Telematics Guides | Systems for fleet maintenance costs

Fleet Maintenance: Best Systems to Reduce Costs

Cost analysis is the biggest part of fleet maintenance. Using software is the easiest way to find areas of fleet maintenance costs to cut down on. Read on to find the best systems and tips to reduce your costs.

Fleet maintenance vehicles and trucks parked in a large car park

Managing a working vehicle fleet comes with many tasks. For a small business, one of the most important is keeping on top of your fleet maintenance costs, as failing to do so could lead your business to leak cash unnecessarily.

Best fleet maintenance options for UK businesses

Your best options are the Kinesis Pro, Agile Fleet and Samsara. All of these options give you in-depth reports and guidance. Using data from these systems, you can easily find areas to reduce costs and improve driver performance. Compare the best fleet maintenance systems to lower your costs now.

Best system to reduce cost of fleet maintenance: Kinesis Pro

  • Cost: contact for a quote
  • Features: advanced, eight optional extras
  • Maintenance: vehicle diagnostics and in-depth driver reports

Kinesis Pro is an advanced fleet control system that’s highly customisable. The core features give you some of the best control over your fleet any system can offer. This system will give you lots of data. With the right data, you can make the right choices for fleet maintenance cost reduction.

One of the most important parts of this system is the vehicle diagnostics reports. Long story short, Kinesis uses CANCliQ technology. There’s no wires and no fuss involved. You get all the data you need to know if your vehicles are up to snuff.

Reports include a vast wealth of information like oil pressure, fault codes and more. There’s so much data in these reports we highly recommend using the custom report option and just selecting what you need to see! Check on your vehicles and make sure they’re in top condition.

If your drivers aren’t on the top of their game, you will end up losing money. Get a driver report breakdown and see exactly how well each driver is performing. Kinesis shows their journey history, fuel usage, and any bad habits like speeding, idling and harsh braking.

Best for fleet monitoring features: Samsara

  • Cost: contact for a quote
  • Features: advanced monitoring
  • Maintenance: vehicle diagnostics, driver reports

Samsara works best as a fleet monitoring system but does have some good maintenance features. Samsara can help to optimise costs in several ways. Like Kinesis Pro, it includes a detailed vehicles diagnostics report.

Check into the online portal and you’ll soon find the maintenance status of each vehicle. This includes any fault codes, misfires detected and low batteries.

If fuel efficiency is your number one maintenance concern, Samsara is one of the top choices. The fuel reports show you the fuel efficiency for each driver and their estimated costs. Alongside the route optimisation and coaching tools for drivers, Samsara can easily be used to get your fuel costs down.

The one downside is that the fuel costs are estimated. Using Kinesis Pro with integrated fuel cards may have higher accuracy to calculate how to save on fuel.

Do I need maintenance software?

If you have a fleet, you need fleet maintenance software to make sure your vehicles and drivers are within budget. The software helps you keep an eye on major costs and to reign in any expenses including vehicle repair costs and fuel spending.

Fleet maintenance worker replacing tyres on a fleet vehicle on a work site

10 Ways to reduce fleet maintenance costs

Software is the first major tool to get to reduce the cost of fleet maintenance, but there are other things you can do to pull your costs down further. Read on to see some of our top tips.

1. Optimise your fuel usage with the best routes

Fleet maintenance cost per mile goes up overtime as your vehicles undergo more wear and tear. Reducing the number and length of your routes is one of the best ways to limit your costs overtime. But it also helps to lower your fuel costs right now.

Optimising your fuel routes doesn’t take long when you use a fuel card. These cards have an online account to show you your nearest stations. If drivers need to fill up on the go, get them to the nearest station on the route so they don’t have to go all round the houses.

2. Out with the old and in with the new vehicles

Olver vehicles have higher maintenance costs. Replacing old vehicles can save you money in the long run but buying new good quality vehicles isn’t cheap.

To reduce the cost of fleet maintenance without blowing your budget, look no further than business vehicle hire. Short and longer term contract options are available. Fleets may want to consider shorter contracts to stay agile or take a longer contract to ensure they have a vehicle when they need it most.

3. Track driver performance

Your drivers are also a key part of your fleet maintenance, as they’re the ones who drive your vehicles and cause wear and tear.

This is why you need to review their driving standards regularly. If you don’t, you risk the costs of lower driving standards. That can spell disaster for your bank account.

Maintain driving standards you demand of your drivers by investing in a fleet telematics system. This is vehicle tracking software that records data about driver behaviour. This includes how fast they drive, how hard they brake, and a range of other information that impacts on your cars, vans and lorries.

