A fleet is a group of vehicles purchased or leased by a business. Whether you run a construction company or a landscaping business, there may come a time in your business expansion when you are going to need to build a fleet of vehicles. When you need more than one or two vehicles to run your growing business, it can become more complicated. This is because you need to find a reputable supplier, obtain the necessary finance to fund the fleet, update your insurance and liability policies, hire and train new staff, take care of your staff’s safety and wellbeing, and much more.
It is important to learn more about what it takes to build a fleet of vehicles for your business and how to manage it effectively. This will help you build a successful fleet, and grow your business as intended.
Here is some more information to help you get started.
#1 Consider how many vehicles you are going to need
Before you build a fleet of vehicles, your business plan and goals must be up-to-date. Reviewing these business documents will help you to make an informed decision about the vehicles you are going to need to build your fleet. This is because you will know at what rate you are expanding your business, and you can obtain the number of vehicles that are aligned with your goals.
You may choose to obtain a few vehicles each year, to slowly build your business. Alternatively, you may choose to buy the entire fleet all in one go. If you choose the latter, you may need to consider finding an investor or finance plan that is the most appropriate for your situation. Regardless of which option you choose, you will need to ensure that you are making the decision based on factual information, and not guessing how many vehicles you need. This will cause you a lot of problems, stress, and financial difficulty. You will also have a hard time obtaining finance or investment if you do not know what or why you are building a fleet.
This is important because it is not just about how many vehicles you want to have in your fleet, but it will also include the insurance to cover it, hiring new staff to drive them, and being accountable for more people. You will also need to know what kind of vehicles are going to be best for the job, the most cost effective and futureproof, for example, you may consider electric vehicles. Make sure you have a formal plan in place for the expansion of your business before you sign any contracts and make any purchases.
#2 Find appropriate insurance
It is a legal requirement for any road vehicle to have insurance. When you move from one vehicle to many vehicles, you will need to find a new insurance policy. Many organizations offer specially designed fleet insurance that makes it easier and hassle-free for businesses to grow a fleet of vehicles and keep them protected under one policy. This makes it convenient for fleet managers to keep on top of the insurance, as all vehicles will be insured in one go, and avoids the need to insure each vehicle individually. Bulk buying fleet insurance can also work out much cheaper than sourcing insurance for each vehicle, especially if you plan to expand your business significantly. It will also ensure all of the policies and contracts are equal for everyone who drives them and covers all your business needs.
You should conduct research to see which insurance companies are reliable and credible within the industry, and can meet all of your requirements. Some companies will cover a fleet from as little as two vehicles, while others will have a higher minimum number of motor vehicles required. A typical fleet insurance policy will cover a range of vehicle types, such as cars, trucks, vans, and buses. Depending on the level of cover that you choose, it may also cover:
- Legal fees
- Vehicle recovery
- Loss or damage
- Key or lock replacement
- Medical expenses
- Personal belongings
- Breakdown cover
- Courtesy car
- Driving abroad
Make sure you find a company that has a good reputation and covers everything you need. Having a fleet with a variety of features will help significantly in the unfortunate event of an incident. You should familiarize yourself with any exclusions on the policy, and make sure your staff is aware.
#3 Vehicle maintenance
As a business, you are responsible for the vehicles and the staff that drive them. It is therefore important that you create a filing system that will help you stay organized and keep vital documents, such as insurance, tax, and employee details secure and up-to-date.
You will also need to decide who is responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles, such as topping up the gas and keeping them roadworthy. All staff should receive adequate training before using the vehicles. They will need to know how they work, what the vehicles can and cannot be used for, what to do in an emergency and what expectations they have to maintain the vehicles themselves. Some companies will create a system for staff to conduct safety checks, and provide staff with a credit card that enables them to get petrol, clean their vehicles and use it on the road for other expenses. You should research business gas card features to learn if this is the right option for your business.
Many businesses choose to take advantage of having a fleet and use it to market their brand by attaching their logo to the vehicles. This is a great way to get free and local advertising, as your staff drives the vehicles around the local area. This should include your business name, what you do, and a way to contact you. Don’t overload it with information, or it will be too complicated. Make your vehicles stand out, and are easy to spot in a crowd.
You should make sure that you let your insurance company know of any changes you make to the vehicle, to ensure it does not make it void.
Building and managing a fleet can be an overwhelming concept if you are new to the business. Follow these top tips to make sure you get started on the right foot and positively contribute to the expansion of your business.