Many companies operate a fleet of vehicles used exclusively by its employees. These “company cars” are typically used by employees that travel to customer sites on a daily basis, senior management and directors, and, of course, those that are offered a car as a perk of their job.
Fleet operators usually lease brand new cars from specialist fleet companies, as it means they can claim back some of the VAT paid on these vehicles and apply the cost against their capital allowances.
But, as many fleet managers will tell you, operating a fleet of cars can often be a costly endeavour. The good news is that there are many practical steps you can take to lower the costs of operating a fleet of cars, and these steps can be taken by any fleet operators. Intrigued? Here’s how!
The sad truth is that a lot of companies are paying more money for the cars they have in their fleets than they need to. Decent fleet car providers can often negotiate with car manufacturers and finance houses to provide you with a better deal, so that you can make significant savings on your fleet – especially if you have dozens of cars in your company.
Gone are the days of buying expensive cars with thirsty engines just to impress clients and colleagues alike! These days it’s all about CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, and it’s a well-known fact that the various car (and company car) taxes are ultimately based on how green the cars you operate are!
Cars with diesel engines are traditionally better for the environment, but even they too can be harmful to the environment because of the amount of soot they emit through their exhaust pipes; although particulate filters installed on modern diesel engines take care of such issues.
For example, the Peugeot 508 (as offered by www.rrg-group.com) is a much better bet than other cars in its class because the e-HDi models offer CO2 emissions as low as 105g/km and yet have excellent mpg figures!
Scale back on vehicle choice
Offering a wide array of cars to your employees and managers alike means that you won’t be able to keep your costs low, as some cars will be significantly more expensive to maintain and lease than others.
Such a radical decision can pay dividends in the long term because it means that fleet managers will be able to easily reallocate cars to different employees, rather than paying for cars that the vast majority of employees will not want to drive.
Don’t just base leasing decisions on P11D values
Lots of fleet managers still base their purchasing decisions on the P11D values of the cars. Savvy fleet managers should actually be basing those decisions on the whole-of-life costs for each vehicle.
If you think about it, you would do the same thing if you were purchasing a car for personal use; i.e. you wouldn’t buy a car just because it was cheap and have to pay a fortune to maintain it!