A fleet of vehicles is an important asset to a business. Along with simplifying the process of travelling to client and supplier meetings, a tidy-looking fleet should help to promote your overall image. In turn, it could help to bolster your professional reputation.
With the number of in-person conferences reaching close to pre-pandemic levels, it’s time to get your employees on the roads. Whether you’re new to owning a fleet or thinking about upgrading, it’s always worth knowing how to take the best care of your company cars.
Why is fleet maintenance important?
First impressions count – especially in the corporate world. Buying a business fleet is only going to be a worthy investment if you can take the time and effort to take care of each vehicle. Along with maintaining the engine and all the relevant internal components, you’ll need to keep the outside of the vehicles looking clean and scratch-free too.
How should a business fleet be managed?
Once you’ve purchased your fleet, you’ll need to put a management plan into place.
You might prefer to assign individual vehicles to staff members; alternatively, you could keep all vehicles available for use when required. However, the former could be the easiest option where organisation is concerned.
Using specialist software could help too. Whether you rely on applications to optimise routes or an automated system for maintenance reminders, it’s always possible to find clever ways to avoid unnecessary travel and promote the longevity of your vehicles.
How to look after a business vehicle fleet
Without timely and thorough maintenance, the vehicles in your fleet will be more susceptible to faults, issues, and exaggerated wear and tear. If you’re using lorries, you’ll need to think about maintaining the trailers too.
Whether you use a private company or undertake the basic checks yourself, you should use grease, oil, and lubricant dispensers to keep the engine and moving components running smoothly.
Of course, keeping the vehicles clean falls under maintenance too. No one wants to drive a dirty car – and for prospective clients, seeing your staff leave a filthy vehicle could start things on the wrong note. Make sure to get your cars cleaned at least every other week, especially in winter.
Though repairs often follow maintenance, business owners can be tempted to delay necessary repairs on vehicles. Although waiting to fix an issue might benefit cashflow in the short-term, mechanical and engine faults tend to exacerbate over time. Remember, all your vehicles will need to meet the criteria to pass the annual MOT inspection.
The longer you leave an issue, the more urgent it might become – and then you could face an even higher bill or need to get the vehicle recovered if it breaks down. Always see to issues as soon as you can, communicating effectively with suppliers to make sure you can access the parts when you need them.
Make sure that all the staff involved with your fleet are trained and experienced – especially if they’re going to be driving. Poor driving habits and inefficient driving can lead to faster damage, especially under frequent use or heavier loads.
Make sure your staff drive safely, adhering to speed limits and the usual road rules. If your staff face penalties or need to make a claim while driving under corporate insurance, you might need to face the consequences.
With timely maintenance and repairs backed by robust training and management, keeping a company fleet in good condition should be hassle-free. Don’t hesitate to seek official advice or shop around for better deals when it comes to insurance – but never compromise on your cover.