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The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Fleet

Alexia Smith

September 13, 2018

There are many decisions that need to be taken and implemented when planning a fleet. Along with a fleet come other expenses such as procurement, maintenance, insurance, fuel management, background checks for drivers, vehicle tracking and the list goes on. Whether you choose to own your fleet or expedite all these headaches, you will need to consider all of the possible outcomes and circumstances of this scenario.

Questions such as, ‘who manages the fleet’ and ‘how much money are we willing to spend’ should be at the forefront of your decision making strategy. Many companies will undertake the financial working needed to make these decisions but they forget to add in factors such as the operational nature of the business, future expansion plans and the expertise needed to efficiently manage a fleet.

This article lists the pros and cons that come with each available option and aims to help business owners make an informed decision. Although it is difficult to trust other companies with your operations, it is imperative that you trust those whose core business objective revolves around efficient logistics and fleet management.

Why Own a Fleet?
Most of the time, the nature of a company demands a fleet at hand, and other times fleet programs serve as an employee perk more than a business-related need. Other times fleet vehicles are needed to transport goods from one place to another. Additionally, advertising your brand becomes easier and can also be influenced through the make and type of the fleet.

Options in Fleet Management
Fleets can be purchased as a part of the current business or they can be outsourced to other companies that provide transportation and delivery as a service. A number of companies have come up recently offering a delivery service. The core business of these companies is in dealing with efficient delivery. Additionally, companies can own their own fleets and set up departments to run them effectively, but it will cost them more than a logistics company would.

Deciding Factors
Before looking up manufacturers and fleet programs that offer you the best dollar value sit down with your accounting department and draw up an estimated comparison between owning and leasing. You should base the comparison on:

  • The difference in outsourcing and insourcing costs
  • The monthly running costs of each option (e.g. payments, maintenance, insurance, gas salaries)
  • Possible hiring of fleet manager/ setting up a department focused on fleet management
  • And, nature of the fleet’s function


Since the financial aspect reigns over all components, companies tend to overlook features other than pricing. The decision to lease or own should be tied into your business culture and its long term objectives.

PROS:

Cost Transparency
Companies that choose to own their own fleet have greater control over their expense sheet. Their costs are more transparent as everything is in their control. Outsourcing leads to a higher rate of dependency and companies have no control in how much is spent on their fleet and where the prevalent amount goes.

Control
By owning and managing your own fleet, you have the ultimate say. You are able to select your drivers, the types of vehicles that are on the road and when and where they are heading.

Insurance Premiums
For every car in your fleet you must have insurance to help cover liability costs such as equipment breakdown or accidents. Quality insurance takes a toll on the pocket, and procuring insurance for an entire fleet is not only a burden on the pocket but also the mind. Fleet insurance comes in many types and forms and one must be acquainted to them to be able to choose the best option. Additionally, worker’s compensation, in case of injury, is a whole other aspect to begin thinking about.

CONS: 

Increased Risk
Operating inefficiently opens up companies to a multitude of risks from legal entities to employee safety. Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology and legal requirements, it is easy to miss out on the fine print.

Storage
If you are thinking of owning a fleet, we sincerely hope you have considered and allotted a space for them. Some companies with storage restrictions send their vehicles home with the employees. Employees may end up using the corporate vehicles for personal use, adding mileage and wear and tear which you will have to account for.

Lack of Control
Managing a fleet requires efficient route planning as well as job rotation and employee satisfaction, among others. A lack of the correct expertise needed can drive up costs and result in delivery chaos. By outsourcing, you can simply tell the logistics company of your wishes and they will implement it.

Decreased Cash Flow/Increased Overheads
Due to the additional purchasing, recruiting and operating of the fleet, companies that own their fleets will experience a decrease in cash flow. This can be especially problematic when there are bills to pay and the company is not liquid enough. Outsourcing can help drive down costs and do not blow a hole through your accounts, making them more appealing to stakeholders and your company’s monetary position.

Fleet Management Technology
Opting to collaborate with a company that deals in delivery allows you to make use of all the technology they apply into their management system. Owning a fleet will require you to invest in a transportation management system. Not only is such software expensive, you also need to learn how to navigate through them.

Increase in Capital Investment
Companies end up paying direct and indirect costs; pouring resources into a department that is far from their core competency. The capital investment is only apparent once the in-house fleet costs are separated from the other expenses. Outsourcing your fleet and all of its add-on responsibilities can visibly reduce your expenses. This frees up capital and precious resources which can be employed towards the firm’s long-term objectives.


Dispatch makes use of data analysis to create customized experiences for your customers through their screens, ensuring effective communication channels and optimized satisfaction. Our easy to use interface makes sure that businesses can navigate and order same-day delivery for their products with ease. The technology allows for you and your customers to have a fleet of vehicles in the palm of their hand. To learn more, visit Dispatch!

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