Have Wheels, Will Travel: Choosing the Right Commercial Vehicle

Selecting the proper vehicle for your commercial needs will make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of service you can provide, as well as the costs you’ll incur providing those services. A suitably robust automobile will be more reliable and represent your company well as it moves about your area. One of the least expensive forms of advertising, choosing the right commercial vehicle makes a definitive statement about your business, even as it helps you conduct it.

Here are the considerations you must make to do so.

Needs Served

As obvious as it sounds, this thought should guide most purchases, and yet some people only think of it when the vehicle they acquired fails to meet the task. It’s equally important to ensure you buy just enough automobile for the duties it will perform. A 20-ft panel truck is way overkill for delivering flowers. So start by asking what your employees need to do their jobs. Perhaps they need to bring a lot of tools, parts and other equipment to the job site, or maybe all they do is transport passengers from point A to point B. Whatever it is, your choice will play a determining role in the car or truck’s ability to perform your needs efficiently.

Fuel Efficiency

If you’re looking at many hundreds of thousands of miles of travel, fuel efficiency is even more of a factor. Fuel costs can quickly spiral out of control if you equip your commercial vehicle with more engine than it really needs to be effective. With that said, you want your choice to be powerful enough to handle peak requirements, while conserving fuel remains one of the key aspects on its list of attributes. Miles traveled can also have an effect on your commercial auto insurance rates.

Visibility Factor

If you own a plumbing company, a pest control enterprise or some other type of business in which your commercial vehicle is likely to be parked in a residential area with your name emblazoned upon it, you want the most modern vehicle you can afford. You should also make every effort to keep it as clean as possible. Potential clients judge your professionalism by the appearance of your auto. A termite control company in the San Francisco Bay Area, positioning itself as being eco-friendly, uses the Toyota Prius for consultation visits to convey its image.

Uniform Appearance

If you need more than one vehicle, it’s a good idea to purchase all in the same make, model and color. When people see them around town painted in your livery, your company looks more consistent. This also makes maintenance easier. If you have a large fleet and conduct repairs in-house, your service team will need only be familiar with one type of automobile. This strategy has served Southwest airlines very well with its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

Used vs. New

While acquisition costs are definitely lower for used, buying new will save you money on repairs over the lifetime of the vehicles. You’ll be getting known quantities with warranties should something go wrong. This can be an important consideration. With that said, a well-chosen used model can serve you quite admirably and many have robust records of reliability. If you decide to go this route, make sure your choice enjoys a reputation for trouble-free operation.

Serving as rolling advertisements — even as they transport your people and equipment to job sites and etc — your vehicles are considered a direct reflection of your values as a business owner. Choosing the right commercial

vehicle has many other benefits for your company as well.