direct comparison with conventional company cars, which are only used by one driver and also include private trips, pool vehicles are used more frequently for business trips and are therefore more heavily utilized. This is good and also intentional, because it means that there is significantly less downtime due to pool vehicles. Thanks to car sharing, the fleet is utilized more optimally and more economically. For a pool vehicle to pay off, just a few vehicles are enough. Because the higher the utilization of company vehicles, the higher the efficiency of the fleet.

Pool vehicle vs. company car: differences and similarities

Pool vehicles differ from company cars primarily in terms of the right to use them and their availability. Whereas a company car is assigned to a fixed employee and may generally only be used by that employee, a pool vehicle is available to several employees. This also means that a carsharing vehicle must be reserved in advance, whereas this is not required for a company car.

The following applies to both vehicles: The fleet manager must comply with the statutory owner liability obligations and regularly check the driver’s licenses. Driver instruction in accordance with UVV also does not differentiate between pool vehicles and company cars. It is mandatory for all who use company vehicles. If private use is permitted, the imputed income must be taxed using the 1% rule or a driver’s logbook.

However, fleet managers do not have to decide between the classic company car model and a car-sharing concept. Both mobility solutions can be combined to meet the individual requirements of the company and its employees.

Company car

  • Assigned permanently to a person
  • No prior booking required
  • Incentive for one person
  • Often long service life

Pool car

  • Shared by several employees
  • Prior booking required
  • Flexible mobility for all employees with access rights
  • Higher utilization due to shared use
Employees have access to car-sharing vehicles thanks to the pool vehicle management in the fleet
Company car or pool vehicle? Both concepts are not mutually exclusive and can be combined as part of a comprehensive corporate mobility strategy.

The advantages of pool vehicles in the fleet

There are many reasons for using pool vehicles in the fleet: reducing expenses, more sustainability, but also more inclusion so that as many employees as possible have access to pool vehicles.

Reduce costs in the fleet

One of the main advantages of pool vehicles is the reduction of costs. By sharing vehicles in the fleet, their utilization increases. This is because instead of assigning an individual vehicle to each employee, several employees share a pool vehicle. This can minimize the number of vehicles needed and reduce expenses for acquisition, maintenance and repairs. On average, pool vehicles can reduce fleet costs by up to 30 percent. Because the following applies: fewer vehicles with high capacity utilization make more economic sense than many vehicles with low capacity utilization.

Optimal utilization of vehicle capacity increases efficiency

In many fleets, company cars often sit around unused. However, if several employees use the same vehicle, idle and standing times can be reduced. This results in higher efficiency in the fleet. If car sharing software is used, the utilization of the vehicles can be optimized even further.

Pool vehicles contribute to greater sustainability

Pool vehicles make sense not only economically, but also from an ecological perspective. The production of new vehicles is very resource-intensive. Sharing vehicles reduces the number of vehicles required and makes better use of existing resources. In addition, electric cars are particularly well suited for a car-sharing concept. Those who integrate zero-emission vehicles can reduce CO2 emissions even further.

Positive corporate image and higher employer attractiveness

Sustainability and environmentally conscious actions are playing an increasingly important role among employees, customers and business partners. Companies that show that they are future-oriented through more sustainable mobility concepts such as car sharing enhance their corporate image in a positive way. This also increases the attractiveness as an employer, because the company car loses its appeal as an incentive. Instead, more and more employees prefer holistic mobility offerings that offer greater flexibility.

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This is what pool vehicle management is all about

Sharing vehicles in the fleet is associated with a number of economic advantages. The prerequisite is the right measures to make the management of pool vehicles in the fleet as efficient and cost-effective as possible. The following points should be noted:

Efficient booking and management systems

One of the most important tools for optimal management of a vehicle pool in the fleet is an efficient booking and management system. This system should be easy to use to ensure that employees can book the vehicle quickly and easily on their own. The system should also provide an overview of the vehicle’s status, including availability, mileage and maintenance requirements.

Automated notifications

Automated notifications are another important feature of efficient pool vehicle management. These inform employees and managers when a pool vehicle has been booked for journeys and when it has been returned. They also provide information about delays and cancellations of journeys. This ensures transparency and prevents double bookings.

