Managing your business fleet
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THERE’S a lot to keep track of when managing a corporate fleet.

All sorts of things can impact the bottom line, including the costs of vehicle acquisition, maintenance, taxes, fuel, and weighing up the pros and cons of vehicle tracking.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed but help is at hand, here are five great ways to keep your business fleet optimised.

Buy smart

Whenever you need to add a vehicle to your fleet, choose carefully. Consider how much and where your drivers are driving – do they need a city car to buzz around town or a saloon to fly up and down motorways?

Once you’ve worked out what type of car you need, carefully consider the true cost of ownership (TCO). Depending on the data sources you have access to, this should take into account things like the cost of fuel for the vehicle’s expected life, SMR, and taxation.

The key though is to always think about the long-term impact of these costs, and weigh these up against the purchase or leasing cost.

Keep track

Investing in vehicle tracking software is a great way to keep track of your fleet and discover exactly where you drivers are driving. There are also some great benefits in terms of journey planning, and the best systems provide detailed data on driver behaviour, including things like sudden braking and engine idling.

When choosing a system, make sure to compare tracking costs against the potential benefits for your fleet –  with the wealth of data that advanced systems provide, this is one area where paying a premium can make a huge difference to your business.

Drive change

Managing driver behaviour is a crucial part of staying on top of fleet costs. The most obvious factor to monitor is speed, excessive speeding not only reduces fuel efficiency but is also dangerous, increasing the risk of crashes and hefty damage bills or insurance premium hikes.

Other driving behaviours that could be impacting the overall cost of your fleet include sudden gear changes and harsh braking, coaching your drivers to drive smartly and efficiently could pay dividends in the long run.

Stay leagues ahead

When trying to change behaviour to encourage efficiency or improve safety, league tables are a great way of driving home the change, especially when driving habits can be accurately monitored with vehicle tracking software.

A company-wide competition to maximise MPG could be a fun way to incentivise efficient fuel use, while having a speed safety week that rewards those drivers who strike a good balance between speed and efficiency could illustrate the value of such behaviour and instil this as a positive value in your company.

Fuel wisely

As anyone who’s run a car fleet will know, fuel is one of the biggest expenses for company cars. However, there are ways to lessen the financial impact. On a simple level, simply keeping track of the lowest priced petrol stations and encouraging/incentivising drivers to fill up these petrol stations can make a significant difference to the cost of your fleet.

For larger fleets, investing in a fuel card could provide huge savings over the life of your fleet, and also eliminate the time consuming admin of keeping track of how much fuel your drivers use.

Moreover, there’s no risk of error as there is with a system that relies on drivers to tell the company how much fuel they’re using, and some fuel cards also offer discounts on maintenance. Looking ahead, make sure to consider electric vehicles.

As part of efforts to combat climate change, the UK government is planning to significantly increase their uptake over the next few decades, and has announced it will ban sales of petrol/diesel cars altogether by 2040 at the latest. Preparing for this huge change should be an important part of managing any corporate fleet.      

 


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