Without a fleet replacement strategy, your fleet vehicle replacements are likely based on guesswork and assumptions. This is not beneficial to your business, and it does not help you manage your fleet properly. Having an appropriately planned and researched fleet replacement strategy will help you manage budgets and keep your drivers safe and happy.
Benefits of a fleet replacement strategy
Evaluate when each vehicle in your fleet is ready for replacement
When you have a proper and thought-out fleet replacement strategy, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate when each vehicle in your fleet needs to be replaced. A replacement strategy removes any guessing work, which can cost your business money.
A strategy prevents paying out for continuous breakdowns and maintenance costs
If you don’t replace your fleet vehicles when needed, you will notice that the vehicles are less efficient and have higher fuel and maintenance costs. By replacing your fleet at the right time, you’ll reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and minimise repair and maintenance costs.
- Drivers like knowing they will always have a fully working and reliable vehicle
Keeping your drivers happy is key to staff retention. If they know that they will be well looked after and have a predictable fleet rotation, they are more likely to be loyal to your business, which means good drivers will stay with you longer and less money is spent recruiting.
- Reduces risk, fuel costs and improves safety
Vehicle replacements lead to savings on fuel and help to improve safety. Most newer vehicles are more energy-efficient (especially if you have electric vehicles) and offer more advanced safety features such as parking cameras, vehicles sensors and automatic emergency braking to prevent accidents and reduce your driver’s risk as well as fleet insurance.
What your fleet replacement strategy should include
When it comes to creating your fleet replacement strategy, there are many things to consider. Each fleet is different, so you need to look at all existing data you have on your fleet in order to work out the best solution for you, so you know when exactly it’s time to replace the vehicles in your fleet.
Mileage or age
One option to consider when replacing your fleet is tracking the mileage or age. Depending on the amount of mileage your fleet does, you may find that replacing your fleet after so many miles work better for your business. Or, if you happen to do less mileage overall, you may find that after so many years works better for you.
If you lease your vehicles rather than own them, you will probably base this decision on age rather than mileage, although you may also want to track how many miles your drivers do in their vehicles to decide on the best fleet cycle for you. You may notice after 100,000 miles your fleet costs more in repairs and maintenance, which means it is time to replace them.
When vehicles reach or exceed a threshold amount
You could also choose to replace vehicles when they have reached a maintenance or repair cost threshold amount. A threshold may seem like a simplified process as some vehicles experience more issues than others. If you track all the data of your vehicles, you will be able to identify if you are over-paying and whether it’s worth replacing them.
Look at the economic lifecycle analysis
An economic lifestyle analysis can indicate the total ownership and operating cost for each vehicle throughout the time of ownership. You can use this information to estimate when the right time is to replace the fleet based on the cost to operate the vehicle.
When replacing your fleet vehicles it’s not just about looking at when you replace your vehicles, but what you replace your vehicles with. As electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more advanced and with the phasing out of the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles coming into place in 2030, it may be worth researching which electric vehicles are right for your fleet. There are plenty of benefits of switching to electric, from cheaper maintenance and running costs. Although there is a higher upfront cost, they can work out more cost-effective in the long run.
There are lots of things to consider when creating a fleet replacement strategy. The main aim is to keep your fleet safe, your costs down and your fleet working efficiently. Collecting and reviewing fleet data will help you to make decisions on vehicles replacement, and the type of vehicle you need for your fleet going forward.
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