Regular maintenance and servicing

Regular maintenance and servicing of the vehicles is also important to ensure that all pool vehicles remain in perfect condition. This should include ensuring that all major maintenance is performed on the pool vehicle, such as oil changes, brake checks and tire pressure checks. Cleaning and replenishment of fuel and coolant should also be done regularly. A well-organized maintenance system can ensure that problems are detected and corrected at an early stage. This ultimately minimizes costs and downtime.

Reliable reach management

Securing ready-to-run e-vehicles is a particularly critical issue. After all, every company wants to ensure that the available electric vehicles in its fleet are sufficiently charged and can be used by drivers. Efficient range management is difficult to achieve without an intelligent software solution.

Some companies try to make their vehicles available to employees only for a specific time window, ensuring that the vehicles can be recharged outside the time window for the next trips. This is a possible option, but it limits the potential of corporate car sharing in the long run.

Handing over the keys

Another important aspect concerns the handover of keys to the driver. It is important to determine how employees can access the vehicle keys for the pool vehicle and at what time the keys may be removed by the driver. Manual key handovers are often accompanied by time-consuming appointment coordination. Tools such as the key box, which is placed in the vehicle and receives the opening signal via Bluetooth, help with digital key management. Drivers then only need a smartphone to open the car.

Regular review and optimization

It is important that the management of pool vehicles is regularly controlled and optimized. For example, it should be checked whether it makes sense to add further vehicles for use or whether older models should be replaced. The utilization of the vehicles should also be checked regularly to ensure that they are being used efficiently for journeys.

Software-based pool vehicle management: The advantages of car sharing software

With pool vehicle software, you can manage your pool vehicles transparently and can be sure that your pool vehicles are being utilized efficiently and in a way that conserves resources. Thanks to a clear booking calendar, employees can see at a glance which vehicles are available and can book them quickly and easily.

If a vehicle is delayed, rebooked or canceled, the employee is notified by e-mail and the system automatically initiates a rebooking to another available vehicle. In addition, software generates evaluations that help to further optimize vehicle utilization and make strategic decisions.

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Your complete package for pool vehicle management

Organize your car sharing vehicles with our CaranoCloud software including clear booking calendar, automatic email communication and booking via smartphone app

Issues for efficient pool vehicle management

Thanks to careful planning and well thought-out implementation, pool vehicles can provide a cost-effective, flexible and sustainable mobility solution for the company. Fleet managers should therefore ask themselves the following questions:

  • Which vehicles in the fleet are suitable as pool vehicles?
  • How many pool vehicles are needed?
  • How should the booking and organization of the vehicles be done?
  • How is key management or vehicle access organized?
  • How is the maintenance and cleaning of the pool vehicles organized?
  • What measures are taken to prevent or respond appropriately to damage, theft or vandalism?
  • How is the private use of the pool vehicles regulated?
  • How are employee acceptance and satisfaction with the car sharing concept measured? How is the feedback collected and evaluated in order to optimize the concept and better meet the needs of the employees?
  • How can pool vehicles be integrated into the company’s holistic mobility strategy and combined with other mobility solutions such as public transport, company cars or e-bikes?

Taxation of pool vehicles

If private use of the car-sharing vehicles is permitted, the resulting non-cash benefit must be taxed. There are no differences here compared to a conventional company car. Two accounting methods can be used for taxation: The 1% rule or a logbook.

1 percent rule

Under the 1% method, 1% of the gross list price of the vehicle is recognized as a non-cash benefit each month. In contrast to the personal company car, the share of the imputed income is divided among all vehicle users. In addition, there is a flat-rate travel allowance for journeys between home and work amounting to 0.03% of the gross list price per kilometer (one-way). The amount determined in this way is added to the taxable income as a non-cash benefit. The 1% rule is particularly profitable for employees who make many private journeys with the car-sharing vehicle.

