Valued at $811.29 billion in 2022, the commercial vehicle market is expected to balloon to over $1.2 trillion in size by 2026, according to Research and Markets. Business vehicles are more important than ever given the shifts toward agile practices and automation. If you’re looking to accelerate your company’s growth, purchasing a reliable business vehicle might just be the boost you need to reach new heights. But there’s more to choosing the right vehicle than buying from the top car companies. You need to look at a number of factors, from basic features and mobility to financing to branding and aesthetic appeal. Read on to find out how you can choose the right business vehicle that perfectly addresses your company’s needs.
Make and Model
The vehicle’s features are going to be your number one consideration. It won’t do to have a company vehicle that has insufficient storage capacity or gas mileage. Basic features like space and fuel economy are going to be tied to the vehicle’s make and model, as well as the individual trim level or how premium the vehicle is. Assess your company’s primary vehicle needs and look for feature sets that fit these needs. This will help you save money by not spending it on unnecessary improvements or gadgets. You can also save money by researching if there are cheaper third party alternatives. Upper trim level features or addons sold at the dealership tend to come at a steep premium, so you might be better served seeking these out elsewhere.
Other than features, however, researching the specific make and model is also important for determining whether it would be inconvenient to have it repaired. Certain vehicles’ components could have been discontinued by the original equipment manufacturer. This means that if it ever breaks down, that could be the end of the road for that vehicle. Worse yet, you might not even be able to sell it for a reasonable amount.
The Vehicle’s Resale Value
No car is going to last forever, and depending on the nature of your business, you may need to replace your vehicle sooner than most people would. If that’s the case, then you would want to ensure that you get as much from resale as possible. In this case, you’d want to look for brands that have a reputation for being serviceable long after they were driven out of the dealership for the first time. That way, even if you no longer have use of the vehicle, there’s a bigger customer base that could still make use of it.
To that end, it would be prudent to research resale going rates and trends for the vehicles you’re eyeing. A vehicle may be doing well in the market today, but it may also be projected to lose a lot of value in the future. You may also want to look into ways to reduce the depreciation rate of your vehicle.
Insurance Rates and Conditions
Commercial insurance plans are highly dependent on the vehicle’s characteristics. The most important factor is the overall value of the vehicle. The more expensive a vehicle is, the higher the premiums are. Based on certain conditions, you might also need to purchase an insurance plan that exceeds what you first intended. For example, if you intend to finance a car purchase, most lenders require you to get full or at least high-level coverage. Lenders would want their investments protected, after all. It may also be wise to refinance a car purchase to cover both the cost of the initial financing and the insurance coverage you’re required to get.
Based on the nature of your business, you might also need to pay for more coverage to avoid paying out of pocket in case something happens that your package doesn’t cover. How often you use your vehicle and for what purposes will also affect your rate. For example, if your business requires you to operate your vehicle for several hours a day or in strenuous conditions, that will drive up the overall cost of your insurance policy. To lower your insurance rate, look out for money-saving options such as multi-vehicle plans.
The Vehicle’s Traversal Capabilities
You should take account of all the roads and environments the vehicle is potentially going to be driving on. If you tend to visit clients in rural areas, you’re going to need a more rugged model, or at least modify the model of your choosing to negotiate rougher terrain. On the other hand, if you’re primarily going to be driving in a heavily crowded or congested metropolitan area, you’ll need to invest more into maneuverability.
Ensuring that the vehicle is equipped to traverse the environments you’re going to operate it in is essential to maximizing its longevity. It’s also essential to optimizing efficiency. Every second your vehicle and the employees in it spends stuck in mud or traffic is money going to waste.
Aesthetic Value to Your Brand Image
Everything a company owns or employs carries its brand image. Seeing as vehicles are such a big part of business these days, coupled with the cultural significance of cars, your company car is going to be one of the biggest drivers of your brand image. If you run a well-oiled operation, that’s only going to be accentuated by having a stellar company car. If it draws stares and it bears your logo, it’ll generate good PR wherever it goes. But be warned that a good-looking vehicle can have the opposite effect, however. If you have an impressive company car but the rest of your business is dysfunctional, that gives off the impression that you don’t have your priorities straight.
Observe all of these important factors, and you’ll have a solid and dependable business vehicle on your hands that will be good for more than just getting from A to B. A wise business owner looks to get the most use out of every investment, and a business vehicle is no exception to that rule.