Budgeting for fleet
Fleet management budgets should include the full costs associated with running fleet, including:
- cost of vehicle acquisition (buying, rental costs)
- cost of fuel, service and maintenance
- shipping costs associated with the acquisition or return of vehicle (including import tax, if applicable)
- disposal costs (at the end of the programme)
- insurance costs
- registration and licensing costs
- drivers’ costs (include per diems for field trips)
- other staff costs associated with managing the fleet (e.g. dispatchers, mechanics)
- costs of additional equipment associated with the fleet, including vehicle radios, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, alarm systems and tracking systems.
Fleet management typically includes fixed costs and running costs.
Fixed costs: (One-off costs to make fleet available to the operation)
- import costs (if applicable)
- in-country registration cost
- end-of-life sale income.
Running costs: (recurring costs to maintain availability of fleet for use)
- driver costs
- spare parts
- parking fees and tolls
- revision costs and renewal of roadworthiness certificate (where applicable).
When budgeting for fleet, both cost types must be included in the budget (preferably separately), and expenses against each must be tracked, reported and analysed in monthly reports.
It is helpful to consult withoffices or the regarding information about fixed costs, as they will have data from past operations.
For vehicles supplied via the, monthly reports are required to be submitted to the IFRC fleet base (usually via their ‘FleetWave’ system) – the required data forms part of the VRP contract.
Note: data for the monthly logistics reports should be provided by finance, but the logistics or fleet unit are responsible for checking the reported expenses against approved purchases, maintenance orders or fuel requests.
Procuring fleet: process, selection criteria, delivery
In general, it is recommended to use existing framework agreements (FWAs) to purchase vehicles (FWAs can be held globally by theor , or locally by the ) as this allows centralised purchasing and management, and economies of scale.
Where there are no FWAs in place, the procurement of fleet will generally be done through a tender process, due to the high value of the acquisitions.
Fleet-specific considerations when tendering for vehicles:
- Ensure that a registered Movement partner in country (IFRC/HNS) agrees to be the buyer and legal owner of the vehicles, and include them in the tender process.
- The committee on contract (CoC) should include representatives from the legal buyers (IFRC/HNS) and the funding partners. Technical experts and end users should be represented on the CoC too (ask logistics coordinators if necessary).
- The tender response document must specify the origin of the vehicles, their year of manufacture, current mileage, service history and warranty details (if purchasing second-hand).
- Specify in the tender document whether the purchasing organisation is exempt from paying import taxes and duties.
- The tender response document should include a breakdown of costs: vehicle, options, import fees and registration fees.
- Specifications* must be developed per standards, preferably with input from expected users and logistics experts. It is strongly recommended to consult British Red Cross UKO team. Specifications must be as detailed as possible.
- Submissions to the tender must include an ownership certificate from the current owner of the vehicles.
*For specifications, see the Fleet options and modalities section of Defining fleet needs.
Options to avoid if possible:
- Electronic systems that are too sophisticated.
- Automatic transmission is to be considered only if there are competency restrictions with manual transmission.
- Specifications with risk of adverse perceptions, such as tinted windows or leather seats.
- Vehicles that are non-compliant with local and national emission regulations.
Note: buying second-hand vehicles is not permitted by all donors – check with your programme team which procurement rules apply under the funding used.
HR resources for fleet
The staff required to run the operational fleet depends on the size of the fleet, the number of daily vehicle movements and the operational context of the project.
|No. of vehicles
|Recommended HR structure
|1 - 5
|Admin delegate with senior driver
|6 - 29
|Fleet manager and vehicle dispatcher
|Fleet delegate with full team
Available to download here.
The operation should align budgets to activity levels to determine the fleet department’s resourcing structure. The following are roles to consider in a fleet team:
- vehicle drivers
- fleet supervisors (or head driver)
- fleet managers
- fleet assistants
- radio room staff
Standard role descriptions, with detailed competency and tier requirements, are available from the UK-based logs team.
Read the next section on Vehicle usage here.