How to manage a Fleet of Business Vehicles

7 Ways to Reduce Fleet Operating Costs

Fleet Maintenance

Many times, the person in charge of the fleet has many other duties such as warehouse supervisor, human resources director, controller, and maintenance manager. Sometimes, those other duties tend to push the fleet far down the list.

Often times, a fleet may qualify for incentives from auto manufacturers. Trade associations may offer discounts. Whether they be large or small, the manager’s top of the list priority is to reduce fleet costs.

Due to the fact that fleets quite often run their vehicle to high mileage, maintenance is always a top issue. In order to instil greater accountability with drivers and drive (no pun intended) costs down, implement simple maintenance and repair guidelines.

Fuel Costs & Remarketing

An ever-present pain point is fuel conservation. As is often the case, many fleets are not able to identify their fuel spend or even understand the amount of their fuel fraud. A low-cost (or even no-cost) fuel card program has been known to save 15% or more on fleet fuel costs.

How about remarketing ? In simple terms … selling one of your fleet vans when you’re done with it. There are specific months that used vehicles command a higher price than others. Educate yourself as to when this is, and if possible, time your sale to match this period.

As you read these words today, understand that there is a new crop of internal combustion engines in the making that will not only lessen your fuel spend, but also reduce their carbon footprint.

Out Sourcing & Insurance

If you still find yourself short of time to implement these and other initiatives, or investigate what’s on the horizon in your industry, then you may want to consider outsourcing some work to a fleet management company. You could also get yourself connected to a fleet-minded dealer who would be able to act as a consultant regarding fleet related matters.

Lastly, let’s mention insurance coverage for your fleet. If you are leasing vehicles, there’s often the situation where a dealer will require you to have a higher level of cover, siting the fact that it is they, not you, who own the vehicle. Shop around for your fleet insurance, as it can be critical to saving money.

Using a fleet insurance broker has many well-known benefits. The biggest of these is without a doubt, the time you will save by not having to shop around for the insurance yourself. An important fact to remember is that Fleet Insurance is a very specialized area. To search the insurance market, and then obtain quotes yourself, could take quite a bit of your time. A good broker will know how to streamline the process for you, and as is very often the case, save you money as well.

Using a route planning program

Investing in a route planning solution can enable you to minimize fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear of vehicles by choosing the most optimal route for your vehicles.

Repair first instead of replacing parts

Extra and unnecessary expenses are also incurred when car parts are replaced right away instead of being repaired first. Repairing windscreens, for instance, is up to 20 percent cheaper than replacing them.

Wisely schedule preventive maintenance 

Many fleet managers still believe that vehicles should undergo regular preventive maintenance practices such as changing oil every 3,000 miles, or every 3 months, whichever comes first.

However, newer cars don’t need that frequent oil changes. Most car experts suggest intervals of 7,500 up to 10,000 miles before subjecting the vehicle to an oil change.

Combine your insurance policies

Fleet Insurance premiums can also add up to fleet operating costs. You can scale down costs of premiums by speaking to your insurance company and asking if you can combine public and employee liability cover with fleet policy.

Minimise travel whenever possible

Finally, you can cut down on fuel expenses by encouraging your employees to use video conferences and similar technologies whenever possible. This strategy can also delay the wear and tear of vehicles.

Indeed, there are plenty of things that you can do now to reduce your fleet’s operating costs.