If you’re just starting out with a new business, then chances are you need to get mobile. Commercial vehicles are the backbone of the economy and help companies to transport goods and services across the country. Yet, for a startup, such vehicles are also a big investment – with even used vans popular among SMEs selling for an average of £10,000.
Like premises and staffing costs, the purchase of a commercial vehicle needs to be carefully weighed up. Here are six things you need to know to help you make your choice:
Buy or lease?
You don’t have to buy a commercial vehicle outright, you could pay a monthly fee and lease a vehicle to cater for your business needs. There are pros and cons for both options, as this piece from Confused.com shows. Buying gets you better value and a physical asset, but leasing makes it easier to upgrade every few years and gives you the chance to sign up to a maintenance package.
Types of vehicle
It’s vital to choose the vehicle that best suits your needs. Company cars, vans and HGVs can all bring different benefits. Vans and HGVs come in a whole host of shapes and sizes and many have specialist facilities, such as the ability to control the temperature for perishable goods. You can – and should – be picky and get the right fit for your business.
You need to make sure that everyone who gets behind the wheel of your vehicles is properly insured to do so. Bear in mind too that the insurance costs – as well as the regulations you have to abide by – could be affected by what you’ll be carrying on board. Also, don’t lose sight of the need for all drivers to have the right licenses to be able to handle any larger vehicles they are required to drive.
Safety features are a big help
Commercial vehicles are, by their very nature, often larger in scale and difficult to manoeuvre. Adding reversing alarms and cameras – such as these from Brigade Electronics – can vastly reduce the risk involved, eliminate the tricky blind spot and make them much safer to drive.
Keep the vans running
Your vehicle will pay for itself, but only if it’s running. Every second your van or HGV is off the road is a waste. You’ll need to minimize this with a thorough and effective maintenance programme. Spotting problems at the earliest opportunity will reduce the bill for this. You can also cut the running costs by encouraging safe and efficient driving practices.
On a different note, don’t forget that your commercial vehicles can offer a good marketing opportunity. This is the clearest way to display your branding and a good opportunity to get your name and details in front of the eyes of passing motorists and pedestrians. Get this right with a strong design – and ensure you have your phone number, email and web addresses clearly displayed.