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5 Ways to Save Money on Fleet Maintenance

Fleets are an ongoing cost for a business that can quickly get out of hand when there are no established processes. To keep fleet maintenance costs to a minimum, we’ve put together 5 tips to assist you in managing fleet costs effectively.

What are the ongoing costs of fleet management?

There are 2 types of ongoing expenses – fixed and variable. Fixed costs stay roughly the same over time, whereas variable costs can change significantly from month to month. When considering the cost of fleet maintenance, you should account for the following:

Fixed costs

  • Insurance and registration costs 
  • Loan repayments or monthly lease payments 
  • Administration costs
  • Depreciation
  • Taxes 

Variable costs

  • Fuel 
  • Ongoing maintenance and regular services
  • Repairs 
  • Tolls 
  • Parking

1. Calculate and Compare Costs

To keep fleet costs under control, you must calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO). Cost analysis gives you an accurate picture of how much you can expect to spend on fleet maintenance, set appropriate budgets and allocate funds for specific maintenance requirements.

To calculate the TCO, start by separating fixed and variable costs. Calculate fixed costs ahead of time and track ongoing variable costs to see where money is going and budget appropriately.

Use spreadsheets or tracking software to see how much each expense accounts for. Once tracking is underway, you can assess cost averages and ensure that specific costs aren’t out of control.

2. Use one fleet management software

Businesses often overlook fleet administration when looking to reduce costs. However, effective administration practices can save time and money. Rather than having different platforms for administrative needs, consolidate everything onto one platform.

Having one fleet management software allows you to see the overall performance of your fleet at a glance and see where costs are higher than they should be. This information helps you to make adjustments to your fleet and reduce overall costs where possible.

Consolidating administration tasks into one software means different departments can share resources and communicate more efficiently. Effective communication means there are fewer overlapping tasks, and people spend less time trying to find information.

3. Train drivers in fuel efficiency practices and smart fuel use

Fuel costs can take up a significant part of any budget. Employing fuel-saving techniques and smart fuel use can help to reduce fuel costs. Training your drivers in fuel-efficient techniques can save up to 25% in fuel costs. 

Fuel efficient techniques include: 

  • Maintain a consistent speed. Tests have shown that changing your speed from 75 – 85 km/hr every 16 seconds can increase fuel usage by 20%. 
  • Accelerate and decelerate gently. The faster you accelerate or decelerate, the more fuel you use.
  • Avoid idling. Turn a vehicle off when stopped for more than 60 seconds when not in traffic. An average car uses a cup of fuel for every 10 minutes it is idle.

4. Replace old parts and vehicles

Improve the efficiency of your fleet’s vehicles by swapping out old parts for new ones. While there are upfront costs, the increased efficiency can save you money in the long run.

Vehicles continue to depreciate, and older vehicles need more frequent repairs. Rather than continuing to repair it and spending more money on it than it is worth, replace older vehicles while they still have a decent resale value.

5. Create a maintenance schedule

Evaluate the cost of different maintenance options and create a maintenance schedule for your fleet.

Fleet maintenance can be done in-house or outsourced. Depending on your situation and the required maintenance, one option may be more cost-effective than the other. When assessing maintenance requirements for your fleet, calculate the ongoing maintenance cost of each option and choose the one that makes sense for you. If outsourcing maintenance, ensure that you trust the technician to produce high-quality work. Highly skilled technicians produce better work that will save you money in the long run.

Create a fleet maintenance program and checklist to ensure you don’t miss the required maintenance. Regular maintenance can reduce future unforeseen costs and keep vehicles on the road for longer.