Four tips for reducing fleet costs

Whether it is delivery vans, pool vehicles for sales reps or company cars for senior managers, practically every business has fleet vehicles to consider to a greater or lesser extent. This can be a real nightmare, and a substantial cost for the unwary.

Businesses buy all sorts of equipment, such as office equipment, furniture, laptops and so on. Yet vehicles bring added complications in terms of tax liabilities, risk management, employee safety, insurance concerns, maintenance schedules and of course the dreaded depreciation.

What might start out as a simple strategy to acquire a couple of vans and a nice car for the CEO can soon spiral out of control. Here are four tips for keeping a clear head and staying on top of those costs.

1) Lease, don’t buy

The vehicle leasing market started out to meet the needs of businesses. Yet it soon became clear that it was such a good way of driving a new car with minimal hassle at the best possible price, that many private individuals are also beginning to go down this road.

Why any business would even contemplate buying is an absolute mystery. Whether it’s a fleet of Fiestas for the sales team or something with a little more gravitas for the senior executives, look no further than Vantage Leasing for some highly tempting business deals.

2) Use the right technology

As we indicated earlier, there are far more cost implications to managing a fleet of vehicles than you will initially realise. If you, or more likely the poor soul in the admin team who gets “volunteered,” try to keep track of it all on a basic spreadsheet, it will turn into a disaster area.

There are fleet management software solutions that can do all the hard work for you and will also deliver reports that provide strategic insights on how you might be able to run your fleet faster, better and cheaper.

3) Consider extending the cycle

Tradition dictates that we lease vehicles on a three-year deal and then send them back and get new ones. This practice dates back 30 or 40 years to the days when vehicles would start breaking down and engines would be on their last legs after 70,000 miles or so.

If your vehicles are covering huge mileages, then maybe the three-year cycle still makes sense, but if they are only doing 10-15,000, why not look to extend to four-year deals instead? The monthly payments will be lower and the histrionics and drama associated with the whole “out with the old and in with the new” process will only happen every 48 months instead of every 36.

4) Driver training

Sad but true – fleet drivers are less likely to take good care of their vehicles and are more likely to take risks behind the wheel. Intuitively, we can all guess that, and so can insurers. Invest in driver training programmes to keep your people safe, reduce your insurance premium and keep your company vehicles in good condition for the duration of the lease.

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