Fleet management: Best Practice Tips

Alissa Machin |

Fleet management best practice is a set of principles and behaviours which help fleet management systems to improve and optimise their mode of operation. To improve efficiency and  optimise the allocation of resources within a vehicle fleet, fleet managers therefore rely on insider tips. The following tips allow fleet managers to master the tools of the trade within the domain of AI-powered fleet management software, taking their fleets to the next level.


Fleet Management Best Practice

Fleet management best practice is a timely topic, since the world inflation rate reached an historical rate of 8.27 % in 2022 and companies are still reeling from the impact. Though the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified a tendency towards disinflation and projected global growth of 3.1 % this year, a careful approach to structural reforms and allowing necessary investments will support growth in productivity.

The wider climate of economic vulnerability in this quarter means that core services prices remain higher. In the context of fleet management systems, 79% of fleets in 2024 reported increasing costs related to inflation. Fleet managers therefore need to optimise the allocation of resources as a priority. To improve their efficiency and ensure a gold standard of operational excellence, fleet managers can take on board the following tips: 

Using Vehicle Maintenance to Improve Fleet Management

Using vehicle maintenance to improve fleet management is a cornerstone of reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and optimising performance, including prolonging vehicle lifespan. In this regard, scheduling and implementing maintenance routines is essential for fleet managers to consistently optimise their vehicle operations.

With fleet managers’ increasing reliance on predictive maintenance software to run their fleets, as we show in one of our other articles on fleet analytics, implementing regular fleet maintenance checks has never been simpler. By conducting routine inspections to address minor issues, fleet managers can improve vehicle uptime and reduce repair costs in the long run. In the wider picture, the entry into a low carbon emissions paradigm means that vehicle-sharing strategies will gain traction. Indeed, Markets and Markets’ Global Forecast to 2030 has projected a 23.3% growth in the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) market segment.

With a greater number of companies leasing their vehicles in the adoption of new sharing strategies, using vehicle maintenance to optimise fleet management processes will become even more vital for business viability in the rental paradigm. 

Predictive Maintenance to Boost Vehicle Performance

Predictive maintenance to boost vehicle performance is another reliable strategy for fleet management systems. As the backbone of vehicle maintenance, predictive technology enables fleet managers to automate maintenance scheduling, improve record keeping, and gain access to reports on vehicle status.

A literature review of ‘Predictive Maintenance in the Automotive Sector’, in the Journal of Mathematical and Computational Applications, offers an insight into why predictive maintenance is key to best practice. What sets predictive maintenance apart from reactive and preventative maintenance, at either end of the maintenance spectrum, is its capacity to optimise the total cost of repair and prevention. Indeed, surveys on average savings for companies who implemented predictive maintenance in industrial settings included a 70-75% elimination of asset breakdown, a reduction in maintenance costs of up to 30%, and increased production by up to 25%.

In the case of using predictive maintenance to improve vehicle performance, fleet management systems can employ telematics tools to track vehicle running time, distance travelled, and engine revolutions per minute (RPM). In this way, processes which once necessitated manual checking, from regular oil change and transmission checkup to brake efficiency and coolant replacement now become embedded in an integrated telematics system which delivers regular dashboard prompts for drivers.

Enhanced Fleet Management to Optimise Vehicle Lifespan

Enhanced fleet management to optimise vehicle lifespan is another key tips for fleet managers. Here, AI-derived fleet management tips address core maintenance needs based on real-time feedback rather than pre-scheduled checks. This feedback function offers fleet managers a long-term strategy to optimise their original investment.

According to Smarter Fleet, while some vehicle models may last between six and eight years before requiring replacement, some fleet owners may opt to sell their vehicles after four years to optimise maintenance.

However, extending vehicle lifespan before such considerations take place reduces fleet managers’ dependency on lifecycle predictions. One such example is Shell’s reference to a telematics solution, where fleet management systems could monitor the activity of an ‘Engine Light On’ feature across multiple vehicles, achieving a significant optimisation in vehicle maintenance in under 90 days.

Maximising Efficiency Through Route Optimisation

Maximising efficiency through route optimisation is a surefire way for fleet owners to improve their operations and comply with sustainability standards. Decarbonisation is becoming an operational principle within the automotive and logistics industries. In the light of this trend, fleet management systems can use route planning software to improve their overall sustainability profiles and attract environmentally conscious customers.

Route Planning Software to Improve Fleet Management System Operations

Route planning software to improve fleet management system operations, as outlined in one of our other articles on the benefits of fleet analytics for route optimisation, enables fleet management systems to optimise fleet efficiency and minimise fuel consumption. In this regard, an increase in telematics solutions for fleet managers is one of 2024’s Top 7 Fleet Management Trends, according to Automative Fleet.