4. Cut your fleet down

It’s an obvious one but true. The fewer vehicles you have, the fewer costs you have to worry about. You might think all your vehicles are adding value to your business, but it’s well worth checking your fleet management system to confirm.

Go into your reports and see which vehicles you’re using the least. Would it be better to remove that vehicle and adjust your journeys?

5. Compare fleet insurance options

Insurance is one cost that can’t be avoided. But it can be cut down. The best way to reduce fleet insurance costs it to compare insurance providers.

In general, a basic level of coverage will be cheaper than fully comprehensive. However, it’s worth weighing up the costs and thinking about if a higher level of insurance would suit you better.

Whether you go for basic or comprehensive cover, every fleet can benefit from a Named Driver policy. Named drivers with a good driving history can give you a lower quote.

6. Get a fuel card to reign in your spending

Fleet maintenance cost per mile is one of the most important calculations you need to do. But have can you bring down your cost per mile?

Fuel is one of the biggest expenses of fleets. Bringing this cost down is tough! But you can control it with fleet fuel cards. These cards can give you lower prices for fuel and monthly invoices for faster admin.

7. Consider electric vehicles for lower fleet maintenance costs

On average, EVs are cheaper to maintain by 23% compared to petrol vehicles. EVs are generally cheaper to maintain because they have fewer moving parts. You mostly just have to worry about the battery, which tend to last a few years.

8. Use vehicle tracking systems for detailed information

Trackers are needed to get accurate data in your fleet management system. Vehicle trackers are one of the best tools to help you keep an eye on your vehicles and enhance maintenance procedures.

9. Use dash cams to combat insurance claims

One of the biggest costs for fleets are insurance claims. Insurance might not directly tie into your fleet maintenance calculations but are the make and break of many budgets.

Vehicle camera system footage can be sent to your insurance provider as evidence of your claim or proof of innocence if someone makes a claim against you. Business dash cams can even be used alongside some fleet management systems, so you can download video footage of any event you notice on your reports.

10. Use fuel cards to reduce administration time

When working on maintaining your fleet, you don’t want to spend all your time hunting down fuel receipts and booking service appointments. Fuel cards send your receipts to you every month straight to your inbox.

These invoices are HMRC-approved, so you can use them for easier VAT reclaims. See our guide to fuel card tax to find out how you could save on fuel duty.

What does fleet maintenance mean?

Fleet maintenance means managing your vehicles to ensure they’re safe, efficient and durable. Your business must have a process in place to maintain its vehicles.

If you don’t then you will not only lose money from underperforming vehicles but you could also leave your company open to legal threats, as unsafe vehicles can lead to accidents.

Vehicle service requirements for fleet maintenance

Servicing your vehicles is the most important part of your fleet maintenance. They’re part of the backbone of your business, as without safe and efficient vehicles your jobs won’t get completed on time and journeys may result in costly accidents.

You must schedule regular services and these are the things you need to inspect and check:

  • Auxiliary systems
  • Belts
  • Brake pads
  • Brake system
  • CV joints
  • Drive shafts
  • Electrical system components
  • Engine oil and filter
  • Exhaust system
  • Fluid leaks
  • Fuel and cooling systems
  • Hoses
  • Lights — interior and exterior
  • Rims
  • Rotors
  • Seat structures
  • Seatbelts
  • Steering system
  • Suspension system
  • Transmission and engine mounts
  • Transmission fluid
  • Tyres
  • Undercarriage and frame
  • Windshield fluid
  • Windshield wipers

Some of these things will be covered off as part of your MOT checks. MOT checks are even more important for business vehicles because they’re used more often and for longer journeys.

The cost of your vehicle service depends on the frequency with which it’s carried out and whether the work is done in-house or by an external contractor. It also depends on the depth of the service you have, as you may choose to go beyond the basic maintenance highlighted in the 25 things we’ve above highlighted as needing to be checked and inspected.

These are some of the average costings you can expect for a basic service:

  • Car: £125 (basic service)
  • Van: £110 (basic service)
  • HGV: Varies enormously — you can get an idea from the UK Government’s guidance on HGV and trailer test fees.

How to control your fleet maintenance costs

Reigning in your fleet costs is tough, but it can be a lot easier and faster with the right system on your side.

Any maintenance system with vehicle diagnostics, driver reports, and fuel analysis can be useful when you’re looking to optimise your fleet. To find the best one for your fleet, compare systems now.

Read more about vehicle tracking on iCompario

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