Managing Your Fleet
This section covers all areas of fleet ownership and management that SMEs need to consider, with experiences and case studies from businesses who have successfully built their own fleets, as well as expert advice on getting started.
How do you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting and managing the vehicles in your fleet? This section will help you decide what makes business sense for you, whether it’s investing in a “grey fleet” of cars leased out as an incentive for commuter staff, or a fleet of delivery lorries, taxis, or removal vans.
While on the surface it may appear that choosing a fleet is no different to choosing any other piece of tech or equipment, it can actually make or break your business when scaling up. Here are just some of the factors a business owner would be wise to consider.
Choosing a vehicle
The first step is simply deciding what kind of vehicles you need – what kind of car, van, bus, coach is going to get the job done? Secondly, you might want to think about branding, and what manufacturer aligns most closely with your own brand values, and the message you are trying to convey.
What will it run on?
You need to put some thought into what kind of fuel you will use too – and depending on the sort of distances and the kinds of roads you are planning to use the vehicle on, this might change. For example, there are pros and cons for diesel and petrol, although both pollutants. Meanwhile, electric cars might be greener, but the charging network is not necessarily prolific enough for this to be an option for everyone.
How will you pay for it?
Once you’ve worked out exactly which vehicles you want, you need to find the best financing options – leasing, contract hire, hire purchase, buying them outright, employee ownership schemes…there are lots of different options, and finding the best fit depends on the type of vehicle and the amount flexibility you want.
Taking care of paperwork
Then there’s the admin side of things to take care of – making sure you aren’t using the vehicles for personal use more than you should be, getting the right insurance provider in place, making sure you’re reimbursing employees appropriately for any fuel costs the incur on the job, etc.
Fleet technology and management
Lastly, there’s the finesse that comes with fleet management. Training your drivers to drive efficiently in a way that conserves fuel, or implementing tracking technology to ensure your employees are taking optimum routes and so on.
The SME market boom demands that those relying on a fleet are able to upscale operations to keep up with the competition. However, this means greater spend on fuel. FLEETCOR's Thore Vestergaard gives advice on mitigating these additional costs.
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