Gold Bar
Businessman driving a car

3 Ways to Stop Unauthorized Vehicle Use With Fleet Key Management Systems

As a fleet manager, you take safety seriously. You conduct regular maintenance checks, enforce safe driving policies, and invest in driver training. But how do you ensure the right drivers are using your fleet for the right reasons at the right times, especially if you can’t always be there yourself to issue keys? Approximately 10% of fleet drivers are already responsible for 40% of fleet accidents. Add in unauthorized vehicle use, and that number is likely even higher.

To protect your fleet, let’s look at three ways you can use electronic key control systems to enhance driver accountability and fleet security.

1. Control Key Access

Keeping track of your fleet vehicles starts with controlling who can access keys and when. For example, imagine an employee — we’ll call him John — decides he wants to use a fleet car for some personal errands during his lunch break. If your fleet keys are secured in an electronic key control system, John won’t be able to remove a key without logging in with a fingerprint, PIN, QR code, and/or card. Why is that important?

  • Enhanced Accountability: Every time a driver removes a key, the system ties key activity back to them, holding them accountable and discouraging them from using a vehicle for the wrong reasons.

  • Improved Security: You can set up access levels to control which keys drivers can check out based on their qualifications, responsibilities, or work hours. By doing so, you reduce safety risks and potential liability for your organization.

  • Additional Data for Accident Investigations: If a fleet vehicle is involved in an accident, having a clear electronic record showing who accessed the vehicle and when can aid in the investigation. This audit trail not only protects your organization but also encourages responsible driver behavior.

2. Track Key Activity and Mileage

Key control reports are essential for detecting improper vehicle use. To ensure accurate data, electronic fleet key management systems automatically track when someone checks out a key and why, creating detailed reports.

Some systems can also prompt users to enter the vehicle's mileage at both checkout and check-in. While you might already track vehicle activity with a GPS system, including mileage in your key control reports offers a valuable layer of insight. Verifying the miles accrued upon key return allows you to confirm if the distance traveled aligns with the checkout reason provided by the user. With this data, you can identify potential discrepancies and reduce the risk of unauthorized use.

While you might already track vehicle activity with a GPS system, including mileage in your key control reports offers a valuable layer of insight.

For instance, let's say John from our earlier example goes through with checking out a key for his errands and puts "Client Meeting" as the checkout reason. However, when you review the mileage from the key control report, it becomes evident that the distance traveled exceeds what you typically see for client meetings. Combining this information with telematics data, such as location history and driving patterns, further points to John using the vehicle for personal errands rather than work purposes.

3. Use System Alerts for Added Security

If someone takes a key without authorization or doesn’t return it on time, how long does it take for you to realize it? Imagine John is supposed to return the vehicle key he checked out by 5 p.m. But he’s already on his way home before he realizes he forgot to check it back in. With an electronic key control system, you’ll know immediately. It can alert you via a text, email, or audible alarm so you can contact John.

Reducing Fleet Liability eBook graphic

By taking advantage of these three key control system capabilities, you’ll enhance driver accountability and reduce the risk of unauthorized use. These benefits translate into a safer fleet, lower insurance costs, and improved overall efficiency.

Read More About Fleet Key Control