There comes a time when you have to replace your fleet vehicles. Operating fleet vehicles that are too old, have too high mileage or need constant repairs will be costing your business money.
Fleet Insurance Brokers, Bluedrop Services, tell us that you should monitor your fleet and replace the vehicles that are costing your business money in repairs or are no longer safe to drive. Regularly reviewing your fleet should be a priority, no matter what industry you operate in or the purposes of your fleet.
Renew your fleet vehicles
There are many signs to look out for to indicate when it’s time to renew your fleet vehicles.
Safety of your fleet drivers
Most importantly, your fleet drivers should feel safe driving the vehicle you supply them. If your fleet vehicles are not up to current safety standards, then you must rectify this by providing a safe vehicle for them to drive.
As an employer or fleet manager, you have a responsibility to keep your drivers safe when driving for work purposes. To ensure your vehicles are safe, you should schedule comprehensive inspections and regular servicing to repair any issues as well as providing continued driver training. If vehicle inspections come back with too many issues, the this may also be a big consideration in upgrading to a newer vehicle.
If your drivers have to drive for long distances over a long period, you will notice that the vehicle mileage will increase quickly, especially if you operate in deliveries. It’s estimated that delivery vans travel roughly 15,000-18,000 miles per year.
High mileage can cause the vehicle to deteriorate more quickly than others. This is caused by ware and tare of excessive use, meaning that maintenance work will need to be carried out more regularly and the lifetime of the vehicle will be shorter.
When you start to add up maintenance costs and fuel costs, you may discover that you would actually be better off replacing the vehicle to keep costs down.
Older vehicles with high mileage have more chance of breaking down than new ones. Breakdown frequency also depends on the quality of your drivers driving habits. If they are used to breaking harshly and fast acceleration, it can cause more issues in the long term.
Even if you have a regular maintenance and servicing schedule, vehicles can still unexpectedly break down. Vehicles that break down more frequently will impact your bottom line and cost your business more money than if you were to replace them.
You’ve had the vehicle for a while
If you’ve had your vehicles from new for over five years, it’s likely the manufacturer warranty will have expired. Without the manufacture costs being covered by the warranty, you will have to include these costs in your fleets repair budget. These costs can be particularly high, especially if your fleet drive lots of miles.
Once the manufacture warranty expires, you should compare the cost of renewing your fleet to the additional and potential maintenance costs and safety of the vehicles.
Most newer vehicles come equipped with technology such as GPS systems, cameras and sensors that make it easier and safer to drive.
Upgrading to vehicles that include these features can make your drivers work more efficiently and safely. You can also include other technical tools such as telematics devices that track tyre pressure, and check the vehicle has an emergency braking system and a diagnostic trouble code alert.
Your maintenance bill is increasing (TCO)
Fleet managers need to determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Tracking and monitoring the overall cost of each vehicle will help you to understand whether they need renewing. If you notice you are spending more on repairs more frequently, topping up on fuel and the vehicle has prolonged periods of downtime, then it may be worth considering renewing your fleet vehicles.
No longer adequate for your business needs
Business needs change over time, and so do business values. Many fleets are switching to electric vehicles to work towards a greener future and reduce their Co2 emissions.
In other cases, your business may be going through a growth period and may need to consider expanding its vehicle portfolio to accommodate more drivers as the business expands.
Prepare your fleet for any future business plans by reviewing whether your existing fleet is sufficient in achieving the business’ goals and if you need to make any changes.
Incentives and rebates on new vehicles
Most vehicle retailers offer incentives to renew and replace vehicles. If you are looking to switch to an eco-friendly vehicle, you may be eligible to benefit from a rebate through government schemes.
When it comes to renewing your fleet, don’t forget to renew or update your fleet insurance. Driving with inadequate cover can be costly and mean your drivers won’t have adequate insurance coverage.