With travel restrictions being lifted recently, people have begun taking road trips, visiting their relatives and stepping out of their homes just for some fresh air. If you’ve decided to cater to those wanting to travel now, and are thinking of beginning your very own fleet business, you may want to take note of a few things that will help you get the best out of a major investment. Knowing the type of vehicle you need, the automotive lubricants they require, maintenance and upkeep costs and permissions you’ll need to get started are very important.
With that being said, here are some tips to select the right vehicles for your business.
- Identify your space:
Selecting the best fleet vehicle to start your travel business is the primary challenge. You need to first identify your space, i.e. interstate busses or mass transport services, intercity cabs or auto rickshaws. This is entirely based on your preferences and vision of scaling your business. Some individuals are comfortable with starting off with only one bus or a couple of taxis. Some individuals prefer making multiple investments in vehicles and begin tourism ventures.
It’s vital to identify a strategy and assess your business based on profitability and affordability. Once you’ve made up your mind, it’s your responsibility to get the business authorized under appropriate government laws.
- Identify the costs:
Purchasing a vehicle, or many, isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. You need to do your research and see what fits your capital investment and profit margins the best. From the costs of engine oil and fuel to paying your employees, everything needs to be accounted for.
Here are some of the pressure points:
- Are your fleet vehicles leased or purchased?
- Is delivering a luxurious experience more important or utility?
- Do the manufacturers of the cars matter?
It is relatively easy to answer these questions. Start with setting the ground rules for your business. What you think will work best in your city/state and then move ahead from there.
Identify factors such as roads, weather, terrain, possible closest and farthest commute locations, locations with most pedestrian presence at specific times of the year, etc. Look for fuel efficiency and vehicle type. More economical your vehicle is, the better overall cost savings you will incur.
- Efficient vehicles make for a lucrative business:
As stated above, the manufacturer you choose doesn’t bring as much value as your services do. With that in mind, it is best to choose a variety of vehicles depending on the scale of your fleet business. For example, It could be a combination of an SUV, MUV and a Sedan, or various permutations of these types.
This is where vehicle efficiency comes in.
- You need vehicles which are made for your services.
- You need to be up to date with the specifications and requirements of each vehicle.
- Buying the right engine oil, gear oil, transmission fluid and automotive greases for the right price is crucial.
- Keeping a careful watch on upkeep and maintenance schedules is a large contributor to better fleet management and service.
- Pick value and quality over quantity:
Ensuring that the vehicles you choose belong to the same maintenance ecosystem is always a plus. Essentially, having 3 vehicles that run on diesel and 1 runs on petrol means you’ll be dividing up costs and micromanaging your fleet too often. While this process is easier for bigger companies and government run public transport services, it is difficult to engage in maintenance often for younger businesses. It’s also good to keep in mind the capital you’re investing. Financial aspects such as taxations, resale, damage repair costs and new purchases can affect your overall quality if you lose sight of it.
Easy to maintain fleets perform better since there is a consistency in the monthly, quarterly and annual maintenance, this gives you a higher customer satisfaction score. Hiring trustworthy and reliable drivers as employees is a value added benefit to your business. This also ensures accident free drives and therefore increases turnover.
Even after you’ve taken all the above points into consideration, you may face unprecedented challenges and financial ups and downs. The best way to envision your fleet service is to have the end goal of getting the best value out of your vehicles. This requires adequate research and a sound knowledge of vehicles, their inner workings and a certain business savvy attitude.