When it comes to buying and selling fleet vehicles, timing is everything. You don't want to buy too soon and you don't want to wait too long. In this blog post, we will discuss the fleet vehicle lifecycle and when you should buy and sell your vehicles. We will also provide five ways to help you determine when it's time for a new purchase.
The average lifespan of a fleet vehicle is usually between three and five years, depending on the make and model. During that time, the vehicle's value depreciates steadily—so if you wait too long to sell, you won't get as much money for it. On the other hand, if you buy too soon, you'll end up paying more than necessary for a lower-value vehicle. To maximize your budget and ensure that your fleet operates smoothly all year round, it's important to stay aware of your current fleet's age and condition—as well as the age of any potential new purchases.
Five Ways to Help You Determine When It's Time for a New Purchase
1. Mileage Matters: If your fleet vehicles are accumulating a lot of mileage in a short period of time—for example, 15k miles in six months—you'll have to think about replacing your fleet more frequently. High mileage can lead to mechanical problems down the line so it’s important to be proactive in tracking and replacing aging vehicles before they become unreliable or cause safety issues on the roads. Plus newer vehicles include enhanced safety features, reliability, and an overall improved driving experience.
2. Maintenance Costs and Downtime: As with any machine with lots of moving parts, regular maintenance is necessary if you want your fleet vehicles running at their best all year round. But those costs can start adding up quickly. You can't just think about the cost of the maintenance itself but the opportunity cost of the downtime. Every day your vehicles aren't on the road is a day you're losing money.
3. "I'm calling because your extended warranty is about to expire": It's not funny....expired warranties are just unplanned expenses. All cars come with manufacturer warranties but those warranties eventually expire after a certain amount of time or mileage has been reached on that particular car or truck. If one (or more) of your vehicles' warranties have expired (or are about to expire) it could lead to some expensive unplanned expenses.
4. Resale Value Should Be Considered: This only matters if you're looking to purchase your vehicle fleet. This isn't even a conversation if you're leasing. You're going to want to consider researching resale values! When your vans are 5 years old you're likely going to need to replace them or risk repair costs and downtime. Knowing how much money each model will fetch once its life cycle comes full circle can help inform your decision-making process significantly.
5. Pay Attention To Technology Updates: Technology advances rapidly these days—especially when it comes to vehicles! If your vans have tapedecks or cd players in them it might be worth investing in some newer models sooner rather than later. Your passengers and drivers expect to have access to modern technology like backup cameras and active cruise control while on the road.
Staying ahead of the curve when it comes to buying and selling fleet vehicles is essential if you want them running at peak performance all year round. By staying aware of their age and condition — as well as any potential technological updates —you can ensure that you'll always get maximum value out of each purchase while also avoiding costly repairs down the line. With these five tips in mind, you should have no problem determining whether now is the right time for a new purchase or not. Good luck.
At Zeeba, we understand that fleet vehicle life cycles can be tricky to manage and stressful to keep up with. You can do it yourself with the guidance above, but it can also be a lot to manage. That is why we suggest leasing your fleet as a cost-effective and hassle-free alternative. Stop thinking about your fleet lifecycle and start growing your business.