When you are looking to purchase a vehicle for your business, think about all of those things and then throw them out the window!
The fact of the matter is that buying a car for your company should be night and day from how you personally buy vehicles. Nine times out of ten when we buy a car for ourselves we rely heavily on emotion, however, if you do this for your business you will end up spending money that you need not. Instead, focus your decision around four key areas: fuel economy, safety, budget and image.
When gas prices sky rocket this is usually the first thing that we think about. However, even with gas prices being relatively low, you still need to think about maximizing your fuel economy. Even if your vehicles require the carrying of a lot of equipment, you may be able to find a vehicle with a smaller engine or cargo area that will still satisfy your needs. We call this “right sizing” with our customers and it means finding a vehicle with the maximum fuel economy that will still meet your needs.
Obviously we want our employees to remain safe but what steps are you taking to ensuring this on the road? Is the vehicle you purchase ensuring their safety? For us, being in the Midwest, this often means finding a vehicle that can handle the brutal winter roads. This could also mean purchasing some extra safety features that may not come on the showroom floor model.
We often hear from clients that they want to buy the cheapest car they can find to meet their needs. This is all well and good but what will the upkeep, insurance and fuel costs be with that cheap vehicle? Often times people will spend more down the road (pun intended!) because they tried to save money upfront. Also, few fleet managers consider what the resale value of the vehicle they buy will be but this is direct money in or not in your hands! The key is finding a vehicle that will be the best value in the long run, not the lowest sticker price.
This is where things get fun. What do you want your vehicles to say about your company when your employees pull in to meet a client? Do you want them to say that you are environmentally conscious, a high-end service provider or blue-collar worker? Every vehicle tells a story so it is important to know what you want that story to be and then figure out what vehicle will tell that story. Whether it is what model of vehicle your employees drive or a high-end graphics package, the look of your vehicle can be very important.
So, forget everything that you know about buying a vehicle and focus on these four criteria. When you do you will find a vehicle that is the best value for you today and down the road.