Managing Your Service Department: Taking Work Vehicles Home is a Privilege, Not a Right

Providing your teenager with a car is not a rite of passage, although peer pressure can certainly make it feel that way. If you are a parent, and you give your teenager a vehicle, you probably have some spoken (and unspoken!) expectations that go along with the gift.

  • Gratitude – You just invested several thousand of your hard-earned dollars. You were not required to provide the car; you did it out of love for your child. In simple terms, you wanted to bless them. It is not an unrealistic expectation to want a thank you in return for the gift.
  • Take Care of the Vehicle – With the gift also comes the expectation that your child will care of it. That includes driving at safe speeds, washing it occasionally, and filling it up with gas, no matter who is paying for it.

When a company assigns a vehicle to an employee and they are allowed to drive it home each night, there is also a similar set of expectations. A grateful heart is a good start, followed by good driving habits that will keep themselves and others safe. Sure, the company has a vested interest in allowing the vehicle to be taken home each day. Techs can be dispatched from their homes, time and money are saved when after-hours calls come in at 2:00 AM, or there may be a security issue in keeping the vehicle on the company premises.

However, even with the advantages for company, it is also a huge benefit for the employee. If the company did not provide the vehicle, what additional costs would you incur as a company employee? Let’s list just a few:

  • Your Own Transportation – Translated, if you didn’t have a company vehicle, you would have to buy your own vehicle. That means spending thousands of dollars on a loan, lease, or the outright purchase of a vehicle.
  • Gasoline – Someone has to fill up the tank. That would be you.
  • Insurance – If you are going to drive, you are required to have insurance. That costs a few bucks.
  • Maintenance – When your vehicle breaks down, that is going to not only involve paying to get it fixed, but you’ll be responsible for alternate transportation to get where you need to go.

When the company provides the vehicle, all those costs are covered for you. The company literally spends thousands of dollars a year on that vehicle. Those are dollars you don’t have to spend.

Don’t abuse the privilege you have by doing side work after hours using the company vehicle. It’s not only a slap in the face to your employer, and it could cost you your job. What is done in the dark will come to the light, eventually.

Think about what I just said. Perhaps you might want to tell your boss how much you appreciate that specific benefit of working for the company.