Reduce hassles on company vehicles with new fleet services

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

If your small business operates more than one vehicle, chances are that you now (or will eventually) spend too much time managing the related maintenance and paperwork.

An increasingly smart solution: Look into fleet-management services, which are no longer just for big businesses thanks to technology advances.

Automakers, fleet-management firms and others offer services for businesses with two to 20 vehicles. The services cover maintenance, financing, registration, fuel management, insurance, towing, repairs, mileage and tax reporting for company vehicles.

UPS Capital and GE Commercial Finance Fleet Services offer management services for companies with as few as five vehicles, including light and heavy trucks and warehouse vehicles. The service includes driver training and fuel cards to control gas purchases. Companies can get management reports and updates online. Go to www.upscapital.com/fleetservices.

General Motors offers services for “qualified fleet owners,” businesses that buy or lease five or more GM vehicles. Companies must register online to receive an account number to access online services and obtain discounts and incentives on new vehicles. Incentives range from $1,000 to $6,000. Go to www.gmfleet.com.

Ford has a similar program for businesses with at least five vehicles. Go to www.fleet.ford.com. Toyota’s fleet management program supports businesses with at least 10 vehicles. Go to www.fleet.toyota.com.

Verizon Wireless offers its Fleet Administrator service, which includes management software and a $550 GPS tracking device to track vehicle locations. Cost: $50 a month. Go to www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/businessSolutions, click on “small/medium business” and then “VZCustom.”

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