I am wondering about company vehicles. I have 2 on the road, mine and the one my crew drives. My crew has just had their 2nd at fault accident in 2 years and it has resulted in the writing off of both vehicles. No injuries from either accident, BTW.
I am starting to think about having employees using their own vehicles and paying them a fee for it. Does anyone here do this and if so, how is it structured?


That stinks… I know this isnt answering your question but we used to have a lot of accidents. This year not many, I now end each monthly safety meeting with:

“As a reminder if anyone causes any type of damage to one of MY vehicles you will be automatically fired”

John, im sorry, thats awful and annoying…

Chris: Wickedly smart. I think I’m gonna tell my guys that tomorrow. For real.

I tell my guys that every time I think about it. I have also included loss or damage of equipment in the same sentence. When they started leaving (losing) ladders, extensions poles, I started taking it out of their pay. Funny how nothing seems to go missing these days.

Sorry for the hijack John.

I think that they should be responsible for the deductible when at fault, after all, you just own the vehicle. You can’t be100% responsible for their bad driving habits. Employees must assume some risk, and not that they will always have a job with you.

My guys use their own trucks. We pay commission for their work and a % of that goes to the use of their trucks. we also charge a trip fee which intern gets put back to them. we pay bi-weekly and the vehicle reimbursements are paid once a month. The nice thing about a “vehicle reimbursement” is that you can hide raises and such in there. Uncle Sam cannot tax something you are reimbursing an employee thus saving money for them and you.

Is that legal?

Sure is if done the right way. My guys sign a waiver stating that from the term of their employment the equipment is their responsibility and any ill affects other than wear or tear is their price to pay. Not necessarily in those words but you get the point.

You know, to be honest, I got the point before I posted my question.

Yea you could pay a milage allowance…something like around 30c a mile…
And maybe pay part of their insurance.

They will need commercial insurance on these vehicles though(which is more expensive), or else they won’t be covered in the event of an accident if it is found that they are running a business with use of their car which is covered under personal insurance.

Thats the way it goes over here anyway.

I am with the fire them crowd. Have a safety tailgate meeting, and make them sign the document as well. There are courses for companies you can look them up, called Drive Safe. Go as a group, then accident and losses, gone, keep the we are hiring sign up and keep them on their toes.

Maybe look at the subcontractor route as well. But beware, in Canada, with the WSIB and WHIMIS changes, it is harder now, but not impossible.

I have never figured out how to get the independent contractor thing done in the window cleaning business. According to IRS rules, if you provide them with any tools, equipment, or uniforms and tell them when to be where, they don’t pass the independent contractor test.

In MY case, anyway, I wouldn’t be doing this to duck payroll or anything, just getting someone else to take responsibility for a vehicle. If I were to actually go the subcontractor route, I would have several people scattered around the town taking jobs from me so that I would not be their sole source of income. I would also look at other services to provide in the same fashion.

As long as you pay the tax it’s cool. Hire a a payroll company to do the checks and taxes so the employee does not have to.

I’m not in it to duck payroll either. But I do feel that if the goverment can’t tax a reimbursment why not throw a raise on the reimbursment %?

A few questions:

  1. Do your employees keep track of their work milage?
  2. Do you reimberse for milage, a flat reimbursement, % of job, miles you calculate for each trip?
  3. Is there a cap for what is considered reasonable reimbursement for their vehicle usage?
  4. How does that look on paper - Do you deduct vehicle reimbursement as an expense without it going on their W2s?
  5. If employees do not get reimbursed for vehicle usage, is there a way they can deduct milage at the end of the year when they do taxes?

Is that tax deductible as an employer?

  1. some do some don’t, just depends on how lazy they are.
  2. I reimburse a flat % for each job they do.
  3. I have no cap.
  4. it is deducted from my taxs not the employee and does not show up on their W2.
  5. they can deduct for mileage if they keep track. Some of my guys do keep track. at the end of the year if the mileage rate for the government is higher than the reimbursement they can claim the difference. some don’t even keep track cause they normally end up making way more.

Yes… but i am not in U.S.

I have never implemented this though so do not know much about it.