Using telematics tools to access traffic data in real time and automatically reroute vehicles based on the shortest routes enables fleet managers to identify the most efficient routes for each trip. In this way, fleet managers can minimise vehicle downtime and unnecessary mileage. By optimising routes based on real-time telematics, fleet managers can improve their track record when it comes to delivery times, fuel expenses, and productivity.

Leveraging Route Optimisation to Improve Sustainability Best Practices

Leveraging route optimisation to improve sustainability practices is another way to optimise routes and overall efficiency. Maximising vehicle uptime and efficiency through data-driven route optimisation also has consequences for sustainability best practices. In Verizon Connect’s 2024 report on improvements in key business areas for fleet managers, 50% of respondents reported improved sustainability after implementing GPS tracking software in their fleet management systems. Moreover, 57% of respondents reported improved routing after utilising telematics to optimise routes.

In a climate of increased fuel costs and more frequent disruptions to the supply chain, leveraging telematics to optimise routes and improve fleet sustainability is a two-for-one strategy in this compilation of best practice tips for fleet managers.  

Promoting Driver Safety and Training

Promoting driver safety and training, in a period of global driver shortage and concerns about driver quality, is a cardinal rule of best practice for fleet managers. In this regard, fleet managers can adopt two tips to support optimal driver safety. Firstly, fleet managers can utilise driver training programmes which offer comprehensive coverage of safe driving practices to improve compliance with safety standards and to reduce the risk of accidents.

Secondly, fleet managers can take a proactive role in monitoring driver behaviour. Here, predictive maintenance tools are the most objective and reliable way of assessing driver behaviour over time. Predictive maintenance tools in this context include dashboard cameras, telematics, and other in-vehicle software solutions.

Fleet managers harness data insights from vehicle tracking systems to address safety concerns ahead of time, implement routine safety follow-ups with their drivers, and incentivise safe driving practices across their fleets. This article will now address these two priorities of maintaining compliance with safety standards, on the one hand, and of enabling drivers to improve their safety skills, on the other.

Driver Assistance Technologies and Compliance with Safety Standards 

Driver assistance technologies and compliance with safety standards are closely related. Given the  increasing level of automation in fleet management systems, ensuring that drivers comply with the necessary safety standards is central to the human dimension of managing fleets. Nevertheless, the integration of telematics solutions to monitor vehicle health and reduce risks due to human negligence will only go so far in enabling fleet management systems to adhere to national and international safety standards.

Drivers and machine-learning trained software must therefore operate in a synergy to optimise overall safety ratings. In this regard, the U.S. Department of Transportation has reported a surge in the effective implementation of measures to improve vehicle safety between 2018-2022, using data from the New Car Assessment Program.

In one instance, the implementation of a Forward Collision Warning device to monitor a vehicle’s speed, the speed of the vehicle in front of it, and the distance between them, saw a two-fold increase in this five-year period. Furthermore, fleet managers can complete compulsory electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) in a mobile fleet app, streamlining all vehicle health and inspection history data.

Enabling Drivers to Improve their Safety Skills

Enabling drivers to improve their safety skills, in addition to monitoring vehicle health to comply with safety standards, is an area where fleet managers can foster safe driving practices through regular training. Fundamental to all safety on the road is driver health and energy levels. In this regard, fleet owners can use the same telematics tools as they do for route optimisation to create data-driven fleet schedules, enabling regular driver rotation and reducing driver fatigue from long shifts.

One example of AI-powered driver safety training is Trimac Transportation’s telematics solution. In 2021, this North American shipping solutions firm implemented a telematics-based driver safety programme and halved avoidable accidents over a three-year period, saving of $5 million in claim costs.

In addition to providing drivers with skills to improve their level of safety on the road, fleet managers can invest in upskilling their technicians. By investing in both driver safety training and technician education, fleet managers can create a culture of trust which prioritises safety best practices and improves global fleet efficiency.


According to Markets and Markets’ latest projections, the market size for global fleet management will reach $52.4 billion by 2027. Taking best practice seriously will compound fleet managers’ overall fleet performance and drive further business success in this growing market segment. Moreover, the increasing pressure on fleet management systems to meet sustainability and safety standards means that embracing these tips for fleet management best practice can help organisations to improve their operational efficiency.

In this regard, corporate responsibility in relation to the two pillars of safety and sustainability can become a key selling point for business viability and influence in the new rental and sharing paradigm.