For many companies, owning or having access to a business vehicle is a non-negotiable. Whether you need your vehicles for employees who are out on the road a lot, for deliveries, transporting of goods or any other purposes, the vehicle you choose is an important decision.
Your business vehicles can impact not only your budget but how smoothly your company operates on a day-to-day basis. Here are some key things you should be looking out for.
Make and Model
One of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to your business vehicle is what you need to buy. This will be mainly determined by the type of role the vehicle will play within your business, how often it will be used, what it will be used for and other factors like this. Consider whether you need a truck, van, bike or a standard, day-to-day car. Once you’ve decided on this, you’ll need to look into which make and model seems to be the right fit for your company.
The make and model you choose will also play a role in determining future costs such as maintenance and fuel. The type of fuel your vehicle operates on can massively increase or decrease your transport budget, but keep in mind that businesses using white diesel can buy it in bulk, and there are various other ways to manage your costs and fuel consumption.
Buy or Rent
An important thing to keep in mind is that owning a vehicle requires maintenance. Nowadays, many companies are switching over to the newer tactic of renting vehicles for business purposes.
This is likely a better option for those who don’t require a vehicle for day-to-day use and won’t need access to it 24/7. When you have employees who occasionally need to travel long distances for work, this might be a better option for you since you’ll save on maintenance costs.
However, if your business model involves transport in any way, or you require a vehicle for regular travel or deliveries, then purchasing your own vehicle will definitely be the route that makes the most sense.
Spec it Right
Think ahead to the kinds of features and gadgets you might require in your vehicle. Four-wheel drive, good safety features, built-in navigation systems etc. are all readily available in various different vehicles. Knowing ahead of time what specs you want and need versus what you don’t, will help you to ensure that you’re only spending money where it’s necessary.
Insurance is a necessary evil; you never think you need it until the moment you do. Insuring your company’s vehicles will be something you’ll simply have to factor into your budget, but don’t jump the gun on this one.
Shopping around for the best insurance deal you can lay your hands on is always a smart move. The types of vehicles you own, the size of your fleet, how often they’re used and what they’re used for will have a major impact on your insurance premiums, but talking to a broker to help you find the best options can still help you to keep your costs as low as possible.
Maintenance and Repairs
A final important consideration is how much money, time and effort it’s going to take to keep your vehicles well-maintained. Regular maintenance is crucial to avoid bigger problems in the future, but keep in mind that certain makes and models of cars are more expensive to maintain and repair.
Make sure you have these discussions with car salesmen before leaping into any purchases. Get a clear understanding of how much maintenance and repairs will cost you on each vehicle you’re considering, and add those costs to your monthly repayments and fuel. While these costs are yet another necessary evil, you can always take precautions in order to minimise the damage to your pocket.
The main thing to remember is that all your decisions when it comes to purchasing a vehicle for your business are going to be very personal and specific. What might work perfectly for one business could be a crazy idea for your own. You and your business’ needs are what need to be front and centre of your mind when you’re shopping for a vehicle.
Doing the research, talking to the professionals and making sure that you look at the bigger picture of the future of your company will help you to make the right decision for the wheels you need.