Logbook

Alternatively, the imputed income can also be determined and taxed by means of a driver’s logbook. All business and private journeys are documented in a driver’s logbook. The tax burden is then based on the privately driven kilometers and the resulting costs. For those who drive only a few private kilometers with a car sharing vehicle, taxation with a driver’s logbook is more worthwhile.

Agreement for pool vehicles: Car Policy in the car sharing fleet

Companies that provide pool vehicles to their employees should be sure to draft a written pool vehicle agreement. This sets out all the obligations and rights relating to the use of the carsharing vehicles. These are some important points that should be included in such an agreement:

  1. Definition of pool vehicle and authorized users: Define which cars are considered pool vehicles and which employees are authorized to use them. It should also be clearly regulated under which conditions use is permitted (e.g. customer appointments, business trips).
  2. Private use: The agreement should also specify whether the cars may also be used for private purposes by the employees. If this is not the case and the vehicle may only be used for business trips, this must be explicitly mentioned.
  3. Rights and obligations during use: How is the handling of the vehicles regulated? This includes, for example, cleaning the cars after the end of the trip.
  4. Liability and insurance: Determine who is liable for damage to the pool vehicle and how insurance coverage is regulated. Responsibilities in the event of accidents should also be clearly defined.
  5. Tank regulation: How should the tank filling be handled? Do the vehicles have to be returned with a full tank? And are the expenses for the fuel charged?
  6. Violations and sanctions: If violations of the agreement occur, such as unauthorized use or improper vehicle handling, the agreement should include appropriate sanctions. This includes, for example, a warning or claims for damages.
For smooth pool vehicle management, a written pool vehicle agreement should be signed by all drivers
Document all rules related to the use of pool vehicles in a designated pool vehicle agreement, and have it signed by employees with access to the car-sharing vehicles.

This is what you have to bear in mind when it comes to owner’s liability in the car sharing fleet

Whether it’s a company car or a pool vehicle, anyone who provides vehicles to their employees must also ensure their safety. Therefore, regular checks of driver’s licenses and UVV driver training are required by law. They are part of the keeper liability obligations that every fleet manager must meet. This is intended to minimize the risk of accidents for employees and increase safety in the fleet.

Anyone who fulfills the obligations inadequately or not at all must expect severe penalties. Digital solutions not only facilitate the implementation, but also document all results seamlessly and traceably.

Driver’s license check

Drivers’ licenses should be checked for validity every six months. As an electronic driver’s license check, the test can also be performed conveniently by drivers themselves while on the road with the help of a smartphone app.

UVV driver training

All drivers must be trained at least once a year in the safe use of company vehicles and in what to do in the event of an accident. As an e-learning course, driver instruction can be completed by drivers regardless of time and location.

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Vehicle access: digital key management

Vehicle access is also an important aspect of pool vehicle management. Manual key transfers in the office are usually associated with time-consuming appointment organization and are not always practical for many companies, especially in times of home office and remote work. With the help of practical tools, key management can be organized electronically. These include the key cabinet and the key box, which we will now briefly introduce.

Key cabinet

After booking the vehicle, the driver can open the key cabinet using a PIN or an RFID chip (e.g. on the company ID card) and remove the appropriate key. This is marked by a light signal and is thus easily recognizable. The other keys remain locked and cannot be removed.

Key box

The key box is portable and is placed in the vehicle. It receives the signal to open and close the vehicle via Bluetooth, and the driver only needs a smartphone app to operate it. The box is manufacturer-independent and ready for immediate use, as it is not necessary to convert the car. One supplier of key boxes, for example, is the company flinkey.

Frequently asked questions about pool vehicle management

For which fleets is pool vehicle management suitable?

Companies with employees who use the pool vehicles only irregularly or have only a few customer appointments can benefit particularly from car sharing. And vehicle fleets in which many short trips are made are also suitable for a car-sharing concept.

Who is allowed to use pool vehicles?

Which employees of a company have access to the pool vehicles and are allowed to use them should be defined in a car policy.

May a pool vehicle also be used privately?

Whether private use of the car sharing vehicles is permitted depends on the respective company. Both scenarios should be clearly regulated in a corresponding pool vehicle agreement in order to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

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