You’ve come to the realization that your business needs a fleet – now what? The next step is deciding if you should lease through a dealership or use a fleet management service. But how to decide? We’ve compiled a list of the benefits of using a fleet management company to help make that decision just a little easier.
Variety of vehicle models and brands
When you work with a fleet management company (FMC), there’s no need for brand loyalty or model limits. If your fleet needs span across vehicle types, an FMC can easily supply you with a range of vehicles to suit your needs as they have volume purchasing power. This means you can lower your company vehicle acquisition cost. And an FMC isn’t limited by geographic demand, meaning you can plan for and outfit your local, state-wide, or national fleet seamlessly.
Customization of vehicles allowed
On a related note, you can also customize your range of vehicles. Not only can you easily organize customizations for your entire fleet with an FMC, you can also make multiple customizations that require slight differences in vehicles. For example, you could create one set of customizations to suit what is needed for one group of technicians, and another set with the same features, plus small variances, and so on.
Partner as opposed to commodity relationship
Working with an FMC means having a partnership as opposed to the more transactional relationship you often get with leasing from a dealership. In fact, FMCs are more stable than dealers. When leasing from a dealer, you might have a new or rotating point of contact each time, much like you would get with any other retail experience. What you need is a single point of contact – someone who knows your company and its needs intimately, someone who is invested in your success. At Union Leasing, for example, we like to think of ourselves as partners. Using an FMC is like having an experienced and skilled fleet manager on your team, whenever you need one.
Services offered to help manage
In addition to being a team member, an FMC offers numerous services that you can set up and use at your discretion, depending on the kind of reporting you’re looking to do and the level of assistance you need. Need to convince your management team that your business should lease a fleet? Need to compile your fleet expense reports? Need to track driver habits, fuel consumption, and maintenance schedules? An FMC has your back. From roadside assistance to fuel management plans to personal driving policies to driver safety training and insurance options, the offerings and assistance you can get from your FMC are simply unmatched by any dealer.
Different lease types available
Lastly, an FMC can offer you a choice of leasing options. You can choose the “consumer/dealer lease” options or the “fleet lease” options. A consumer lease is written through a dealer and financed by a bank that’s usually associated with the dealer vehicle manufacturer. The term of the lease is typically two to four years; mileage is capped around 10,000-15,000 miles per year and you are liable for excessive wear and tear.
Fleet leases come in either open- or closed-end options. A closed-end fleet lease is much like a consumer lease in that it has stricter parameters. An open-end lease opens after just 12 months of service and shifts responsibility onto the person leasing. The vehicle's market value at the end of the term is determined all on how the lessee maintained it, and there are no limits to mileage or wear and tear.
Using an FMC for your company’s fleet needs is a great choice. It can save you money, time, stress, and resources. Using an FMC means having a trusted advisor right at your fingertips, or the other end of the phone, whenever you need. Running a business is hard; so is managing a fleet. Deciding to use the option that best suits your needs and offers the best customer service makes those things easier.