Pool car

Pool car

30. May 2021 | By Tim Ruhoff

Pool vehicle management or corporate car sharing - this is the name of the concept behind pool vehicles. These are company cars that are used by several drivers. such a vehicle can be assigned to a department, for example. This makes it easy to allocate costs to the department. In doing so, a booking of vehicles must be carried out using pool vehicle management so that it is apparent when the vehicle is available. The opposite of this is the use of a company car of one's own. Each driver is given his own vehicle to which only he has access. However, the idea of corporate car sharing is becoming increasingly popular. In the private sector in particular, cars are often shared via car sharing - why shouldn't this also work in the corporate sector?

Use of own company car or sharing with pool vehicles?

Pool vehicles and the associated pool vehicle management are by no means a new invention. However, the modern possibilities of pool vehicle management significantly simplify the allocation of vehicles. The organisation of journeys and the recording of driver data is much easier. In general, the shared use of company vehicles allows both parking spaces and vehicles to be saved.

The booking of vehicles can also be carried out simply and easily digitally. However, problems can also arise due to the use of a vehicle by several employees. Bottlenecks can quickly arise because there are not enough vehicles available. If the employees are often and frequently on the road, there must also be sufficient vehicles. Downtimes due to repairs or also delays of the employees should definitely be taken into account. In many companies, a mixture of both concepts is therefore offered. Both the booking of vehicles by means of pool vehicle management (for all employees who are only occasionally on the road), as well as a company car for the employees who are frequently on the road. Here you simply have to determine which concept works best for your own company.

Use of own company car or sharing with pool vehicles?
Use of own company car or sharing with pool vehicles?

Admissibility of private journeys

The issue of private journeys should definitely be agreed between the employer and the employee. Private journeys are journeys that are not related to the work activity. To avoid problems in the first place, the private use of company cars should be regulated in the transfer agreement. If private use is permitted, further provisions must be complied with. The use of company cars for private purposes is considered a so-called "non-cash benefit". The non-cash benefit must be taken into account for income taxation. The amount of taxation depends on various factors: the actual use, the type of taxation and the value. there are two possible options for taxation.

First of all, there is the so-called 1% method. This is a flat-rate taxation method in which 1% of the gross list price of the vehicle is taken into account. The decisive factor here is the date of first registration. In this method, an additional 0.03% of the same price is added for each estimated distance kilometre on the way to work.

An alternative to the lump-sum taxation is the exact calculation of the individual kilometre. This can be done by means of a driver's logbook. The percentage of private journeys is taken from this and added to the total use of the car. The percentage must then be added to the annual income for taxation. A complete keeping of the driver's logbook is a prerequisite for this type of taxation.

Again, it is the employer's responsibility which method is to be used. A logbook is worthwhile for the employee from a tax point of view in cases where the vehicle is only rarely used and the original price was very high. There can also be advantages for the users of pool vehicles. If the 1% method is used here, the amount is divided among all drivers. If, for example, four people also use a pool vehicle privately, the taxation per person is only 0.25%. If there are drivers who have access to several vehicles, however, all shares must be taxed here.

The keeper's liability

The general obligations of the owners of the vehicles always remain the same, while both benefits and costs depend on the specific case. In the case of both a company vehicle and the pool alternative, it is the respective company that acts as the owner. In general, whoever has power of disposal over a vehicle is always the vehicle owner. In addition, the owner is also responsible for the costs. He also derives the benefit from the operation of the vehicle.

In the case of company vehicles, this is usually the company or the management of the company. However, the management of the vehicle fleet is usually not the responsibility of the management. Especially in larger companies, there is often a fleet manager. The responsibility of the keeper can be transferred to him. For this, certain formalities must be observed. In addition, the entire process should be carefully documented.

As an owner, there are many different duties: duty of notification, duty of taxation, duty of insurance and obtaining the operating licence. Above all, safety is important. Every car must be regularly serviced and maintained. Legally required inspections must also be carried out. All these duties are the responsibility of the fleet management. If these duties are not fulfilled, or are fulfilled insufficiently, there is even the possibility of personal liability.

Holder liability
Holder liability

Duties in the fleet

When using corporate car sharing, there are many different drivers in a company, so it can become confusing. There should still be regular driver briefings and checks on driving licences. However, regular appointments must then be found for this, which can be complicated by irregular use and periods of absence. Nevertheless, this is an important task that should not be neglected under any circumstances.

Especially in the case of the driver's license check, an automated solution should therefore be examined. There are many modern solutions through which the driver's license can be checked everywhere. This is then simply done via smartphone app. The driver is reminded of this check every six months. The fleet management only if the deadline must be exceeded. This simplifies the entire check, both for the drivers and for the fleet management.

A UVV driver instruction has to be carried out annually. Especially in large fleets this can be a mammoth task. However, other alternatives than group instructions can be used here as well. With e-learning systems, every employee can simply carry out the instruction on his own computer. This also takes a lot of pressure off the fleet management. The coordination of dates and the carrying out of a group instruction are no longer necessary.

All these obligations apply to both concepts of vehicle provision. The obligations as keeper always apply. To save time, it is essential to have the appropriate software in place.