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Hermann Romanov
Hermann Romanov

How To Buy Fleet Vehicles


Taxi companies, utilities, police departments and other government agencies tend to keep vehicles in their fleets for several years, and they often have well over 100,000 miles before they get retired from active duty. Though they frequently come with beefed-up suspensions and other heavy-duty components, buying one of those vehicles is like giving a big contract to an aging professional athlete whose best years are long gone. They also come with a higher risk of major repairs down the road.




how to buy fleet vehicles



Moreover, rental companies often buy fleet vehicles and are the biggest source of 1- and 2-year-old used cars. Rental agencies generally sell their vehicles after a year or two (though they may hang on to them longer because of the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic).


There are a number of discounts exclusive to qualified fleets that offer savings from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars per unit. The typical qualifier is a total of 15 vehicles in a fleet or a one-time purchase of five or more vehicles. Once your company is assigned a fleet number by the automaker, you can use that number to purchase vehicles from any new car dealership that sells that brand.


First of all, you should keep in mind exactly what you will be hauling in the vehicle and how much space will be needed. Do any vehicles you purchase need to be equipped with shelving, ladder racks, or possibly toolboxes? How many people will normally operate and/or travel on the vehicles? This could dictate whether you need a regular cab, a crew cab, or an extended cab.


You should also consider whether or not your vehicles will need to be hauling a trailer, and if so how much weight will they be required to haul? You need to know whether or not your vehicle should be a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and whether you will drive the vehicle off-road so as to require a four-wheel-drive.


There are quite a few discounts available to registered fleets, and some of these discounts can provide you with savings of a few hundred dollars and even as much as $1,000 for each vehicle purchased. A standard qualifier would be something like 15 vehicles purchased for your fleet.


When an automaker assigns a fleet number to your business, you can use it to purchase vehicles from any company which happens to sell the brand of vehicles the automaker makes. This can result in tremendous savings when applied to purchasing a number of vehicles for a fleet.


You will often find that discounts on fleets and retail incentives are not really very compatible. However, there are occasions when some retail programs can offer much larger savings than the fleet program.


Regularly maintained. Companies that manage fleet vehicles are vigilant about strictly adhering to service schedules. This is not the case when you buy a car that was owned by an individual or family.


As for finding government vehicles for sale, GovPlanet lists thousands of used cars and trucks, from cruisers and sedans to vans and pickup trucks. Municibid lists passenger vehicles as well as trailers, parts and construction equipment. Since these sites are mostly auction-based, interested buyers will have to find local auctions or listings for live auctions through the site.


Fleet vehicles are cars owned and used by an organization, government agency, or any public utility. They are primarily used to transport cargo or people. The vehicles are the foundation for many businesses and range in type heavily from taxi cabs, rental cars, trucks, public buses, and much more.


More often than not, management of these cars falls directly under fleet manager, transport manager, and business owner responsibilities. They keep track of these vehicles through specialized software that streamlines communications or allows them to meet compliance regulations.


Before getting into how you can acquire these vehicles, you should consider the pros and cons of owning one. They are sourced from different companies or agencies, after all. Knowing how this affects the overall condition can be beneficial and save you from potentially unpleasant surprises.


Key things to think about when buying one include maintenance, vehicle history, and clean interior. Companies that manage fleet vehicles are strict about service schedules and will never skip an appointment. As a result, the buyers get a clean gunk-free car that will serve them for quite some time. Add a comprehensive vehicle history, and you get a used vehicle with readily available information to supplement your purchase decision.


The flipside, however, presents some challenges. Because businesses buy these vehicles en masse, they opt for base trim levels or models. This is terrible news for those who enjoy heated seats or a power liftgate. Additionally, you may encounter warranty-related problems. Most warranties last for three years or 36,000 miles, with some surviving five years or 60,000 miles. Companies use the cars as much as possible and sell them only when there are no other options. So, buyers should expect to come upon vehicles with a warranty that is about to expire.


You can do a couple of things to get your hands on a fleet vehicle. Auctions feature thousands of used rental and municipal cars that you can browse. You can bid online or attend auctions in person. Many brokers also offer to connect buyers with related services such as car financing, inspections, parts locating, etc.


If that is not your thing, then try out rental companies. They usually have a sales division and, if they do, give information about all available vehicles on their website. If you aim for government vehicles, visit related websites like GovPlanet or Municibid. They list different kinds of cars, from cruisers and sedans to vans and pickup trucks, and are auction-based.


Many major manufacturers offer fleet purchasing programs, including Ford, General Motors, and Nissan. Some makers refer buyers to local fleet specialists for details on their fleet programs, while others may post details of their fleet offers on their Web sites.


Some makers limit the types of vehicles that can be purchased in fleet-buying bargain deals. Shop around and compare offers before making a purchasing decision, weighing carefully the types of vehicles that will serve your company best.


Many companies lease their fleet vehicles instead of buying them. If you plan to do this, research lease offers in detail to make sure you understand how the leases work and what your options are when the leases are up. Some manufacturers offer assistance in reselling fleet vehicles after leases end, a valuable perk that can help keep your company from getting stuck with a garage full of older vehicles several years down the road.


Buying a fleet of vehicles for your business may sound exciting, but it comes with substantial expense. Besides the cost of buying or leasing the vehicles, consider how you will keep the autos running and in good repair. You'll probably need to either put an existing employee in charge of fleet operations or hire a fleet manager to take care of regular maintenance, cleaning, and repairs on your vehicles. Be sure to figure this into the cost of your fleet-acquisition project.


Weigh the cost of acquiring the vehicles through purchase or lease versus allowing employees to use rental cars if they drive more occasionally. You may also incur a cost for storing all of your vehicles in a secure location. The company will also need to insure all the vehicles to protect itself from accident liability that could otherwise wipe out the company's resources. Carefully evaluate whether your business truly has a volume of driving that justifies all the costs of having your own fleet.


On the plus side, having fleet cars on hand is a convenience for employees, who may consider it a perk to be able to pick up a car in the company lot instead of having to trudge down to a rental agency. Another positive: You can put your company logo on all the cars, creating a rolling advertising campaign that may help build your brand recognition and enable you to reach new customers. With employees driving identical models, the vehicles can help create an identity for your company in your key markets. 041b061a72


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