Whether you use a single vehicle or an entire fleet for your business, keeping them running smoothly is critical to fulfilling your business goals. And if employees are using those vehicles, that adds in another layer of complexity. Here's what you need to know about how to keep your business vehicles well maintained, and keep your employees safe on the job while using them.
Make expectations clear. If your business is small or your work culture is casual, it may be normal to turn over a company vehicle without much fanfare. But that's not a good idea. Make sure that anyone who is using a company vehicle has been vetted for their driving history, and is given clear expectations and training on how to use a company vehicle, and a clear understanding of the consequences if they violate those rules.
Stay up to date on training. Whether your staff uses specialized vehicles, or they simply drive regularly in difficult conditions, it's always a benefit to stay up to date on safe driving practices. Asking your employees to attend a safety course or training program will make them safer on the road in all conditions and it might also improve your auto insurance rates.
Schedule regular maintenance. With a personal vehicle, it's easy to justify waiting until the red light goes on or, worse, until your car breaks down to actually take it to a mechanic. But for business vehicles, staying on top of preventative maintenance is a must. Follow your car manufacturer's recommendations to have your vehicles serviced regularly and inspected at least on an annual basis.
Keep a travel log. Keeping good records will help you to prevent major breakdowns, as well as potential problems with employee drivers. Make sure you know who is driving each vehicle and when, and have a system in place for your employees to record any changes or issues they notice before, during or after each trip.
Keep it clean. Whether your name is painted on the outside or not, the way a business vehicle looks can make an impression on both customers and employees for better or worse. Make sure your business vehicle stays clean and looks as good as possible, to show that you're a professional, that details matter and that well, you mean business.
Save receipts. Did you know you can deduct expenses for maintaining business vehicles? Be sure to save your receipts to get the maximum benefit when tax time rolls around.
Anticipate repairs. Vehicle breakdowns tend to happen at the worst times, when we are least prepared to handle them. Now that you know that ahead of time, there's no reason to be caught off guard when a major repair is needed. Start a small savings and contribute a little each month so that when a vehicle does break down, you have the cash on hand to fix it and get right back to work.
For any business insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.