5 tips for Starting a Small Business Fleet


Want to start a company fleet? Here's a brief summary of what you need to know about small business fleet leasing – including leasing options, costs, safety and operational considerations.. Whilst running your own fleet may appear to be a daunting option, by planning ahead and taking account of the key considerations, you can avoid many pitfalls.

Let’s take a look at what’s involved when starting a small business fleet.

1. Why start a small business fleet?

Starting a small business fleet does require hard work and plenty of research, but it can provide your business with many benefits. By taking your time and getting advice from professional providers, you will be able to assemble your own fleet, boosting the company’s brand image and reputation, attracting top employees, providing first-class customer service and boosting growth.

2. Small business fleet leasing options

When it comes to business fleet leasing options, Toyota Fleet Management (TFM) provides two options for small businesses:

Complete Lease – as the name implies, this bundles together all costs connected with leasing a vehicle, including servicing, registration, tyres and maintenance. If you wish, you could add in extras such as roadside assistance, fuel card and vehicle insurance. All you need to do is choose your vehicle, decide on term of lease and kilometre usage. You will then be provided with just one monthly payment.

Benefits include improved cash flow (no deposit), choice of lease term, predictable monthly payments, one monthly invoice (no matter how many vehicles) and in-depth reporting on the performance of your fleet vehicles. You can spend your time running your business rather than getting involved with vehicle management. Find out more about the TFM Complete Lease.

Maintained Chattel Mortgage - bringing with it some great tax benefits, this is an easy-to-use product. All you need to do is choose your vehicle, your deposit amount, loan term and kilometre usage. You then receive one monthly invoice with the option of adding in roadside assistance, a TFM fuel card and motor vehicle insurance.

Benefits include tax advantages in that GST, depreciation and interest charges may be claimed back and you may be able to offset the fuel input tax credit. The product provides a choice of loan terms, one set monthly payment (no matter how many vehicles) and in-depth reporting on the performance of your fleet vehicles. Find out more about the TFM Maintained Chattel Mortgage.

3.  5 Tips for small business fleet management

Manage your fleet efficiently and reduce spending by taking heed of our five tips for small business fleet management:

*Identify and stick with a reliable vehicle repair and maintenance company

Avoid vehicles being out of action for too long, disrepairs and causing accidents. Opt for a company that can handle vehicle mechanics and windscreens.

*Ensure that your employees drive safely and efficiently

Reckless driving uses more fuel, may incur fines and can impact upon the vehicle’s quality of care. Include a minimum vehicle care standard to ensure that the interior and exterior are kept in a clean presentable manner by drivers. We also suggest providing a safe-driver handbook.

*Store vehicle documentation digitally

Cut down on unnecessary paperwork and keep an easy-to-use vehicle database that can be accessed remotely. This is useful in case of an accident where drivers need to view insurance documents.

*Telematics mobile technology to monitor your fleet of vehicles

View and analyse driver behaviour and journey details with the help of technology like ForceField Telematics from Toyota Fleet Management. Where required, implement driver training and look at options for making all journeys more cost-effective.

*Choose vehicles wisely

Take into account, emissions, size, journey types, usual terrain.

4. Know the small business fleet laws

When operating a small business fleet, there are certain laws that both managers and drivers need to comply with. These include (but are not limited to) road safety laws, zero drink-driving, minimum vehicle standards and general Health & Safety regulations (as applied in the workplace).

It makes sense to create a detailed Driver Handbook to avoid misunderstanding or misuse by employees.

5. Small business fleet guidelines

What vehicles do you need?

The purpose of your fleet may determine whether a car or a van is more suitable. For example, different vehicle types may serve a specific task, make more suitable executive vehicles or provide an employee incentive. Whereas, vans are great for carrying equipment or making deliveries for your business. You may even wish to consider factoring in things like reliability or your company’s environmental policy (thereby opting for vehicles with low emissions).

TFM’s Fleet Advisory Service can help by providing you with a comprehensive range of options when it comes to decision making. Based upon your type of business, they will enable you to identify the most suitable vehicles to suit your needs, thereby maximising efficiency.

What’s better – lease or buy?

When considering leasing, it is sensible to look for providers with the best reputation. You may even wish to outsource your fleet management, avoiding the need to get involved with logistics, maintenance or servicing. Check out TFM’s Complete Lease and Maintained Chattel Mortgages product here.

Buying a fleet is more expensive so look at how much buying a vehicle will cost for the whole of its working life, taking into account fuel, depreciation, servicing and maintenance. Try and look for providers with the best reputation instead of focusing on the lowest leasing prices. You may even wish to outsource your fleet management, avoiding the need to get involved with logistics, maintenance or servicing. Check out TFM’s Complete Lease and Maintained Chattel Mortgages product here.

Keep your costs down

      Fuel – look at economy vehicles, track fuel use, ensure drivers use vehicles economically and keep tyre pressures inflated.  Consider fuel cards.

       Insurance  - research vehicles with the best insurance ratings. Fleet insurance policies tend to cost less than individual policies.

       Service, maintenance and repairs – if you are leasing, maintenance should be included.

       Tax – calculate the total amount that you will have to pay.

       Vehicle tracking software – should you opt to use this, factor in the cost of the software you choose, calculating the cost for the total number of vehicles you have in your fleet.

 

Summary 

If you are considering running your vehicles as a professional fleet for business but cannot afford to employ a fleet manager to assist, there are options available for you to outsource to a company like Toyota Fleet Management (TFM). TFM has a range of products and services, specifically developed with small businesses in mind. They employ small business experts who understand the challenges you face. This, in conjunction with their dealership network, means that the TFM small business team can help keep small business fleets running smoothly so that you can focus on company growth and success.

If your business has up to 20 vehicles then Toyota Fleet Management (TFM) can help to ease the load and save you time as well as money.

A message from Gavin Jackson. Head Of Sales - Toyota Fleet Management Australia:

“When small businesses engage with TFM, they have more time to focus on and grow their business. Let us support your fleet so that you can take care of your business in the way that it deserves. We have a large network of dealerships and a specialist in-house team who can support all of your vehicle needs. Not only will we ensure that the right vehicles are selected to suit your business but that they are “fit for purpose”; this is vitally important when it comes to meeting your business needs from an emissions, specifications, performance and economic standpoint.”

Should you require further information or if you would like to know more about TFM’s small business fleet services, do get in touch with Toyota Fleet Management Services today. Alternatively, we can be contacted on 1300 888 870.


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Disclaimer 

The information provided by Toyota Fleet Management, a division of Toyota Finance Australia Limited ABN 48 002 435 181, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 392536, is of a general nature and for your information only. Nothing in this article constitutes or should be considered to constitute legal, taxation or financial advice. Before making a decision about any product or service described, we recommend that you seek independent professional advice such as from your accountant, taxation or financial adviser or lawyer, who can advise you about your personal circumstances and what would be suitable for you

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