Business Planning Process Planning & Strategy

Reduce Fleet Costs with These Tips

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As a fleet owner, one of your primary responsibilities is to keep costs down. The cost of running a fleet of company vehicles is likely to be one of the most significant expenses that a business has to deal with. In this article, we look at some of the ways to keep the cost of running a fleet down.

Choose Your Fleet Acquisition Method Carefully

The biggest expense associated with running a fleet is the cost of acquiring the vehicles. Most businesses choose to either lease their vehicles or purchase them outright. Both of these options have their pros and cons. Buying the vehicles outright is a massive outlay of money, which can be problematic in the early stages of building your business and may involve you having to take out some sort of loan to cover the costs.Β 

The vehicles that you own outright are depreciating assets. This means that they will lose value as soon as they leave the forecourt and are liable to fluctuate, so may not always be the best way to allocate funds.Β 

If it is not critical that you have outright ownership of your fleet, you may want to consider leasing as an alternative.

There has been a shift towards this sort of vehicle acquisitionΒ because it is much easier to budget for and gives you access to a newer and wider range of vehicles than you might should you purchase outright.

Manage Fuel Costs

Fuel costs can be a significant expense.Β  In fact, after the price of the vehicle itself this is usually the biggest spend, and if you can reduce this or manage it better, you will be well on your way to making big savings. One way of doing this is by signing up to a fuel card provider.

These cards work in a similar way to credit cards but are for fuel and other associated costs, such as oil and washer fluid.Β  They allow you to accurately record how much you are spending on fuel and when and where your employees are filling up. This gives you much more control over your fuel management.

They can also be used as a way of detecting fraud. It prevents your drivers from claiming for more fuel than they have used or filling up vehicles that are not part of your fleet. Using a fuel card may also help you to cut down on your admin costs, as there will be no need to deal with receipts and invoices for reimbursing.

Take Another Look at Your Maintenance Program

Most vehicle leasing packages have a maintenance element attached, which is a fixed cost to pay every month. This usually covers the routine services of vehicles and any maintenance and repair costs. Most businesses choose to do this as they can budget for it quickly, as it is one regular, fixed price rather than unexpected hefty bills. While on the surface this seems to be a cost-effective way of managing this expense, research shows that generally, a β€˜pay as you go’ scheme that lets you pay for these services as and when you need them saves your business money in the long run.Β 

Continually Monitor and Reevaluate

Even the most efficient fleet management systems can fall victim to external factors. You have no control over taxes, rising fuel costs, and employment law, and of course, all of these will influence the amount of money you spend on your fleet. You need to keep an eye on these situations, and while you cannot do anything about them, you can examine the factors that you do have control over and make adjustments where necessary.Β 


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