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Managing your business vehicle fleet efficiently

If you run a business that relies on vehicle usage, you’ll be keen to make sure your fleet management strategy is as efficient as it can be. The profitability of your fleet relies on how effectively it is managed and run.

Decide if you want to buy or rent your business vehicles

If you haven’t obtained your business fleet yet, you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to buy or rent it (or whether you might do a bit of both). There are pros and cons to each, so make sure you’re aware of both before you decide.

If you rent your fleet:

  • You may not have to worry too much about maintenance, because rental partners can often take care of this for you at a lower cost than if you owned the fleet.
  • The upfront costs will be lower. Paying a monthly lease cost can be much easier on the pocket than buying the vehicles outright, so will save your business money overall.
  • It’s more flexible. If the market demands suddenly lessen, you can simply rent fewer vehicles and avoid overspending in your business’s budget.

If you buy your fleet:

  • You won’t have to worry about sticking to mileage limits, as you would with a lease company.
  • You have full accountability for maintenance. If you like to be in control of this, buying may work better for you.
  • Your fleet’s value will show up as an asset on your balance sheet, which could put you in a stronger position with investors and lenders.

Choosing fuel efficient vehicles

There are now more ways than ever to fuel your vehicles, but which is the best option for your business’s fleet? Considering environmental factors, using a range of electric and hybrid vehicles is the best option for low carbon emissions and reducing pollution from the use of your fleet. Electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more widespread in the market and are increasingly competitive with their fossil fuel counterparts. So it’s a good idea to consider choosing an electric or hybrid powered vehicle when assembling a business fleet.

Stay on top of maintenance

If you buy your business’s fleet, make sure you keep on top of maintenance! If your fleet is on the large side, consider hiring employees to take care of this full-time. Not only could this save you money in the long run, but a well-maintained fleet increases the safety of your drivers on the road.

It will also be important that you get the correct supplies required for maintenance jobs. If you work with lorries, one of your regular maintenance jobs will be to grease the U-joints. This ensures low friction on the connective joint. Similarly, make sure you use greases for the gearboxes and all other ball joints to keep them lubricated to ensure they avoid wear from use.

Train your staff properly

This one may sound straightforward, but make sure your staff are fully trained. It’s imperative that all drivers take a DVSA-approved fleet driving course before they get started.

Some fleet driver courses throw in handy extras, such as a session in eco-driving. You may want to consider this, as it makes your staff aware of ways to drive that reduce wear-and-tear and fuel costs.

Be proactive about extra costs

A common fleet management mistake is failing to monitor the costs of fuel consumption, downtime and maintenance closely enough. But if you fully monitor your expenses, you’re in a much better position to ensure your business remains profitable.

If you want to make it easier to track these extra costs, consider issuing your drivers with fuel cards. It means you can control your drivers’ fuel spending. It means your expenses are easier to calculate and more likely to be accurate. At stations where your fuel card is accepted, you can also get a more favourable price.

Running a fleet for your business comes with inevitable costs. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can control these costs. Being canny about maintenance and training are among the ways you can do this!