Company vehicles play a crucial role in your business operations. They transport essential employees and equipment every day, but that means they can wear down faster than the average car.
Remember these five important tasks to maintain your company cars and increase their lifespans.
1. Invest in the Right Vehicles
First, you should evaluate your current fleet of company cars and determine if you need to upgrade. Finding the right makes and models will save you thousands on maintenance costs and make your employees feel safer behind the wheel. These are some models from various brands with cheap maintenance costs and long life spans:
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevrolet Impala
- Honda Accord
- Subaru Outback
- Hyundai Elantra
- Kia Soul
You want to find all-purpose vehicles that everyone feels comfortable driving. These sedans and SUVs fit the bill perfectly. They won’t break the bank to maintain and will last as long as necessary.
2. Launch a Defensive Driving Course
While finding the right company car is a great step, they still can’t avoid accidents. You also need to invest in your employees with a defensive driving course. “Defensive” in this context means that the driver protects themselves from more than just other drivers. They can notice traffic patterns and anticipate hazards before they occur, allowing them to make swifter and safer decisions.
Teach your employees to be non-confrontational drivers who can handle distractions, avoid tight situations and prioritize safety over speed. These values can help you save on many repairs and replacement fees. Plus, everyone else on the road will benefit from your company’s responsible driving habits.
3. Set High Cleanliness Standards
Every time an employee returns a company car, the interior should look spotless. There shouldn’t be any dirt, crumbs, trash or forgotten personal items. It may sound strict, but you need to set these high standards to keep your vehicles in pristine condition. That doesn’t mean employees can’t bring foreign substances into the car. They just need to clean up after themselves out of courtesy for your business and the next driver.
Make sure your staff remembers this rule by putting a checklist inside the vehicle. It can be a removable tag, sticker or something they can hang from the rearview mirror. Include these steps in the reminder:
- Remove all trash and personal belongings.
- Vacuum the interior for dust and other small debris.
- Scrub the seats with appropriate interior cleaning solutions (no household products).
- Reorganize the glove box and other compartments.
Most employees are respectful enough to clean their vehicles without asking before returning them. Still, you can give them a little more incentive by setting clear sanitation standards.
4. Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedules
A vehicle’s fluids have routine maintenance schedules recommended by the manufacturer. They know their vehicles better than you do, so trust the plans they created and stick to them. Here are the usual maintenance suggestions for a vehicle’s essential fluids:
- Oil/oil filter: every 7,000 miles or every six months.
- Transmission fluid: every 30,000 – 100,000 miles (sometimes sooner for manual cars)
- Engine coolant: every 50,000 miles, though some newer models suggest 10,000 miles
- Brake fluid: every two years
- Power steering fluid: every 30,000 miles or three years
- Windshield wiper fluid: change as needed
Since the smallest time frame among those fluids is six months, you should naturally schedule an inspection every six months. Don’t get lazy with this step. Your vehicles might appear in good condition, but there could be a hidden problem that only a professional technician can see. Take the time to schedule bi-annual inspections for all your company vehicles.
5. Store the Cars Properly
Finally, you must store your cars in the proper environment. They need protection from the elements while they wait for their next owners, so find a cool and dry indoor environment to park in. If an indoor space isn’t possible, park them in the shade. Every time you send a vehicle into long-term storage, make sure you check off these maintenance tasks:
- Wash and wax the car.
- Inflate the tires.
- Clean and dress the wheels.
- Close all internal vents.
- Refill the gas.
- Change the oil and oil filter.
These last-minute things will ensure the car is 100% ready for the road when it gets uncovered. You should also invest in quality cloth car covers to provide another layer of protection.
Protect Your Assets
Vehicles are vital members of your business. Give them the treatment they deserve by implementing these five tasks. Find the best cars, train the best drivers, set high standards and follow the expert-recommended maintenance schedules.
When you put a car away for storage, give it a clean and comfortable environment to rest. Protect your assets and they will serve you well for years to come!
Filed under: Uncategorized