7 Factors To Consider Before Building A Company Vehicle Fleet
If your business has recently reached the point where it would be beneficial to own a fleet of company vehicles, you’re probably already doing your due diligence and researching all of the steps involved.
Starting your own fleet seems like a relatively straightforward process as long as you can obtain the necessary financing to fund each vehicle purchase and cover the ongoing cost of ownership. However, it’s always helpful to have an accurate list of key points that you can reference as you begin to activate your initial fleet and scale up later on.
With that said, here are seven factors you won’t want to overlook when putting together a fleet of company vehicles.
1. Fleet Insurance
Of course, getting a good deal on your insurance is a top concern any time you’re purchasing an automobile of any kind, but it’s even more important when you’re insuring an entire fleet.
Fortunately, comparison platforms like Quotezone dramatically simplify the process of receiving quotes and comparing policies from multiple motor fleet insurance providers. Try to base your decision on more than just price, though, and really take your time to learn about the coverage limits and terms of each prospective policy.
2. Ideal Vehicle Type
The ideal vehicle type and model for your fleet will depend on how you intend to use the vehicles, typical trip distances, and how often you plan on driving.
- If you have the need for extra storage space or passengers, opting for sport utility vehicles or vans may be best. On the other hand, if you foresee the need to haul lots of heavy equipment, tools, or appliances, then pickup trucks might be better.
Generally, a van fleet is the most well-rounded and cost-effective option in terms of the fuel cost compared to the amount of passenger and storage space you’re getting.
3. Driver Hiring
Take some time to learn about driver screening and hiring techniques to make sure you’re leaving the right people in charge of your vehicles.
When your fleet is just starting out, you may be tempted to hire the first competent-looking drivers that walk in the door.
However, it’s wise to be selective during this step because it’s harder to deal with the consequences of hiring a bad driver than it is to patiently wait for the right one to apply.
4. Fleet Tracking Software
You also need to compare fleet tracking apps and software systems to see which one looks the most appealing and user-friendly to you.
Some fleet insurance providers will offer discounted GPS systems when you purchase a policy from them, so this is consideration you may want to make when shopping for an insurance company. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that any employees who will be involved in fleet logistics are thoroughly trained in using the tracking tool that you choose.
5. Annual Fuel Cost
This goes back to the importance of choosing the right vehicle type, but beyond the build/frame style, it’s also important to compare the fuel efficiency of different models along with their annual leasing costs to determine which vehicles are the most economical options.
The best way to arrive at a semi-accurate estimate for your entire fleet’s annual fuel cost is to start by estimating how much driving your fleet will do in a day, then multiply that by 5 to get your weekly total (or by 7 to include weekends) and then multiply that by 52 to get your yearly estimate.
6. Mechanical Maintenance
Try to remember that something will most likely go wrong with one of your vehicles eventually. The only way to minimise the likelihood of that happening is to perform scheduled maintenance according to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
Either way, whether you’re paying for maintenance or repairs, there’s going to be an expense involved, and it helps to have a ballpark budget allocated to cover such expenditure ahead of time. You never want to be in the position of scrambling to take away from company cash flow in order to pay for a sudden fleet-related mishap.
7. Route Planning
Planning efficient routes can save your fleet a significant amount of fuel and miles driven per year. When you add up the accumulative effect of more efficient driving routes, you’re saving money, time, and wear and tear on your vehicles just by working a little bit smarter.
Fleet Management Can Be Convenient When Done Properly
Ultimately, fleet management only seems complicated when you’re just learning the ropes. After you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll find that it’s as simple as sustaining a predefined daily routine and following a strict set of policies to reduce liability and maximise efficiency.
Eventually, once you’ve developed a reliable fleet management system, you can outsource the job to a manager and play a completely hands-off role as the owner or CEO of the company.
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