Society and the market are shifting in unprecedented ways, and businesses are working hard to adapt. Solutions include starting and revamping websites, offering delivery, teleconferencing, and allowing employees to work remotely. As companies move online, remote shopping and deliveries are booming. For that reason, there’s never been a better time to purchase or lease fleet vehicles for your business.
If this is all new to you, we have your back! Here are eight handy tips about how to buy fleet cars.
Buy Fleet Cars From Fleet Dealers
When you buy supplies, do you go to Walmart, or do you buy your supplies from bulk retailers that cater to businesses? Most any operation with more than a couple of staff members naturally shops at business supply stores. Why should purchasing fleet vehicles be any different? Working with a fleet vehicle dealer is the way to go. You can get special business pricing and they understand your needs better than the average consumer dealership can.
Know What You Need
Going into a car dealership without a good idea of what vehicle you need is a recipe for disaster. It’s a great way for dealers to overtake the decision-making process and push you into a purchase you don’t want to make. To avoid this, do plenty of research before going to buy. Consider factors like looks and mileage, but most importantly, be sure of how functional the vehicle is for its intended purpose. A small hybrid may be appealing, but will it fit the cargo or passengers you need to transport?
What’s for You: New or Used?
Once you know what kind of fleet vehicle you want to buy, consider whether you want to buy the car or cars new or used. There are pros and cons to both options, so here’s some more information to chew on.
Buying New Fleet Vehicles
- New cars are generally more reliable
- It’s easier to find replacement parts for new vehicles
- There may be manufacturer warranties available
- If new technology is important to you, vehicle features are up-to-date
- Insurance is often less expensive due to improved safety tech
- Your purchase is more than likely covered by lemon laws
- New fleet vehicles cost more
- Parts for newer, automatic cars with computer integration can get expensive
- A new car may be more appealing to thieves
Buying Used Fleet Vehicles
- Used fleet cars are less expensive
- An older car won’t attract as many robbers
- Parts may be less expensive
- You can still get a dealership or other warranty
- Sometimes, dealers sell used cars that have hidden mechanical issues
- Your purchase may not be covered by lemon laws
- Safety features and other technology don’t equal those available in new models
- Older fleet cars might not look as professional unless you put inexpensive work
Check the Price Against the Invoice
It’s popular for car buyers to check dealership prices against the vehicles’ list prices, but a better way to judge how good of a deal you’re getting is to see how the dealership’s price measures up to what they were charged when they bought the car from the manufacturer. Ask your auto dealer for the invoice!
Forget About Dealer Fees
Even the nicest and most helpful auto dealers are likely to try and squeeze every dollar they can from you. To be clear, that’s no insult. Dealerships are businesses too and have to make a profit. However, dealer fees are extra charges added to your bill that add to their already generous profit. When you buy or lease a fleet car, they’ve already marked it up and charged for other services. It makes sense for dealers to look out for their best interests, but you need to look out for yours, too. So, it can’t hurt to try and negotiate that pesky dealer fee away. Some dealers will take it off, but only if you push for it!
Warranties are Guarantees
Nobody likes buying something only for it to fall apart shortly after. When the thing is a car, not only is it frustrating to lack a vehicle and a potential hit to the budget, but it can also be dangerous! Luckily, every state in the USA has a kind of “lemon law” to protect buyers from auto purchases gone wrong. However, they have their limits—for example, many only apply to new cars. So, give yourself a safety net by making sure your fleet car purchase is covered with a solid warranty. Don’t forget to read the fine print!
Plan Your Financing
Once you’ve figured out how much you’ll pay for the car and associated costs, it’s time to figure out how to cover the balance. If you can simply purchase your fleet vehicles, that’s the way to go—You won’t have to worry about interest accruing. For many businesses, though, leasing is the only option. To get the best deal, it’s helpful to make an arrangement with your bank before heading to the dealership.
Be Prepared to Maintain
Vehicle maintenance is a fact of life, and when your business owns a fleet of cars, it’s not always possible to go to the mechanic when a vehicle has a problem. Luckily, setting up a garage for basic maintenance doesn’t have to be hard. Buying a used diesel air compressor and other secondhand tools is an easy way to keep costs down while ensuring you’re prepared to handle maintenance and simple problems.
Manage Fleet Vehicles With an Expanded Skill Set
Once you purchase your fleet vehicles, if you’re not sure about what kind of maintenance you need to do or how to do it, you don’t need to worry. We have all of the tips you need right here on our blog. With enough studying, you might not need to see a mechanic for a long, long time!