If you are just starting out with a new business and will require a number of vehicles from the beginning, or if you have been in business a while and the number of vehicles you have is growing, you will need to know all about handling a fleet.
Managing a fleet of vehicles is an area not many people understand a great deal about, and the logistics of running one might seem slightly overwhelming at first, but there is help at hand. So what actually makes a “business fleet,” how do you keep track of it, and what help is out there for fleet novices? Read on to get the answers to all of those questions and more.
What is a Fleet?
First of all, a fleet is essentially a set of vehicles owned or leased by a company for their employees to use. These can be vehicles necessary to carry out a specific job such as a truck or an employee perk like the CEO’s company car, for example.
So what is actually considered a fleet? Well, it’s a simple question with a less decisive answer. Some people consider more than one vehicle being a fleet; others say it’s more than two.
When buying or leasing vehicles, most companies will require you to purchase or lease at least five to classify you as a fleet and offer you a discount. Insurance companies differ on when they offer a fleet discount, but you’ll generally need 3-5 vehicles minimum.
If you have a fleet of 15 or more, you can become a “qualified fleet” and use your fleet number to get exclusive discounts with car manufacturers.
Acquiring a fleet
You have two options when establishing your fleet, buying or leasing. There are pros and cons to both, so you’ll need to weigh up what works best for your business. If you buy, it’s a one-off payment for the vehicle itself, which you can get great discounts on, and they are then a business asset. However, you are responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles, which can be costly.
With leasing, you are paying out without owning anything to show for it, but it does mean it’s the leasing company’s responsibility to provide you with a safe and roadworthy vehicle, including the upkeep costs that go along with it.
Managing your fleet
There’s an awful lot of paperwork and logistics involved with running a fleet, but it’s reassuring to know there is help available, should you need it. For example, companies like Acertus can handle fleet title and registration for you, offering automotive logistics and services in addition.
There are also fleet management companies and software which can track vehicles, monitor fuel consumption, manage maintenance and even track driver behavior with the aim of making your fleet safer and more efficient.
How you manage your fleet will depend on the size and individual needs of your business but with a little help, it’s not something that needs to be feared.