If your company has a fleet of vehicles, it means you rely heavily on those vehicles. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to operate normally and any problem you encounter translates into failure to deliver and additional costs for repair. While it’s impossible to prevent and foresee every single situation, there are many things you can do to minimize

Devise a solid maintenance plan

It goes without saying that only properly maintained vehicles are reliable enough to be driven. Since you need your vehicles to cover great mileages, the importance of regular and correct maintenance is even greater. You need to ensure optimum fuel consumption and engine performance at all times, which is why you should also check the level of oils and other fluids in your vehicles even between regular services.
Next, you need to pay attention to the tyre pressure, because it is crucial for your road safety and it also reduces wear-and-tear. Finally, make sure your vehicles are always clean on the outside, so that the paintwork can last longer. Whatever maintenance work you perform, it has to be in accordance with the manufacturer’s maintenance manual if you really want to avoid serious technical issues.

Regularly replace and rotate the tyres

Since you need your vehicles to be fully operational at all times, regardless of the weather conditions, you should definitely ensure you have both the summer and winter sets of tyres. In general, summer tyres provide better grip, shorter braking distance and reduced wear at temperatures above 7°C. On the other hand, winter tyres are much more suitable for temperatures below 7°C. Make sure you regularly replace and rotate the tyres to ensure a more even wear.
Finally, it’s vital all the tyres are properly inflated and that tyre manufacturer’s instructions are followed to the letter. Properly inflated tyres reduce fuel consumption and provide much safer ride, while at the same time reducing the inevitable wear. Depending on the mileage and conditions in which your vehicles are driven, you may need to get new sets every few years.

Create supplies of spare parts

It’s always a good idea to have some spare parts in stock, especially if you can purchase them in larger quantities and get a discount. Just make sure you get top-quality car parts from reputable dealers such as Carparts2u that are in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t opt for cheap parts of dubious quality, because they can be quite unreliable and can lead to all sorts of problems that will be much more expensive to deal with. Basically, you’d most likely be spending more in the long run.

Allow only experts to work on your vehicles

Some companies tend to allow unqualified and untrained people to maintain their vehicles primarily for the purpose of cutting the costs. This is one of the most dangerous and counterproductive things you can do. Your vehicles simply have to be serviced and repaired at a contract auto garage. You need to find a reliable, trustworthy and experienced auto technician, who is also mobile and can take care of your car wherever you are.

Have a plan in case of road accidents

With many vehicles on the road each day, there is a good chance that one of them will end up immobilised either beside a public highway or at your residence or workplace. In that case, your chosen auto association (AA) should send a mechanic on the location to fix your vehicle or tow it to a garage in case there is a serious issue.
Sometimes, your lease contract includes the tow-assistance or you are even offered a replacement vehicle during more extensive repairs. You only need to complete the accident statement form with the other party and send it to your leasing agent or insurer (if your vehicle is not insured through the lease contract). That’s why it’s vital to have such an insurance policy if you want to minimise the damage.

Know how and when to terminate your contract

Finally, when the time comes for you to hand in your company car at the end of the lease contract, you need to clean it thoroughly. Dirty cars command lower prices and will be cleaned at your expense. Don’t forget to take all your personal belongings from the car. Any upgrades you’ve introduced can be removed, but only if it doesn’t cause any additional damage to the car.
As you can see, looking after your company car is not very different from taking care of your own personal vehicle. However, managing a fleet of vehicles is a much more challenging task, since it requires careful monitoring, planning and purchase if you want to keep all the vehicles roadworthy. So, follow these basic steps and you’ll see that your operations will run smoothly and many issues will be dealt with in an efficient way.

By Mike Johnston

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