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Article 5 smart ways to reduce business vehicle costs (that you’re not already doing)

Running one vehicle is expensive. Running a number of vehicles for your business, the costs can quickly spiral out of control.

Which means you’re always on the lookout for ways that you can cut your costs without it negatively affecting your customers or drivers.

The good news is: for plumbers, bakers, laundry delivery drivers and everyone in between, there are opportunities out there to reduce vehicle costs and improve efficiency.

There’s the simple stuff like making sure your drivers avoid speeding, idling and hard braking—but then there’s some other less familiar ways to save.

They involve minimal risk, cost and effort, but can help reduce vehicle costs and give you an edge over the competition.

Here are five.

1. Fuel tracking and card integration

Fuel usage is the most significant vehicle cost you are likely to face, so reducing it is key. And using a fuel card is a great way to do this, as it allows you to accurately track every aspect of your vehicles’ fuel use: total distance, total liters and total cost.

This gives you maximum control and visibility over your fuel spend, like searching for specific transactions and criteria, and with this information you can reduce vehicle costs and identify areas for improvement. Which is particularly useful if one of your vehicles always seems to be using more fuel than the others, and you want to know if it’s the vehicle or the driver causing the issue.

2. GPS tracking and geofencing

GPS tracking means you can know where all your vehicles are at all times: are they doing any out of route of miles? Spending longer in one place than they should? Or making unexpected stops?

This information lets you highlight and address problem areas or issues with particular drivers. So if one of your plumbers always seems to take longer than their colleagues moving between stops, it’s easy to find out what’s going on, and correct the issue.

Geofencing allows you to go one step further, removing the need for you to monitor your vehicles personally. It lets you draw up geographical boundaries and set up automatic alerts whenever a vehicle leaves or enters these predetermined areas, so you’re alerted whenever there’s unexpected vehicle activity.

And knowing where all your vehicles are within a certain area has other advantages. If there’s an emergency callout that needs a plumber there ASAP, you can identify the nearest available driver and deal with their emergency faster.

3. Route optimization

Real-time updates can help drivers and managers identify accidents, traffic jams and bottlenecks, and re-route accordingly. The result is that managers can make sure drivers are always taking the most efficient route, saving time and money.

In fact, the most efficient route can often be recommended by the tool itself without the manager even getting involved. So you can make sure that bread gets delivered on time, every time, even if a pipe has ruptured on your regular route.

4. Incentivise better driving habits

As well as vehicle sensors, dash cams can also be installed to monitor behaviors like smoking and texting while driving, which means cheaper insurance premiums and a decreased likelihood of road accidents, dangerous behavior and resulting fines or tickets.

Identifying problem areas for specific drivers and rewarding them for measurable improvements can lead to better driving habits, and an altogether safer driving culture. Whatever the reason you’ve got wheels on the road, every business could benefit from a safer driving culture—one that will not only save money, but possibly lives too.

Whether that means not speeding and driving aggressively, or keeping tires at the right pressure and turning the engine off in traffic, encouraging drivers to make these improvements can reduce vehicle costs in the long term, while keeping drivers safer and happier.

5. Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance uses sensors in your vehicles to identify wear and tear and other problems before they become serious. This means you can proactively address issues, instead of waiting for them to come as a costly surprise.

This is particularly important if you operate in an industry which is time sensitive and where margins can be razor-thin, like medical supplies delivery. In this case, a vehicle breaking down isn’t just costly, it’s disastrous.

By using predictive maintenance, you avoid routine vehicle checks when there’s no problem or being blindsided by costly repairs when serious problems occur.

Optimizing your vehicles to improve safety and cut costs doesn’t need to be an expensive chore or a huge undertaking. Whether your business operates three vehicles or 40, reducing costs can be simple, straightforward and seriously valuable in the long-term.

For more information on how you can reduce vehicle costs check out Sprint Drive. For more of a deep dive on fleet management, check out our eBook right here