3 Ways That You Can Make Your Fleet Business More Efficient in collaboration with Just Another Magazine.
Fleet efficiency is about protecting your business and managing costs without undermining the quality of your service — or compromising the safety of your employees. While it’s a fine line to walk, we’ve come up with the following ways you can support your fleet and help it operate more efficiently:
- Using Dash Cams to protect drivers and your wider business.
- Reducing costs and time spent on admin tasks with fuel cards.
- Leasing vehicles to make your fleet more adaptable.
Read on as we explore these efficiency-boosting hacks and provide advice on how to integrate them into your fleet business.
Protect your drivers (and your business) using Dash Cams
The security of your employees is interlinked with the overall efficiency of your fleet, but the job of protecting employees becomes much harder when they’re driving all over the country.
Why does the open road pose a threat to drivers? Delivery trucks are susceptible to the growing trend of crash-for-cash scams, which put your drivers at risk and could set your business back a fortune in legal fees. These scams involve vehicles deliberately breaking harshly, causing your drivers to slam into the back of them, all so a fraudulent — and expensive — claim can be made against the driver and your company.
What’s the solution? Dash Cams are becoming an important tool to ward off fraudulent behaviour and they speed up your insurance claims. The most common dashcam found on fleet vehicles is cab mounted cameras — a small recording device, similar to a GoPro, which saves video footage when it senses an impact.
Here are some benefits of using a cab mounted camera to boost fleet efficiency:
- Proof for accident claims: insurance claims go through quicker because you bypass most time-consuming research stages.
- Cut your insurance cost: man insurance companies offer discount incentives if you use a dashcam on your vehicles.
- Protect drivers from scams: the footage can prove your driver isn’t in the wrong.
Nowadays one in four motorists use a dashcam — and with various models on offer it’s important to pick from a specific business and fleet range, so you can have peace of mind when your drivers are out on the open road.
Reduce unexpected costs and admin work with fuel cards
As your pocket is responsible for topping up the tanks, fuel costs quickly become an inevitable burden keeping the cogs whirring on your fleet operation.
What’s the big problem? Fuel prices fluctuate wildly alongside the world economy. One day you can find yourself on the up, taking advantage of sudden dips; another day your wallet might feel a little light after being shaken down when prices are on the rise.
Such uncertainty makes it difficult to plan ahead and cut costs while out on the road, after all, you’re placing any possible savings in the hands of fate. And yes, you can save money by claiming back VAT on fuel, but then again this relies on your drivers remembering to keep hold of paper receipts without losing them in the glove box.
So fuel costs leave your fleet business vulnerable to a couple of efficiency killers:
- Unnecessary admin work
- Unexpected costs
What’s the solution? Consider adopting fuel cards into your operation — a credit card used to pay for fuel, which also saves your business time, money, and effort.
Though fuel cards come in many shapes and sizes, they all aim to control fuel costs and give extra flexibility when you come around to claiming back expenses.
Here are the core features you should bear in mind:
- Digital receipts & HMRC approved invoices: most fuel cards reduce admin work by producing digital receipts that double up as an HMRC approved invoice. This way you can claim back VAT expenses at the click of a button.
- Set fees & discounted prices: with fuel cards you can set and forget your fuel costs by agreeing on fixed terms with your provider, plus these agreements often come with a slight discount, which spread across a whole fleet can same a lot of money.
However, not all fuel cards are built the same — and it’s important to keep this in mind when shopping around for one (for instance, you can find different fuel card options at iCompario).
Make sure you know what you’re getting into and ensure your chosen cards fit your niche. Otherwise using fuel cards is an astute business move, which helps manage fleet costs without interrupting your service or your driver’s ability to do their job.
Lease vehicles to make your fleet more adaptable
Behind your employees, the vehicles you manage are the fleet’s most valuable asset; they also come at a huge cost if you buy them outright.
What’s the problem with buying vehicles? While buying has a few key benefits — like being able to resell or break free of mileage restrictions — owning your fleet rarely pans out to be the most efficient way of conducting business.
Vehicle ownership exposes your business to many additional costs:
- Upfront payments
- Repair fees
- Value depreciation
On top of this, you’re often stuck with these vehicles for long periods of time, restricting you from updating your fleet and moving on with the times.
What’s the solution? Leasing offers a more financially savvy way of operating your fleet.
The long and short of leasing is you trade the lump sum fees in favour of smaller controlled payments, but the benefits of this decision are where your ought to be focusing.
Here are a few upsides of leasing over buying:
- You can run a more free flowing & adaptable operation: without the responsibility of owning your vehicles, you can make short term commitments ideal for adapting to sudden situations or business developments on the fly.
- You can keep up-to-date by leasing the latest models: in light of the UK’s plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, your fleet should be looking to invest in EVs as a long term replacement — but this comes at a cost, something which can be subsided by leasing instead of buying.
Although you won’t technically own your fleet, leasing over buying offers a greater deal of freedom where you can adapt to change and navigate around a lot of restrictions.
However, be warned, you need to be able to trust your lease company and shake on agreeable terms. There are lots of companies happy to supply your vehicles (for example, take a look at the catalogue of companies at Auto Lease Compare) but not all of them will be aligned with your business needs.
So long as you do some research into the company your leasing from and feel comfortable working with them then you should be onto a winner.
Fleet efficiency encompasses more than your bottom line, along with saving money the changes you make should impact the whole company for the better.
From Dash Cams and fuel cards to staying adaptable by leasing instead of buying, use these tips to make your fleet more efficient — and shore up the future of your business.