Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: August 13th, 2020
Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Buying a company vehicle is a long-term investment, one that might not always make financial sense if you can relocate those resources towards more lucrative opportunities. Nevertheless, when business is booming a company vehicle may be necessary to maintain operations and day-to-day efficiency. In fact, some companies absolutely need their own vehicles if their employees are operating in the field.
If the time has come to purchase your own company vehicle, then you need to plan your purchase carefully and assess all of the variables to make the most cost-effective decisions. With that in mind, here are the key things to consider when planning to buy your first company car:
1. Choose funding
The first key consideration is, of course, how you’re going to afford your vehicle without putting a dent in your budget. A car is no small investment, so it’s important that you decide on the best funding option as well as the best way to create a positive return on investment in a short timeframe. If you’re going to buy a vehicle, consider applying for a small business loan as one of the quickest ways to get the funds necessary to buy a car.
On the other hand, if you already have an outstanding loan or if you fear that you won’t be able to get favorable loan terms, you could opt to lease the vehicle instead. This will avoid extraneous upfront costs, and you will be able to write the investment off as a deductible business expense. Keep in mind, though, you might not be able to find a specific vehicle you want on lease terms, as leases are typically offered on a limited number of makes and models.
2. Devote time to research and testing
Again, buying a company vehicle requires a substantial financial investment, so you shouldn’t rush the process even if you need to buy a car quickly. It’s imperative that you devote enough time to proper research and testing by doing the following:
- Ensure the vehicle fits your needs perfectly.
- Research various makes and models to compare features and prices and find the best deals on the market to efficiently narrow your search.
- Make a testing schedule and proceed to test-drive every vehicle to see how it fares, how it feels, and if the choice is right for your needs.
- If you’re unsure, ask a car-savvy friend or business partner to come to the testing with you and help you make the right decision.
3. Get an adequate warranty
Of course, you can’t just hope that your car won’t break down in the middle of nowhere mere months after rolling it out of the showroom. No, you want a car that will run smoothly, and you want to know that if problems arise, you can ask for a replacement vehicle or a free repair. Another crucial step would be getting adequate manufacturer warranty.
Go over the warranty thoroughly and see if it ticks all of the boxes that are relevant to you and your business. Consider purchasing an extended warranty if you think the perks are worth the added investment in the long run. Along with a manufacturer’s warranty, be sure to get an adjustment warranty from your car dealer as well, in order to take care of small problems and repairs quickly, without breaking the bank.
4. Find the right insurance
One of the most important considerations is the coverage. When it comes to getting a company vehicle, insurance is non-negotiable, as you need to make sure that you are covered against every eventuality, from roadside accidents to environmental damage, theft, and everything in between. Given the fact that there are many variables that go into a good insurance policy, it’s important to compare prices from various insurers.
Luckily, insurers are all about personalization nowadays, and forward-looking ones are even offering interview based quotes that are tailored to the exact needs of the business, so you can save money on the things you don’t need while ticking all the boxes that are important to you. When researching insurance options, get in touch with the flexible insurers who can adapt to your company’s requirements.
5. Research economic trends and time your purchase
Experienced business leaders understand the value and importance of timing their investments, and the same importance can be attributed to vehicle purchase. If you time your purchase right, you can snag a much better deal and thus aquire your car at half the original price, but you need to know what to look for.
First, it’s important to monitor economic trends. If the economy is currently going through a bit of a slump, you will most likely find dealerships that are slashing their prices to make a quick profit. Next, you need to sense the demand for certain vehicle brands. Popular brands that are selling like hot cakes will have the same price tag throughout the year, while less popular brands will invariably lower their prices to cover their losses.
6. Maximize your investment through marketing
On a final note, keep in mind that this new vehicle can serve yet another purpose aside from getting you from point A to point B. You can also use it to boost your marketing efforts and complement your online marketing tactics with some good old offline promotion. By branding your vehicle just right, you can use it as a promotional tool and a rolling advertisement that will get people interested and perhaps even inspire them to reach out. Print your website address or phone number along with your company’s name and visuals.
Almost every business needs a company vehicle nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that you should spring for the very first deal that pops up. Instead, use these tips to create a cost-effective strategy, find the perfect vehicle, and most importantly, maximize your investment in the years to come.
Lilly Miller is an author at Smooth Decorator.