Cutting Costs: How to Save Money on Business Vehicle Expenses

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Many professionals have to use a vehicle for business purposes, for example, anyone who has to go visit clients at their home, or travel to different locations to do their work. If you work as an employee for a company, you may be provided a company vehicle and a card to use for your vehicle expenses. If you’re a business owner or an independent contractor, there are a few different ways you can save on business vehicle expenses.

Be practical

When choosing a vehicle, think about what it’s going to be used for. If you’re going to have to haul equipment or tools, you may want to buy a truck or van to use. If you’re a professional who has to go visit clients in their home, you may want to buy a nicer car so you can make a good impression on your clients. Also, think about the bells and whistles that are important – all those bells and whistles can add up, so only get the ones that are really important to you.

Consider leasing a vehicle instead of buying

If you lease a vehicle, you might be able to afford a much better quality vehicle than you would if you bought it outright. Monthly payments are different from one lease company to another, so it’s good to shop around.

Shop around for insurance

Business vehicle insurance costs a lot more than regular car insurance. However, if you’re willing to shop around, you can find some good deals. If you want to get several quotes at once, you can use comparison shopping sites to do that.

Make preventative repairs

If you’ve ever worked with industrial machinery, you know how important it is to do routine maintenance to it.  The same is true for business vehicles. It’s easy to ignore signs of damage because you’re probably busy with other business concerns. However, this can lead to more damage to your business vehicle. That means you’ll need more costly repairs later.

When you do have to make repairs, look for a good repair shop that also charges a fair price. If you bought your vehicle directly from a car lot, the place you bought your car from may end up being the best place to go to get repairs and routine maintenance taken care of. If you have a problem with a specific part of your vehicle, you may need to see a specialist that works only on that part, such as if you need to repair or replace your windshield.

Enforce rules for employees

If employees also drive the vehicle, or if you have several vehicles other employees drive, make sure they know the policies and procedures that you lay down to help save on costs. For example, can they eat in the vehicle? Do you want them to take certain routes to avoid traffic jams? If you can, check vehicles regularly to make sure your employees are following the rules about usage.

It’s also a good idea to have your policies and procedures on the company vehicle in the form of a contract and have all employees sign it. It should not only list the policies and procedures but also the consequences of what can happen if they’re violated.

Keep an accurate record of driving expenses

All driving expenses can be deducted on your taxes. This is great for business owners. However, it also means that you and your employees need to keep accurate records of your expenses. These include repairs, routine maintenance, gas, and mileage. Be sure to save receipts, and if you track your mileage, keep a logbook or use a mileage tracking app.

These are just a few things you can do to save money on business vehicle expenses. As your business grows, you may have to buy additional vehicles, which will mean more expenses. No matter how big your business gets, these same tips will always apply.

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Adam Tanton

Adam is a partner in B2BNN with over 15 years experience in the enterprise technology field.