fayelawrence, Author at GPSi Group

company vehicle fair use

“Fair use”: personal use of company vehicles – how much is too much?

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Use of a company car is often perceived as a major perk for employees, negating the need to own their own vehicle and saving them thousands per year. Companies who want to attract and retain the best and brightest may offer incentives such as a company vehicle as an attractive part of salary packaging.  And for others it is an essential requirement of their day to day roles on the road.

Company vehicles kept at an employee’s home will naturally be used for personal trips, with the personal component attracting Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The ATO themselves recognise that ‘minor, infrequent and irregular‘ personal trips should be FBT exempt as an inevitable part of an employee benefit package.

In line with this, many organisations have a “fair use” policy that is often essentially trust based and means the employee can use the vehicle for personal use as long as they don’t go overboard.

The issues arise when what is understood as fair or compliant usage of a company vehicle differs greatly between the employee and the employer.  This isn’t always the employees fault. If employer expectations and compliance issues are poorly communicated to them – or not communicated at all – then organisations leave themselves wide open to either abuse or misunderstandings.

For example, from an FBT perspective, the ATO currently stipulates that commuting to and from work is classed as personal use*, but yet many employees are either unaware of this or they simply claim it anyway.

Then there’s the cost to your bottom line.  If your company policy stipulates that fair use of the vehicle is, for example, 5% of personal use how are you monitoring that?  An internal audit using eLogbook, paper logbooks or similar will enable you to find the answers.

“We have had customers who believed their employees’ fair personal use was around 5-10% and were shocked to find it was actually 45%.  Whatever the size of your fleet, that can end up being a significant cost to your business.” 

Darren Playle, GM, GPSi Group

It’s critical to have clear internal policies about what is acceptable use in your organisation and what is not.  Ensure these policies are communicated when on-boarding new staff, and refresh expectations to your people at the beginning of every financial year.

Telematics can make life easier for you to track costs. Using eLogbook is a seamless process for your employees to record mileage and purpose of trip through an easy-to-use app.  Even the most technophobic employee will find it easy! (Take a look at our simple and short video tutorials).

Company car usage can be an important part of your overall employee value proposition, particularly in a marketplace where it can be increasingly difficult to attract and retain quality performers.  That does, however, require weighing up against unsustainable costs to the business in fleet management.

Fairness and communicating clear expectations are imperative in order to get the balance right between an engaged and valued workforce, and ensuring a strong bottom line that benefits everyone.

If you’d like to make efficiencies in your fleet, we have a number of cost-effective solutions – or we can show you how to optimise your existing solutions – call us on 1300 GET GPS (438 477) or email us.

* (Although FBT guidelines may change in the next financial year, as the ATO have issued new draft guidelines on determining private use of company vehicles. These are not yet finalised).

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Are your logbooks FBT ready?

Our Projects Manager Tim shares his thoughts on telematics


Road safety events in 2018

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For the road safety aficionados amongst us, this year provides plenty of opportunities for professional development and learnings.  We’re particularly interested in: 

29 April – 2 May 2018: 28th Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) International Conference, Brisbane

ARRB conference

Conference themes such as Intelligent Roads, Future of Asset Management, Disruptive Technologies, Platforms and Services, Smart Journeys and Human Factors of Transport and integration of the Safe System approach will be covered.

For more info:  https://www.arrb.com.au/major-functions/arrb2018


3-5 October 2018: Australasian Road Safety Conference 2018, International Convention Centre Sydney

Australasian road safety

Held by the Australasian College of Road Safety, this is the largest road safety dedicated conference in the Southern Hemisphere. With a theme of “Towards Zero: Making it Happen!”, ARSC2018 will showcase the regions’ outstanding researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and industry spanning the plethora of road safety issues identified in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety including: Road Safety Management, Infrastructure, Safe Vehicles, User Behaviour and Post-Crash Care.

For more info: http://australasianroadsafetyconference.com.au

Know of any road safety events we should know about? We’d love to hear about them and will update the events page throughout the year. 

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Our centralised customer support

I was blown away by what the technology was capable of


We’re here to help!

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While we’re expanding here at GPSi, we want to make sure we continue to provide you with outstanding customer support and service.  We know you’re busy and when you have a query, you need an answer straight away.

To enable that, we’ve created a central point of customer contact for all queries; by phone: 1300 (GET GPS) 438 477 or email: helpdesk@gpsi.com.au. This will ensure your email or phone query will be attended to in the quickest possible time and by the most appropriate person.

