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The Smarter Way To Start A Fleet Of Company Cars

A growing business will no doubt have a plethora of staff that spend a lot of time on the road. They will attend meetings with clients, visit suppliers and host trade events. As you can imagine, they won’t want to use their personal vehicles for work. Especially if they have to travels tens of thousands of miles each year.

The solution, of course, is to supply those people with company cars. If this is your first foray into fleet management, it’s not as scary as you might think! Today’s blog post will give you some pointers on how to get started the smart way. Here is what you need to know:

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Hire someone to manage your fleet

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to have a fleet of five or five hundred vehicles. Managing several company cars will be a full-time exercise. Yes, some businesses can manage your fleet for you. But, they might not always have your best interests at heart.

That’s why it makes sense to hire someone that works directly for you. There are many advantages to this approach. First of all, they can spot the latest vehicle deals in the market. Second, they can keep abreast of any new changes to tax laws affecting fleet vehicles. And, third, they can keep a close eye on how your employees treat your cars and vans.

Lease instead of buy

You might be wondering whether it makes sense to lease or buy vehicles for your fleet. The savvy way to fleet management involves leasing them. Why? Let me explain.

When you lease, you effectively “rent” each vehicle for a period. After the lease expires, you can start another one on a brand new vehicle. One of the main selling points of doing so is you lower your maintenance costs. After all, it’s no secret that older vehicles incur expensive repairs.

Another benefit of leasing is you won’t kill your cash flow. Your accounts department will find it easier to manage your money. They know they only have to deal with low, fixed monthly payments. They won’t need to think about how to plug any cash flow gaps that could jeopardise your business.

Use online companies for maintenance

There is a great debate over online versus local servicing and maintenance. The truth is, both options have their pros and cons. But, businesses often report lower fleet maintenance costs by using online providers.

The other advantage is convenience. A damaged tyre can get replaced by using a site like www.event-tyres.co.uk. They come out to you, meaning your staff don’t have to worry about downtime from work visiting a tyre fitter. There are plenty of online providers that offer convenient services, such as:

  • Servicing;
  • Alloy wheel repairs;
  • Valeting; and
  • Dent and scratch repairs.

Online providers are almost always cheaper than traditional bricks and mortar companies. That’s because they have fewer overheads.

Choose vehicles that offer high reliability and fuel economy

Your fleet of vehicles needs to contain models that offer two things. I am, of course, talking about high reliability and fuel economy.

Reliability is important anyway but it’s also crucial for staff that go out to visit clients. It would not look good on your business if employees failed to attend meetings because of car issues.

Fuel economy is another vital requirement when choosing vehicles. These days, it makes sense to opt for diesel or hybrid models. They offer superior fuel economy, lowering your total running costs significantly. Take a look at http://carfueldata.dft.gov.uk to learn which models offer the best fuel economy.

Use a computerised fleet management system

You need to know which employees get allocated your cars and vans. It’s also important to assign important documents and paperwork with each vehicle.

As you can appreciate, it could become an admin nightmare when you’ve got 100+ cars to manage! The good news is a computerised fleet management system can make life easier.

Such systems can also alert you of important events, such as vehicle insurance renewals.

Keep track of your vehicles

It’s important to know what your staff do with your company cars and vans. GPS tracking helps companies learn more about the driving habits of their fleet users. To some, it might seem like a “big brother” thing to impose. But, it makes perfect business sense.
You lower your fuel and maintenance costs for a start. That’s because you’re not paying for your staff to go on long personal road trips at your expense! And you can locate missing vehicles in the event of a theft, for example.

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