Fleet management – Excel vs Software

Fleet management – Excel vs Software

As a provider of Fleet Management Software, we often hear the question: Why should I use a fleet management software instead of an excel file?

Well, the answer is: depends!

We strongly believe that the best way to control the spending of your fleet and to find ways of improvement is to use a fleet management software.

There are caseses when and Excel file might be a better solution, depending on your fleet size. For example, if you operate a fleet of just 3-4 vehicles maybe it makes less sense to fully use a dedicated software, and a simple Excel sheet would do the job.

Additionally, if you have up to 30 vehicles or other equipments for which you have full service contracts or operational leasing, then you just need to concentrate on the contract due date, any other cost being taken care of the provider. You need to measure internally the downtime because this is always a cost that is not covered by the suppliers but that can have a huge impact in your P&L.

Once you go over 30-40 vehicle/equipments then the Excel file might not be enough anymore. There are some reasons that you have to consider when you need to choose between Excel and a software, where software clearly brings you advantages:

  1. Easier to work with complex data. If you need to have links between different elements of fleet management (repair history for example) an Excel file will be a lot more difficult to manipulate.

  2. Automatic processes like reports, alerts, email generation are almost impossible to build in Excel. If you want to integrate GPS data or other telematic data in your fleet management activity, you can’t do it in Excel.

  3. History and traceability can be easily handled by a software. Data is safe and the history cannot be altered by users unlike Excel.

  4. Collaboration between departments and colleagues from the same department is difficult to follow up by using Excel sheets

  5. User authentication and user access right can be handled in the software

  6. A mobile app (a driver dedicated mobile app for example) can’t be integrated in Excel

  7. In a software the reports can be accessed instantly

  8. Data entry may look more complex but actually, with the same amount of work, you get more information from a software.

One might also argue that Excel-based reporting as a solution doesn’t have additional licensing cost, while Fleet Maintenance Solutions software has a cost. We will argue that this statement is only partially true. In support of our argument, we state that, once you start entering data in Excel, you are already spending time, and time spent by yourself or your employees equals money.

Of course, you have to pay for the software license more that you pay for Excel, but the software will pay for itself by helping your staff be more productive and by helping you improve the control of your fleet operations. FMS will provide you with the visibility you need in order for you to make necessary adjustments in order to save on maintenance and reduce downtimes.


If you operate a small fleet or you have a small/mid-size fleet and you have full service contracts and you need to keep track of only a few due dates including service contract expiry dates, just a simple Excel file will do the job.

On the other hand, if you operate more vehicles or if you want to really have control over your costs and find out ways for improvement, then you really need to consider a fleet management software.

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