We will also have some frequently asked questions up on our website shortly, based on the most common customer queries that we receive.

If you have any other suggestions about what you’d like to see from our customer support please drop us a line at: helpdesk@gpsi.com.au  We’d love to hear how we can support you better.


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Are your logbooks FBT ready?

Fair use – personal use of company vehicles – how much is too much? 

FBT Logbook App

Are your logbooks FBT ready?

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FBT time is only a few short months away with submission on 21 May (later if you submit through a tax agent).  With the FBT year running from 1 April to 31 March, now is a critical time to get prepared to enable a smooth FBT submission process.

Let’s face it, not everyone is a huge fan of tax time but eLogbook takes away a lot of the FBT pain many organisations face in this period. However, it’s important to ensure your people are using it correctly to get accurate data and for compliance purposes.

To help you, we’ve recently developed some short videos to quickly and easily explain to users how to get the most out of eLogbook.  Forward them on to your teams so FBT time is as pain free as possible in your organisation!

Refresh your eLogbook training

Duration (3:34 mins): link

logbook video1


Adding a New eLogbook User + Assigning their permission level as user driver

Duration (2:23 mins) link

adding a new elogbook user






Assigning trips using the eLogbook app

Duration (49 secs) link

assigning trips


Assigning Trips via the eLogbook Email

Duration (55 secs) link


assigning trips email





These videos are designed to make eLogbook even easier for your staff to use.

Don’t get caught out!  The countdown is on to make sure your logbooks are in order before FBT lodgement. eLogbook has been providing electronic logbooks for commercial fleets for over 8 years now, saving companies tens of thousands off their FBT returns.

To learn more about eLogbook, visit our website: elogbook.com.au

If you’d like some support using eLogbook give our friendly team a call on 1300 438 477 or drop us a line at enquiry@elogbook.com.au


You might also be interested in:

Personal use of company vehicles – how much is too much?

Road safety events in 2018


“I was blown away by what the technology was capable of”

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Our very own bearded legend, Tim.

Meet our Projects and Installation Manager, Tim Prior. Being a former fleet manager, he gets a bit excited about telematics. So we asked him to share his key learnings from his time in the field, as well as what he sees ahead for the future.

What attracted you to the telematics industry, Tim?

Before GPSi, I was a fleet manager for a company called Smoke Alarm Solutions, managing a large fleet servicing 2,000 properties a day. During this time I implemented the GPSi system to my fleet and was blown away by what it was capable of in terms of the granularity of data available, as well as the safety improvements and the efficiencies we were able to make (we had a 29% reduction in road accidents in the first twelve months).

The attraction to me was how far this technology could possibly go.

What do you do at GPSi?

The major part of my role is providing customers with a seamless end-to-end experience.  Once a sale is confirmed I manage it from that point; liaising with the customer and their teams, organising devices, managing installs, providing training and support.

What have been your top three key learnings about driver safety, fleet performance and telematics in your time at GPSi?

1) After having this system installed at Smoke Alarm Solutions and having the opportunity to see how I personally drive – it made me much more aware of what was more important; getting somewhere fast or getting there safely.

2) Information is key to making informed decisions.

3) Every customer has a different idea as to the types of information that is important to them.  For some it’s more efficiency focussed, for others it’s around compliance, and others again it’s safety. I work with them to individualise their reporting to reflect their priorities.

Having been on both sides of the fence as a fleet manager and now in telematics directly, what do you believe is the most important thing to consider when selecting a telematics provider?

The quality of the information you receive from the telematics device, as well as the quality of the customer service and support you have with that provider. 

What excites you about where the telematics industry is heading in Australia?

Everyone is becoming more aware of the need for telematics, both for business and personal use, as technology becomes increasingly accessible and individualised.  Because we develop the technology and devices here in Australia (and hold the IP) we are able to easily adapt and refine our devices to respond to our customers’ needs, as well as to market demand more broadly.

What do you like most about your role?

Working with such good people; both our customers and the team at GPSi. Plus, the innovation and technology is so interesting and ever-changing.

Finally, tell us a little about you:

  • I am no good with an axe (having recently ended up in hospital trying to ‘help’ a mate).
  • I like to have fun with what I do
  • I can grow a mean beard! (He most certainly can!).

If you would like to know how to maximise your use of a GPSi product or enhance your reporting, Tim can help and be reached on 07 3620 1045 or tim.prior@gpsi.com.au


You might also be interested in:

Are your logbooks FBT ready? 

We’re here to help! 

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