What does a business vehicle upgrade look like? A fresh lick of paint? Luxurious new upholstery?
The reality is that your top priority is creating maximal benefit for your business, whether through improved capabilities or decreased costs. Adding fancy features is great too, but that’s a secondary consideration.
What you really need instead is actionable advice from someone who’s been around the block. To that end, we’d like to introduce you to our impeccably practical Uncle John, who has kindly agreed to talk you through his no-nonsense approach to upgrading a business vehicle.
Uncle John’s No-Nonsense Tips for Cost-Effectively Upgrading a Car or Van
- “What you want is plenty of kilometers per litre”
In the long run, the cost of fuel often works out higher than the cost of buying a vehicle, so you should always be looking for a car that does kilometers galore per litre. Recent studies reveal that the average driver spends €60.500 on fuel in their lifetime, and €46.750 on buying cars.
The upshot here is to make sure you’re getting a good deal, by asking whoever you’re buying or leasing the car from what its KPL is.
- “Them electric and hybrid cars will serve you well”
Electric and hybrid cars are beneficial to more than just the environment. They can save you as much as €700 per vehicle per year on fuel and tax (that’s according to Go Ultra Low). For companies with eco-conscious customers, they’re also good public relations. If you’re getting an electric or hybrid car, find out what is known as its MPGe, which will tell you how much it costs to power. The cars themselves tend to cost a bit more, but you’ll save money over time. Or, you can save on fuel costs straightaway by leasing an electric vehicle instead.
- “Keep an eye on your spending”
It amazes me how businesses can spend a small fortune on vehicles, and then not keep tabs on what those vehicles are getting up to. A surer way to lose money I can hardly imagine.
My advice is to track the mileage and fuel consumption of each driver and vehicle, as this will help you spot which are most efficient. You can then politely inform less efficient drivers of where they are going wrong, and you’ll have a better idea of which vehicle models will be most cost-effective when the time comes to upgrade.
Another sure way to cut running costs is helping drivers with their route planning, whether that’s by looking up the best way to go on Google Maps before they set off, or by giving them a satnav to keep them on the straight and narrow.
Remember, every saving you make from upgrading a vehicle’s efficiency can go back into your business – which could mean acquiring better vehicles in future.
- “Have you thought about downsizing?”
Now I realise you’d probably prefer a great big car, but hear me out: choosing a smaller model could save you money, as the costs of maintenance, fuel and purchase will often be less.
The advantages are greater still if you can make do with a smaller engine. If yours is between 1-1.000 CC, you’ll pay as little as €199 a year in road tax – very reasonable compared to the €514 charge for 1501-1600 CC engines, or the €1809 slapped on engines between 3001 and 15.000 CC. You can find out the details at Motor Tax Online.
So, while you may feel a touch of begrudgery when you see a bigger van drive by with another company’s name on the side, you can take comfort in the fact it’ll often be your company that’s doing the better business.
- “There are cheaper ways to upgrade than to buy a new vehicle”
As we all know, buying a new car or van is a bit of a financial blow to take. It could be up there with premises and wages as one of your biggest costs for the year – and that’s no small undertaking if your business is fairly new, or if you’ve been around a bit longer and have lots of overheads to juggle.
A good way of avoiding this situation is to lease, rather than buy. After your lease runs out, you can upgrade the model without the need to pay the earth up-front.
Business car leasing from Sixt Leasing
Thanks very much to Uncle John for the sage advice. As we’ve seen, there are plenty of practical things we can do upgrade business vehicles more cost-effectively – from focusing on fuel economy to choosing a smaller model.
If you’re interested in exploring how you could save money through cheap car leasing (or a higher-initial-cost option that improves efficiency in the long-term), we’re here to help. Find out how car or van leasing from Sixt Leasing could help you cost-effectively upgrade your fleet.