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Four Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicle

Specific type of vehicles vehicle able to transfer traction from the engine to the front and rear axis, enabling the grip to its 4 all four wheels. Also referred as “all terrain” vehicles.


4 wheels Four wheel motorised vehicle commonly used for transport of people.

Discharge of Liability

A printed form signed by passengers not working for the organisation operating the vehicle, discharging the agency of any legal claims in case of accident.


The person operating the a vehicle. He/she must hold a valid driving license specific to the type of vehicle.


A set of assets with similar characteristics and that are jointly managed. Vehicle A vehicle fleet refers to is a set group of managed vehicles managed used to achieve a particular operational purpose.


Combustible material , in the automotive industry normally in -  normally in liquid form , - that when burnt releases the energy required to power the mechanic mechanical engine in the a vehicle. Petrol and Diesel are the most common fuels used for road motorised vehicles. Jet-A1 is the most common fuel used for air vehicles.

Fuel voucher

Printed A printed form used to access fuel under certain agreement with a particular fuel station. The holder of the fuel voucher will receive a specific amount of fuel on behalf of the organisation in exchange of the voucher. This is a common practice to avoid the management of cash among drivers and to ease the refilling process.

Hard-top vehicle

A vehicle with rigid roof. As opposed to pick-up vehicles, “hard top” is a common jargon to refer to term for all 4WD vehicles, except for pickup vehicles.

Light vehicle

A commercial carrier vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 metric tons (EU definition); sometimes referred to as light commercial vehicle (LCV),


The distance (miles or kilometres) covered by a vehicle for a certain journey. It also refers to the total distance covered by a vehicle since its first use.


Counter in the vehicle dashboard to measure distances. Motor vehicles are equipped with at least one odometer to count the mileage since its first use. Additional odometers are available in some vehicles or external devices (such as GPS) to measure trip distance. As opposed to the main vehicle odometer, additional odometers can be paused or reset to 0.

Pickup Vehicle

Light A light vehicle with an enclosed cabin and an open cargo area, sometimes covered with a soft roof. Generally, pickup vehicles are 4WD.


Passenger A passenger vehicle with separate compartment for passenger and small cargo (trunk). The trunk compartment is normally positioned in the back of the vehicle. Also The are also commonly referred as “city-cars”.

Fleet Standardisation

Process The process of reducing the degree of diversity in the managed fleet by homogenising vehicle make, model, major components and/or equipment.


Motorised A motorised vehicle specifically designed for transport of goods and which with a gross weight that exceeds 3.5 metric tons. It requires Trucks often require a specific driving license for its operation.


Type A type of road vehicle used for transporting goods or people in one single compartment.


Asset Any asset operated by a person (driver) with the purpose of transporting goods or people between two different locations. It Assets can be motorised or animal-drawn and present have from 2 up two to more than 4 four wheels.

Vehicle LogbookRecords A records book for a unique vehicle. It A logbook is always kept in the vehicle glove box compartment under the responsibility of the driver assigned to the vehicle. Normally it has they have two different parts: one to register all repairs and maintenance activities and a second to register mileage and fuel consumption. 


Humanitarian action frequently requires vehicle-based mobility work and often demands the management of a fleet of vehicles. Vehicle fleet management refers to the knowledge and practices to manage a of managing  a set of vehicles to achieve a particular operational purpose. Fleet management allows agencies to minimise risks, reduce costs and improve efficiency related to transportation of goods and people. In addition, it ensures compliance with local legislation and duty of care.

Depending on the organisation, fleet management may include commercial motor vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks, motorbikes, etc. but also air or water transport means such as planes, helicopters, boats, and more. Other sets of assets such as generators, shipping containers, computers or even mobile phones are sometimes also treated as a fleet. The common ground for these sets of assets to be considered as a fleet, includes characteristics such as:


Owned vehicles are commonly considered as part of the asset/equipment inventory. Therefore, all management processes affecting assets/equipment should also be applied to vehicles belonging to the organisation’s fleet. This chapter complements asset/equipment management information with specifics related to the motorised vehicles.

As “road transport”, it It is common that for humanitarian agencies manage a fleet of vehicles (cars, vans or motorbikes) to transport people. Agencies specialised in humanitarian logistics may also have to manage a fleet of trucks to regularly transport goods, water or construction materials. This chapter mainly focuses in the management of light vehicle fleets used for the transport of people. For complementary considerations and technical information related to cargo transport, such as cargo configuration, route planning and scheduling or documentation for goods transport, please refer to the Road Transport chapter.


