There are several factors that influence how and when new company vehicle(s) are acquired. Maybe there is a new employee who needs a vehicle immediately, or an older vehicle suffered a major breakdown and the cost to fix it does not justify keeping it, leaving no other option but to source a new one. These events may result in a knee jerk reaction from management, which creates a smaller window of time to source vehicle(s), resulting in hurried decisions and the likelihood of making mistakes.
Instead of waiting for a critical event to happen, below are some ways to proactively acquire vehicles:
- Make Vehicles a High Priority-Often vehicles are not a priority until they are not running properly. It is possible, that the employee who oversees them may have other responsibilities and cannot give their full attention to all the fleet needs.
- Yearly Comparison Analysis-Carve out time to look at vehicles on an annual basis. Analyze utilization, maintenance costs, and fuel. This will enable management to make better decisions. Often vehicles are costing too much in repairs or being underutilized. Recycling a vehicle before it incurs major repairs can save money. When it is time to replace and acquire new vehicles, evaluate the future value, the estimated mileage, and the amount they will depreciate. This will aid in making better decisions around replacement vehicles. The resale value of the vehicle has an impact on your bottom line.
- Do not acquire vehicles in a consumer fashion-Spending hours at the dealership is not the best practice. Not only is it very time consuming, often car salesmen do not know about commercial fleet incentives or best procedures.
- Standardize Your Fleet-Pick the right vehicle for the job. If your entire fleet is comprised of cargo vans, and its discovered that you do not need all that extra room to store equipment or essentials, it may be worth trading a few of them in for smaller fuel efficient cars. The principle of standardizing a fleet is ensuring all vehicles are of the same make and model, same bells and whistles, same equipment, and branding is consistent. While it may still make sense to have a mixed fleet of vans, trucks, and cars, its worth while to make sure that each type is standard.
Developing a strategy around acquiring company vehicles should be a priority. Its worthwhile to look at working with a fleet management company. An FMC like Leasing Associates will go to work for you, sourcing vehicles and coordinating installation of proper equipment, so you do not have to lift a finger. Leasing Associates can factory order vehicles which gives companies exactly what they want without any unnecessary add-ons. Leasing Associates operates as your fleet department and will effectively take the weight of vehicles off your shoulders. Our goal is to cultivate long term relationships and become your trusted partner for all your fleet needs. Call or email us today!