As a small business owner with mobile workers on the road, you’ve probably invested a lot of money in your vehicles. But have you ever thought about exactly how much it costs to run them? This best practice guide shows you an overview of the vehicle running costs and how you can avoid these by driving few miles, being more careful on the road and avoiding unnecessary fines.
Vehicle Costs by Percentage
Average TCO, Athlon Car Lease, February 2011, 40% depreciation not displayed.
The table above shows how vehicle running costs are broken down by percentage. Predictably, petrol is the highest cost – and fuel prices continue to rise. Heavy traffic can mean more accidents and idling time. This, in turn, leads to higher insurance and maintenance payouts, not to mention disappointed customers. Add increasing taxes and vehicle depreciation to the mix, and you would be forgiven for thinking that vehicle running costs are beyond your control.
However, thankfully, this isn’t the case.
Whilst it’s impossible to control fuel prices, it is possible to reduce fuel consumption. Safe, responsible driving helps to keep maintenance costs in check. And, with less damage to your vehicles, insurance costs will be lower. By influencing the costs that are under your control, you can stay firmly in the driving seat when it comes to saving money.
How can you control vehicle running costs?
Drive fewer miles
By ensuring that you and your drivers take the quickest routes and cut unnecessary journeys, you can save fuel and minimise the wear and tear of your vehicles.
- Take the smartest routes
The latest navigation technologies with live traffic information will ensure that you and your drivers head straight to your customers without delays or confusion. Not only does this mean less mileage – but spending less time on the road means spending more time with your customers.
- Go straight to the customer
Do your drivers need to come into the office to pick up job information before they can go to the customer? Innovative fleet management technologies eliminate these unnecessary trips. Drivers receive job updates directly on their navigation device so they can head straight to the customer – saving unnecessary mileage.
- Know where your drivers are
Drive more carefully
If you and your drivers are more careful on the roads, you can protect your vehicles from unnecessary damage, save on insurance costs and even reduce fuel consumption.
- Know how your drivers are driving
Poor driving styles cost money. That’s why today’s leading navigation devices deliver real-time driver feedback, to encourage your drivers to improve their driving style instantly. This means less harsh breaking, cornering, accelerating and idling, saving fuel and minimising vehicle wear and tear. At the same time, less damage to the vehicle means less insurance costs.
- Promote proper vehicle maintenance
There are simple things you can do to save on fuel. For example, regular servicing maintains engine efficiency. Keeping tyres full inflated uses less fuel. And even removing roof racks when they aren’t needed helps; these add wind resistance which increases fuel consumption.
- Make your drivers ambassadors
Innovative fleet management technologies offer clear reports which detail driving behaviour, fuel usage, standstill time and more. With this information, you and your drivers can work together to help them make changes to their individual driving behaviour.
Avoid unnecessary fines
No one wants to pay our for something that could have been avoided. Today’s leading fleet management and navigation technologies help you to make sure you don’t pay any unnecessary costs.
- Stick to speed limits
With world-class navigation technology, you and your drivers can be alerted of mobile and fixed cameras and average speed check zones. So there’s no need for sudden braking – and no surprise speeding fines.
- Avoid tax fines
Today’s world-class fleet management systems capture reliable trip information and present it in easy-to-read reports. This helps you to improve your performance – and avoid unnecessary tax fines arising from non-compliance.
Control All Costs With One Solution
These techniques all contribute to lower vehicle running costs. They will help you to save fuel and minimise wear and tear. And, if your drivers receive real-time feedback on their driving behaviour, there will be less damage to your vehicles. As a result, insurance costs will be lower too. And a higher-quality vehicle will be worth more when it is sold – which means you won’t need to borrow as much money to buy a new one. Indirectly, this leads to less interest payments.
One simple solution makes all of this easy: TomTom fleet management. Easy to install and use, TomTom’s fleet management technology is helping over 20,000 businesses to reduce costs at all operational levels.