Proper Care of Company Vehicles Seen Saving Money Down the Road

by WOHe

Proper Care of Company Vehicles Seen Saving Money Down
the Road


Whether you have a fleet of trucks or only a couple of company
cars, vehicles that don’t receive proper, regular attention can put
an unnecessary strain on the finances of a kitchen/bath dealer or
distributor.

What follows are some tips to help economize:

  • Justify each company car. Is it really used for business, or is
    it a perk that you offer because you always have? Do you have your
    family vehicles tied in to your company?
     
  • Keep the vehicles in tip-top condition. A small expenditure
    here can save you big-time down the road. Many people do not
    realize the dramatic effects of proper maintenance. For example, a
    relatively small increase in fuel efficiency can lead to many
    thousands in savings over the long haul. If you drive 100,000 miles
    a year and spend $1.50 on average for fuel, a half mile per hour
    improvement in fuel efficiency leads to an annual savings of almost
    $2,000.
     
  • Keep a maintenance log in writing. You want a record of each
    vehicle and how it was taken care of. Regular tune-ups, preventive
    maintenance and proper care of the vehicle are all easier when a
    log is kept.
     
    Proper maintenance can also prevent costly accidents. The National
    Safety Council reports that the total annual cost of accidents and
    workplace injuries in the U.S. is more than $126 billion.
     
  • Comparison shop for insurance. Prices for the same coverage can
    vary significantly from company to company. You should get at least
    three different quotes. Call your state insurance department for
    ideas about companies and agents to contact. To find a listing for
    your state’s department, visit the National Association of
    Insurance Commissioners’ Web site at www.naic.org/splash.htm.

Also, check the financial ratings of insurance companies with
one of the major ratings services. The following provide free
information on the claims-paying ability ratings of companies:
Standard & Poor’s at www.standardpoor.com, (212) 208-1146; Duff
& Phelps Credit Rating Co. at www.dcrco.com, (212) 908-0200;
and Moody’s Investor Service at www.moodys.com, (212) 553-0300.

Ask for higher deductibles to lower costs. Deductibles represent
the amount of money you pay before your insurance company fulfills
a claim. By requesting higher deductibles on collision and
comprehensive (fire and theft) coverage, you can lower your
insurance costs substantially. For example, increasing your
deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and
comprehensive cost by 15% to 30%.
 

  • Consider specialty coverages. Adding supplemental insurance
    coverages like towing and labor or car rental reimbursement to your
    basic auto insurance policy may save you money. For example, for an
    average of $1 or $2 a month added to your auto insurance, you can
    purchase coverage that will pay for your rental car while your car
    is being repaired from an accident. If you have this or some other
    specialty insurance, be sure to remind your insurance company or
    agent when you file a claim.
     
    Two other coverages you may wish to consider: (1) Uninsured
    motorists (UM) coverage pays for your injuries if you’re struck by
    a hit-and-run driver or someone who doesn’t have auto insurance;
    (2) Underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage will pay out if the
    driver who hit you causes more damage than his or her liability
    coverage can cover. In some states, UM or UIM coverage will also
    pay for property damages. Given the prevalence of uninsured drivers
    nationally, this coverage is essential. On average, it costs less
    than $40 a year for $100,000 worth, and will make up for anything
    your medical insurance doesn’t cover.
     
  •  Examine leasing plans instead of an outright
    purchase.
     
  • Lease or purchase a “Low Profile, Low Maintenance” car. Cars
    that are expensive to repair, or that are favorite targets for
    thieves, are not the way to go.
     
  • Negotiate for free oil changes by the dealership when buying a
    new car. Consider that oil changes cost approximately $30 every
    3,000 miles. For a company car, that can even be once every six
    weeks. With free oil changes stipulated in a contract, you’ll save
    $270 a year… 

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