Regardless of the size of your business, when you need to have vehicles, the costs will mount up quickly; therefore, it is imperative to pay attention to how you can keep your fleet a cost-effective part of your business outgoings. Of course, how you go about this will depend on the type of business you run as to what will have the most significant impact on keeping the costs down, but regardless of the size or type of business, there will be something to consider for all.
The type of vehicles you keep in your vehicle fleet should match the needs of the employees using them. This will keep the outlay for purchasing or leasing cars down and cut down on potential additional maintenance and repair costs if vehicles are being used misused. A good starting point is to analyze the types of journeys your employees will be making and making informed choices off the back of this. When you have a high volume of people making short local journeys throughout the day, a pool of small, ecologically friendly vehicles will make sense over every employee having a large car that uses a lot of fuel.
Where a business has to maintain a fleet of large and or specialist vehicles, having its own fuel supply can be the most sensible option; a plant hire company isn’t going to send its JCB s and bulldozers through a regular consumer forecourt! In these cases, DERV can be supplied in bulk to save money and time by having it delivered directly to the company’s fuel store when it is needed. Rather than having a regular set delivery, where the amount of DERV needing to be replenished in the tanks may only be a small amount and therefore charged at full price, a bulk order that is guaranteed within a day or two allows the person in charge of logistics to keep track of how much fuel is being used and order the full amount needed in a comfortable timeframe and therefore take advantage of significant discounts.
Another point to consider when looking at how to manage the cost of your vehicle fleet is whether to buy outright, lease, or a mix of the two. A plant hire place, of course, will own all their heavy vehicles as that is their product, but a small business such as a landscaping company may decide to go for a mix, buying the vans they use for jobs as they will get dirty carrying around tool required while being used as advertising for the company with the name painted on the side, but take on the lease of a respectable car to be used on sales visits, because let’s face it image is important. The beauty of doing this is new cars lose a lot of value quickly, so you can renegotiate the lease at the end of its term, allowing the sales car to be kept as a newer model giving a professional look to the company without losing out on resale value, and the owned vans are not needed to be replaced as often and tend to sell on okay, giving a nice balance to the budget and look/usage of the fleet.
Regular maintenance of your vehicles is vitally important to keeping them cost-effective as it will ensure that they are running economically. Also, any minor chronic issues will be caught before they become extensive and expensive repairs that can put a vehicle out of action and possibly require the short-term hire of a replacement vehicle as well. If any of your vehicles are leased, then the likelihood is that the car lease company will have either in-house servicing or a company that they use – be sure to check this when negotiating the lease term.
Should the vehicles be owned by the business directly, shop around for the best local servicing garage so that you can ensure that all work is done to a high standard and is charged fairly. Set up a regular schedule of maintenance for the various vehicles in your fleet, paying attention to what part of the fleet is out of service at any one time; so if you have a pool of cars spread over several sites, don’t have all of the vehicles located at one place booked in at the same time instead only have one or two booked in at a time, pulling in from the different sites thus ensuring there are most cars available at all locations at all times.