Ready to invest in a fleet of vehicles to help you improve efficiency? Whether you’ve just gotten your startup off the ground or you’ve been in business for the better part of a decade, purchasing a fleet of vehicles to enhance business productivity and profitability can be a beneficial move.
However, it’s important to do your research before investing in company vehicles. Let’s take a look at the crucial decisions you’ll need to make before jumping into this venture.
Decide on Your Branding Identity
If your employees are driving your vehicles, they are the face of your brand. By selecting a particular vehicle type, make, and model, you can represent your corporate identity across the board. You may also use these vehicles to promote your business as employees perform their roles; for example, you might decorate your fleet with advertisements to spread brand awareness in your service areas.
Decide Between Leasing and Owning
You have to options to acquire the vehicles for your planned fleet: leasing or buying. Both options have benefits and advantages:
- Leasing: When you lease a fleet vehicle, you’ll need to be even more careful to keep the vehicle in pristine condition, and wary of surpassing specified mileage limits.
However, leasing has its upsides. Acquiring a fleet of company vehicles through a lease may mean accessing the latest models available, and you may find that your acquisition is eligible for certain tax benefits.
According to GE Capital, about 85% of small- to mid-sized businesses lease equipment, so you’ll be in great company. If you opt to lease, you may want to consider short-term leases, as these allow you to increase or decrease the amount of vehicles in your fleet as your business requires.
- Owning: Owning your company vehicles is great for several reasons. Not only do you enhance your own company resources, but you can also exercise more control over how you transport products or employees.
However, owning a car means maintaining your vehicles – damaged vehicles that look like they’ve seen better days can affect the way clients view your company.
Decide on Fleet Management Software
It’s important to keep your drivers, clients, and products safe whenever your fleet is on the road. How? Harness the latest technology. Fleet tracking software is essential, and finding the right fleet tracking service will give you peace of mind and may prove to help you save a significant amount of money each year. Fleet tracking systems are designed to provide more insight into your fleet of cars and drivers, and offer plenty of additional benefits, including technical routing, behind-the-wheel behavior monitoring, distracted driver prevention, and even real-time vehicle diagnostics.
Decide on Insurance
Investing in a fleet means investing in car insurance. This can cost you thousands of dollars each year, but it’s a necessary component of your business that you can’t afford to skimp on. If you’re adding vans, trucks, or other large vehicles to your fleet, or if you’re adding a significant amount of new vehicles to your current setup, then you’ll find your insurance premiums skyrocket. Be sure to shop around for different fleet insurance options. If you use your fleet to deliver goods, it’s important to find a policy that provides coverage for the costs of goods in the event of a breakdown or accident, in addition to covering your drivers and vehicles.
While insurance is a must, you should also carefully examine the driving records of all of your drivers; mitigating risk may help you save money in the long run as it relates to overall insurance costs.
Investing in a company fleet is a great way to enhance your services and grow your business—all while improving your bottom line. Consider the above facets and make the right decisions regarding your fleet venture.