It is important to keep in mind that the aim of managing a fleet of vehicles encompasses the transport of goods or people to achieve certain operational objectives in a safe way, optimising the use of resources and complying with the national laws and regulations. Fleet management must consider these key elements and should reconsider its own reason to be if any of them is not present or can’t be achieved.

If managing a fleet is not an optimal solution for a humanitarian agency, other alternatives should be contemplated.

road transport chapter.

Alternatives to Vehicle Fleet Management

In some circumstances managing a fleet of vehicles for the given transport requirements could end up being inefficient, expensive, administratively difficult, or dangerous. Staff movement can be also enabled by combining transportation services from public and private transportation providers, in a mode similar to “Mobility as a service” (MaaS).

Humanitarian logistics professionals  serve as a gateway that identify, often validate and enable contract different transport services , which that users can access according to their needs. Once the a transport services have been identified and enabled, the burden lies in monitoring its use and paying the service providers accordingly. Agreements with the service providers are normally done per trip or/and distance. It is recommended to regularly assess (at least annually) the quality of the service offered by outside transport providers, ensuring its compliance with the contractual terms and its usefulness.


Other Humanitarian Agencies

It is very common for humanitarian agencies to operate simultaneously in certain locations. Pooling resources is a simple manner of optimising costs and recovery of recovering an investment. This is valid not only for transportation but also for common fleet facilities or resources, like a mechanical garage, a mechanic or a communications/radio room for movement tracking.

For sporadic use of other agencies vehicles, sharing of information and basic coordination mechanisms can might be sufficient. In situations where agencies might make regular use of other agency fleet resources, both parties are strongly recommended to formalise partnerships through a Memorandum of Understanding, clearly outlying the benefits of the shared resources and clarifying the terms of accessing it. The contribution of each agency should grant equitable share of management efforts and expenditures.

Collective Public Transportation

In some locations collective transportation can result useful and cost-effective for moving people at regional or national level. This method can be convenient to cover sporadic travels through safe routes not regularly covered by the agency. In addition, public road collective transport companies usually offer the service of transporting small parcels at low rates which can be useful in certain occasions.

Safety of public use vehicles and reliability of the service are major concerns when assessing collective public transportation means, and should be specifically evaluated for each candidate company offering the service. This is especially important in developing countries. Overall condition of the vehicles and availability of the basic safety means, maintenance routines, loading of the vehicle and drivers’ capabilities are some of the basic parameters to assess.

Individual Public Transportation (Taxi)

In urban settings, the use of taxis is one of the most common individual transport means. A taxi's flexibility, affordability and ease of management make of it a very good alternative or complement for the organisation’s fleet in urban operations: it allows attending easily unplanned requests . Taxies can be very useful for managing unplanned requests, and for scaling-up of transport based on need.

As for the collective means, safety Safety and reliability of the service are main concerns and should be specifically evaluated for each candidate company offering the service. Where taxi companies are not well established or are not reliable, agreements with a specific pool of trustworthy taxi-drivers can be a solution. This is a common practice to cover the transport to and from the airport. This kind of agreements allow extended services such as prolonged stand-by time, wearable visibility from the agency, transport of goods, or handover of necessary material at arrival or departure such as mobile phone or keys.

Third-party Transport Providers

Humanitarian organisations have become increasingly reliant on third-party transport providers as a method of moving cargo into and around response operations. The overall running cost of using third-party companies may be higher, but in the volatile nature of response activities, outside companies can help start operations quickly, and organisations can start or stop operations as quickly as needed without concern for what to do with large physical assets. Even if an organisation owns its vehicles, there may well be occasions when a need arises for additional capacity to meet peak activity or other short-term needs. This can be met by the use of vehicles supplied by a third-party commercial transport provider.

Third-party transport companies can usually be sourced locally within or near the emergency context, and utilising them also serves the function of putting money into the local economy and fostering local acceptance of the aid agency in question. Organisations should follow all due diligence when soliciting and selecting third-party transport companies, and follow their own internal procurement procedures wherever possible.

Although third-party transport providers are usually specialised in the transport of goods, in some locations they can also be trusted for the transport of people. The transport of people privately operated is mostly handled by renting companies that hire vans, minibuses or coaches with driver. This solution for transporting people is a suitable alternative for punctual and specific needs such as events gathering a significant number of people or for preventative security evacuations.