Virtually all modern businesses rely on vehicles to some extent. While there are some businesses that live and breath by their fleet (e.g. utilities and delivery-oriented companies), others offer their employees company cars as an attractive perk.
However, company cars aren’t operated like personal cars. These cars are usually driven by a range of different drivers over their lifecycle, all with different usage habits and different driving habits. These company cars can undergo some rough treatment and their performance can suffer if they’re not taken care of.
To avoid these cars from being abused, most companies have processes relating to proper maintenance. Here are some of our own processes which can help you to better take care of your trusty fleet of vehicles.
While this step doesn’t really fall under maintenance, a lot of problems start by having the wrong kind of car for the job. By choosing the right car for your company needs, you’ll be able to save a great deal on repairs and maintenance in the long run. Not to mention that your employees will be happy to have a vehicle that allows them to do their job as efficiently as possible.
Tip: Some car manufacturers offer discounts for large fleets and would also be more than happy to do some customization to fit your company’s needs (e.g. rails for ladders on a utility van).
While this point might seem obvious, most companies just let their fleet run and run without any periodic maintenance. This is a dangerous practice as it’s gonna eventually lead to emergency repairs which are going to cost a lot more than just a quick check-up. Your car manufacturer will brief you on how often you should do check-ups on your company’s cars. Make sure to set a maintenance schedule that only leaves a few of your cars under check-up or repair at any one point in time.
Tip: Whether you decide to keep the maintenance in-house or outsource it to another company, always consult and trust experienced mechanics. They might suggest repairs or replacements that you may think unnecessary, but the possibility of you losing business because of a broken vehicle just isn’t worth the risk.
Should company cars only be used on official company business? Or should you allow your employees to use company cars as personal cars as well? In case of an accident, who’s responsible for the damages? Having a clear-cut document that outlines who can use your company cars as well as how they should be used is crucial for any company. By firmly setting the rules and limits on the usage of the company car, you’ll be able to make sure your company’s cars are properly used.
Tip: Letting employees use company cars for personal use is a great motivator! However, it may end up costing the company more in maintenance and fuel. If your company allows employees to make use of company cars, make sure there are rules in place that make sure the car is properly taken care of when used outside of business hours.
Fuel can quickly become a very costly expense when your company’s drivers use it recklessly. To avoid using too much fuel, train your drivers to drive at a steady speed and avoid unnecessary detours. Systems such as GPS trackers and Fuel Cards can help you track how far your company car has traveled and how much fuel they’ve used
Tip: If you’re looking for the best fuel card available, we’ve got a handy tool to help you make the decision.
These tips should give you a nice platform to help set up your own fleet maintenance process. But remember: Every company is different. So, you might have to run some trial and error in finding the right process.
While we don’t have all the tools to help you achieve an improvement in fleet maintenance, we can help you decide which fuel card is going to work best for your fleet. Keeping all those cars running is no cheap task, and fuel cards are a great way of keeping track of how much you’re spending on your fuel, and also keeping an eye out for the overconsumption of fuel by any particular employee. Click here, and we can help you get started on finding the fuel card that’s perfect for your company needs.